The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing




In my declaration that Sandbox City sits a top of a volcano, I somehow begin to feel one erupt inside of me last night. Inside I can feel myself getting younger and younger and younger until we are shrunk down to a Tiny and nearly crying to be taken to the Stuffy Store to find the perfect stuffed animal we can take to bed. Oh how we want a stuffy to hold. And oh the shame in this too. 

But need trumps shame and we realize our volcano can erupt in whatever way necessary. And with that we instantly put a Stuffy Store into Sandbox City. And then we erupt again to create a beautiful, silvery four o’clock snowstorm that we can escape from. We stand in the beautiful Stuffy Store, our nose red from the cold, and the store sparkles like Christmas glitter; we are so warm and the glitter before our eyes sends us to a silvery spot where Christmas glitter and glue fill our heart’s stomach to replace the grief ball that usually sits inside. 

I declare that in Sandbox City we must have snow for it gives us storms that create mountains for safety. But having snow also means having cold and getting out of the cold into a warm place makes us feel safe and happy. Hot chocolate is not a salve unless the mug is held by a child’s frozen hands I conclude. And with that, I feel instantly and immediately that I need to drink. And drink. And drink. 

I cannot recall if I dream or envision this but I am suddenly in bed with my mom and she forces me to put my hand on her breast. I quickly see and feel that I am…trapped. My hand cannot move and I am in danger. The fear in me gives me strength to break free and…I am gone, catapulted away, away, away. 

I find myself immediately transported down to the beach, and I quickly find a woman—the woman—I want. I am becoming younger by the minute, my survival instincts growing stronger by the minute too and when I connect to her I begin to drink without thought. I am thirsty and starving and I consume like an animal that has had nothing its whole life, an animal who has stumbled upon the Beach nearly blind, and who must first just drink to get is bearings. 

It does not take long, minutes maybe, for the desperation to fade and soon what was need turns to pleasure. Arousal takes hold too and so quickly that it nearly blacks out the original need, the original spark that transported me to this beach. It is an odd fantasy. But I think again: this is not a fantasy for this is not created. Rather, this primal scene was something found, something I find that has existed, untouched, unexamined and un-tasted for my entire life. It is something I find, not something I create. 

At first I worry that the taking, the drinking will do nothing for the woman I choose. But I quickly put together that this gets her off as much as it does me; I can more than imagine, I can in fact feel in my own body, her pleasure, her deep pleasure, in me claiming what is mine. And with this confirmation, my worry for her finally, at last, fades down at this beach.

I can also see and feel all this with blue-sky clarity with abandon also that at this very tiny stage it is not, nor should it have even been, about her. 


I wake this morning wondering how hard it will be to describe and tell about this primal scene. Will embarrassment and shame trump authenticity? But just like erotica that wakes me in the middle of the night to be written, this too will never go without recording. For leaving it out of my pages would be an insult to the thousand pages that came before.

I wonder and am not sure if it is related, as it would feel so odd for it to be so, but somewhere with this mix of arousal, of claiming, of getting, of taking what I need from another woman——oddly I begin to feel this swirl of grief mixing in inside. Unpredictably it is grief around Stella and not around never getting fed or nurtured by my mom. The grief is around the thought of how much I loved the pure joy of watching her run and swallowing the potential reality of never seeing her natural gait claiming itself on the beach, in the forest, on the trails ever again. And although she eventually gets up and limps happily alongside me as we begin our first walks together after her paralysis, although she feels no pain, or regret, or loss, I do. 

I want my dog back. I want to behold her beautiful stride in front of me. I want what was taken from her restored. 

Not Gods, I have not asked much of you in my life. I have not required a lot to find some spark of joy in me and the one thing I have never failed to appreciate, never failed to mention is the joy I have always felt in the simple moments of watching an animal born to run, do this just that. Please allow her to run again, to feel the breeze move through her body in the same way it used to, to move in the unique way Greyhounds do with a double suspension gait. Please allow her a few more years inside her body to do what she born to do. 

I understand regret and anger and grief as I see my dog, in an instant, become paralyzed. But as I allow myself to feel this loss, this potential loss, I also allow myself to feel my own. 

I hear either Blanket or the Not Gods tell me that many years later, after I have suffered unconsciously for so long, that, don’t I see, I am finally able to run. I am finally, they tell me, able to once again begin to feel my gait, to feel the breeze through my body, to move in the world in the way I was always intended to. I am told, “Can’t you see? You have finally been given your gifts.”

Run, they say. Run far, run fast, feel the beach beneath your feet, feel the City you have created from a mind unparalleled in imagination and a heart that refuses to be anything but the weather it is, a heart that stays clear of anyone else’s constructs, a heart that sticks to its own guns. 

Run, they say, run and create and unravel your yarn and knit whatever comes to mind and heart. 

Run, they say, but do not fail to recognize that you’ve been doing this all along in this meditation. Your Sandbox is the gait you have found as you stretch your legs, as you finally allow yourself to consider tasting and then drinking because it is safe. 

Run they say, as you have surrounded yourself with soft snowy mountains that protect you as you sit in a holy office where you do Important Work with a person whose trust is earned over a journey that resides inside every word written here. 

Run, they say, run for another thousand pages or more. And you will find your company, your heart, your City inside. 

Run, they say. Run far, run fast. And never stop as you make and find your way in this world.