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Underbelly: 10 Things - Unfurl

Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#135 in a series of wild and precious observations on how to uncoil gracefully

This week I contemplated unfurling. That process where we suddenly let go of stuff that no longer serves us and our bodies begin to move again.
Unless that sounds too weird? This one is a little hard to articulate, even though as I walked through this week, I kept thinking about how this is such a common experience — and yet, how to talk about it?
I suppose that the opening up post pandemic might be a good universal shared experience which elicits this feeling —
The moment after constriction when we begin freely moving again.
This week I felt this in a fairly extreme manner — my youngest went paragliding, so I stood on a mountain and watched friends and my youngest walk off and begin flying.
With, yes, their paragliding wings unfurling behind them.
Unfurling myself this week has brought awareness of sensations and feelings that had been carefully tucked away for awhile. It’s quite something to welcome them back again — and not always easy or pleasant, although always with immense appreciation.
Marc Maron: “What was the arc of your grief around Michelle?
Patton Oswalt: It was interesting and it was weird and not that I I’m saying this in any grateful way or any sage way but it was it was very odd for me to see you — I knew what you were going through I knew what the parallels were and I knew - ‘cause I think you remember I was texting you and contacting you right away and then I stopped because I realized part of this healing process is to now, he’s gotta be by himself for awhile and you need to like not so um…
Marc Maron: Yeah, yeah, you need to stop (garbled begging language)
Patton Oswalt: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Everyone - Hey now I need to process this - I need to lie in the weeds and think for awhile.” Episode 1356 of Marc Maron WTF podcast interviewing Patton Oswalt
3. Prompt
What I love about the above quote (which I transcribed as best I could from the podcast) was both how inarticulate it is and how much (as I listened to them) it resonated.
They have a shared experience in that both of their life partners died — and they are both comedians. The simple line at the end:
“Hey — now I need to process this- I need to lie in the weeds and think for awhile,” expresses this unfurling idea.
The intense, mixed, unwieldy, random sensations the pass through as you “lie in the weeds” after asking (commanding?) friends and loved ones to stop texting and contacting you. The silence that allows those often timid sensations to come forward to be felt…
You know what they seem like? These emotions/ feelings/ sensations are timid in that way where they are like, Oh, man…you aren’t going to like us :) we’ll just hang back for awhile and wait until it’s quiet and everyone has gone home. Then we’ll quietly join you so you can have time to appreciate us and understand our worth and necessity.
Something like that?
Do you have those guys in your life? In times of crisis, in times of collective “getting s*** done”, in times of action it’s not really very convenient to have those sensations/ feelings around. So we often tuck them away for later…and sometimes it can be very tempting to keep them at bay.
4. Quest
It’s either time to lie in the weeds or it’s time to acknowledge that it’s not time (yet) to lie in the weeds but you will have to at some point — if you have been lucky enough to live a life where stuff happens that you need to process.
5. Level up
If it’s not time for you to process stuff yet (which is completely possible) I encourage you to notice that it will be time at some point.
6. Podcast — the grief excerpt begins just before the hour mark.
Episode 1356 - Patton Oswalt — WTF with Marc Maron Podcast
7. Video
Patton Oswalt Expresses the Terror of Speaking About His Late Wife on Stage
Patton Oswalt Expresses the Terror of Speaking About His Late Wife on Stage
8. Poem
Sun to Void by Ladan Osman - Poems | Academy of American Poets
9. Hero
N. T. Wright - Wikipedia
10. Connect
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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