Warming Shame

To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread.

—James Baldwin

Today, for the first time in a long time, I had a big shock of embarrassment. The kind that makes your whole head thicken, like someone stuffed a wool sweater inside your skull.

Knowing I’d be too distracted to accomplish anything for the next half hour, I sat in the corner of my living room and tried to observe the sensations, observe the breath.

Turns out, for someone like me whose body runs cold (bad circulation), the warming quality of shame can feel good, in a way. Aside from the associated horrible emotion, it was actually kinda cozy. And cheaper than a space heater.

Sometimes an unpleasant emotion hits so rude and total, there’s nothing to do but watch, try to stay present, in respect and awe. A certain side of sensual.

Photo on 8-22-13 at 12.13 PM

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