My Emotional Magnetic Resonances . . .

by Pari

Last week one of my dearest friends came to visit. Though we do write and call, we hadn’t seen each other for 12 years. I’d had fantasies of staying up late each night and talking til dawn, of baring my soul and emptying all the emotions that I’ve been holding in and waiting for the right person to whom I could express them.

The visit didn’t end up working that way.

We talked a lot, it’s true, but there weren’t any great catharses . . . no hugely revelatory moments. Instead it was a gentle visit, a very normal one. Today my friend is aboard a plane on her way to a convention. And in spite of fantasies unrealized, I feel far more centered than I have in months. Merely being with someone I love so deeply and have known for so long had the effect of a soul balm, a magnificently solid realigning of my very essence that healed without fanfare or even apparent action.

This afternoon as I write this, I’m thinking about other things in my life that have a similar molecularly soothing quality. While I know the metaphor of an emotional MRI is inelegant, it’s the closest idea I can find to express what I’m hoping to convey here. (Use this link for a brief explanation of how MRIs work. In my odd world today, an emotional MRI heals while a medicinal MRI is used soley for diagnostics.)

One poem that always centers me is “Danse Russe” by William Carlos Williams. Reading it jolts my atoms and when they return, a joyous part of my heart has opened. The experience lasts for days as the images the poet creates — and I internalize — enter and reenter my mind’s eye.

The book Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman reminds me of magic each time I open its pages and allow myself the pleasure of reliving its stunning writing and beautiful story. While reading it, I see the world around me through a similarly magical lens. I suspect that The Book Thief by Markus Zusak will serve that role too in the years to come.

Kodaly’s Sonata for Solo Cello stirs longing, pain, and utter beauty so fully that every time I listen to it my cells heal. The effect is quietly wrought, a shift of quarter tones rather than entire scales.

I return to these pieces of literature and music  — as well as certain others — because they reach a place of tremendous and satisfying meaning in my heart. They align my emotional molecules and bring a beautiful solace. Though I don’t end up with a diagnostic of my soul — and that’s where the whole MRI concept might break down in the telling —  I do end up feeling blessedly complete once more.

Today’s question:

Will you share one of your emotional MRIs with us?

13 thoughts on “My Emotional Magnetic Resonances . . .

  1. Karen in Ohio

    Horseback riding. I'm convinced that a good, well-ridden lesson in perfect communication with one of these amazing animals gives me an endorphin rush for days. It's better than the finest champagne and longer lasting than any runner's high I ever experienced when I was younger.

    Thanks for linking to the cello sonata. So lovely.

  2. Pari Noskin

    I'm so glad I came here before work today. I'm going to carry that image of horseback riding — hair and mane flowing in the wind — and sense of glorious communion with a big beautiful animal . . . all day.

    Thank you!

  3. Alexandra Sokoloff

    I went to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire a couple weeks ago and was reminded how much I need that overwhelming blast of sensory input once in a while – a total overload of color, theater, music, set design, costuming, body art, anachronisms, surrealisms, bizarre props, just everything under the sun and more.

  4. Tammy Cravit

    Walking along the beach looking out at the Pacific Ocean. There's something about the vastness of looking across that much water that helps me get grounded in just how big my problems and worries are in the scale of the universe.

    Musically, Joshua Bell's exception violin work will do that for me. "Voice of the Violin" is my go-to music these days for teasing out my creative spirit when it's hiding. Beautiful pieces, achingly well played on a spectacular Stradivarius violin.

  5. Darla

    A walk in the wilds (or as close as I can find depending upon where I'm living) with my dog always brings me to heart-center. Although, as I age, even being still within Nature carries deep peace and emotional healing.

  6. lil Gluckstern

    Thank you for the links. "Danse Russe" is, indeed, enlivening, and invigorating. And I just put a reserve on "Turtle Moon." I find I do very well when I follow you with my heart. I have had friendships like you and your friend, and they are healing.

  7. Reine

    Hi Pari,

    Mine would also be, "… glorious communion with a big beautiful animal." But not ". . . all day." It never happens though, so let's see. Quiet. I find quiet very refreshing.

  8. Pari Noskin

    What you describe fits you so incredibly well. I'm glad you shared it with us. I had no trouble visualizing you there and enjoying every minute of it.

    I'm going to have to check out Joshua Bell's piece.
    And the mountains do for me what the ocean does for you!

  9. Pari Noskin

    Just beautiful. Thank you for writing that. I felt good just reading it.

    Thank you. I hope you like the book. And I'm glad you have had friendships like the one I mentioned; they truly are special . . . holy, in fact.

    Yes, "all day" might be a bit much.

    And quiet? True quiet is indeed refreshing.
    One of the most wonderful places I experienced it was in Lechugilla cave near Carlsbad Caverns — total darkness and total quiet. The combination in that cool cave center was stunningly beautiful.

  10. David Corbett

    Pari: Rather than an MRI I think of myself as a tuning fork, and every now and then I need a good friend, a certain poem, piece of music, book — something — to set off the resonance. I hum in tune to the much loved thing, living or not. So hard, when so much of life is about struggling through the day, to open up like that, allow yourself to be affected so deeply. But how barren life feels without it.

  11. Pari Noskin

    Ah . . .
    David, what a wonderful perspective. The imagery works in a much less clunky way. Perhaps the MRI idea came because I'm working with all of these psychiatrists and brain researchers. The tuning fork is far more graceful.

  12. PD Martin

    Late to the party…

    It's the ocean for me. The sound of waves crashing on the beach. Ahhh!!!! That's my emotional MRI/tuning fork.

    I was in a similar situation with a near and dear friend earlier this year, Pari. It's amazing how those deep friendships are still there, no matter how much time has passed or how much contact has gone on between visits. Glad your friend made you feel more centred 🙂

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