Sam in the night

Sam wakes up again the same way, but not thinking the same thing. Yesterday, he wanted to know where Nata was because he wanted to know she was safe. It worried him that people had stolen her and made her go away. Maybe they are still hurting her.

Now, he is satisfied that she is safe. Still, he is worried about the location problem. How will he find her when he dies? He can stand the idea of separation if it is temporary; if I live 30 or 40 or 50 years more, that doesn’t have any meaning for him. It’s just that I will die, and he can be with Nata again. That makes it bearable.

But he has to be able to find her.

He tries to reason this out. It is tough going. When he is out, I can feel the effort it requires to follow a line of logic. I am there in the background, and I can feel the strain of it for him, but he is trying.

He thinks that Nata—he’s been told she is a “sparkle” now—can find him sometimes even though she is dead. He imagines this sparkle as being something like Tinker Bell, and so it makes sense to him that she would not always be in one place. She might zip around to different places.

And it really does seem to me—as well as to him—that she is with me at times. I presume this is some kind of psychological phenomenon, where I am just very strongly reminded of her.

But for many years there has been a periodic sense of a presence. It comes at odd times: waiting for IT Ma’am to pick us up front of my landlord’s shop last month, sitting in the backyard drinking tea at twilight when I was 13 and she had just died. I don’t remember most of these moments, just that they have entered my experience of life as something I expect to happen from time to time.

Sam called out to her a few days ago and after that he felt hugged all over, in the way that he used to when she was alive. I am not surprised he thinks she comes to visit him sometimes.

So he reasons that if she can find him now, then she will also be able to find him after he dies. There is something about their connection that is like a tracking device—he doesn’t see it in those terms, he is imagining a special magnet or something like an invisible rope between them. He doesn’t know why she doesn’t use this to stay with him all the time, and I imagine that question will come next.

For the moment, however, he is satisfied. He can find her again. He doesn’t have the mechanics of it worked out, but it logically follows.

In the night though, he wakes up tantrummy because he doesn’t want her to be a sparkle. He wants to be able to hug her again, and she needs a body to do that. He can feel hugged by her sparkle still. That happens. But he cannot hug her. He is angry she doesn’t have a body for him to hug anymore. The bad men stole it from her. They made her body stop working, and now it cannot be hugged anymore.

He is really getting down to it now. They stole her body from him. They couldn’t kill her soul—he cannot bring himself to believe she no longer exists and neither can I—but they killed her body. And her body did things she cannot do without it. This is the real loss. The body and soul together is a different creature than either one separately. He loved them together. I loved them together.

It seems strange to be puzzling out an event, as an adult, that happened when I was 13 using a 2-year-old mind. The 13-year-old mind is perfectly capable of processing the event. All the cognitive abilities are there to do it. My adult mind is perfectly capable of it too. But Sam seems to need to. It’s totally inefficient.

But he’s lit on the key element of it all: the body and soul can do things together that they cannot do separately. I’m not sure my adult mind would have gotten to the core of it so well. My adult mind has too much fluff and nonsense in it to get to the core of things very easily.

I grew up in a church that tries to separate the mind and the body as much as possible. Everything about the body seems to be bad. It is “fleeting” if not actually evil.

The physical world is superficial and an involvement in it suggests a certain shallowness of personality. No one wants to be shallow. The fear of turning out to be a shallow person is as constricting as the fear of rejection or disapproval.

Worse, everything negative about the mind and the personality that really are bad—selfishness, pride, the desire to hurt and punish others when you’re angry, impulsiveness—are equated with the body. They are “flesh.” It’s metaphorical, but spirit is good, flesh is bad.

The body and everything to do with the body is bad. At best, it is meaningless. At worse, it harms others.

But the body and mind do complex things together that make our experiences rich. I am not going to be able to explain this well—and it is new to me, but probably not to you. If I were merely sitting next to Natashka, something happened inside my body that created an emotional response. I felt safe. Being away from her does something equally powerful and mysterious: I feel a sense of longing and uneasiness.

I was safe with her. But your body—I am sure of this—responds to the physical proximity of your “people” in a way that motivates you to stay close to them. This is not just about a cognition—this person makes me safe—but is chemical.

It has to be.

It’s oxytocin. There are other things going on—we are a complex species—but one piece is completely in the body. And the result for us, the attachment, comes from the interplay of body and soul together.

That’s just one example.



48 thoughts on “Sam in the night

  1. ridicuryder January 12, 2015 / 9:21 am


    I agree that a body memory is not the same as the body, but the intoxication never completely wears off for someone as special as Natalya. Hi Sam, the sparkles are really tiny, but they never go away as far as I can tell.


    • Ashana M January 13, 2015 / 3:48 pm

      Uncle Mark,

      Sparkles are big. They can be big or little. It depends.


      • ridicuryder January 13, 2015 / 6:49 pm


        You’re right…sparkles don’t really have a size except if you are looking for them really hard they can seem tiny. When everyone shines together, the SPARKLE is bigger than anything.

        Uncle Mark

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 6:04 am

        They can make themselves different sizes.

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 6:52 am

        It’s kinda like when Everywhere is looking for you and you say “I’m right here” then Everywhere knows or understands where you are.

        A feather doesn’t really have to fall if there’s a little wind…it can spend much, much, much more time floating than most other things that just drop. So when the feather finds a place to land – it can be where the wind lets it settle. But the wind is busy blowing here and blowing there and all the air over your town wisps all over…even to my town and many, many other places. Then one day the wind might say, “Hey, where’s that Sam feather?” It can take a little while, but it remembers where you are.

        Then when Everywhere (maybe another wisp of wind) finds you, all the wind knows you and if you remember the lightest part of your feather you feel all that wind in a very, very light way. In this way you know where you are and start knowing Everywhere.

        So I don’t exactly see or smell or weight the sparkles, but I know they slide and scoot and play however they like. There isn’t a good way to talk about them except to say they’re everywhere that Everywhere has been and lots of different places that everyone forgets about.

        Saying that sparkles are big or tiny or tall or flat doesn’t make them that way. They do all kinds of stuff to find us in the very lightest ways…ways that are so light that inside you understand you were never really lost.

  2. ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 10:46 am


    I maybe able to simplify this a bit more for an almost THREE year old if you have a bit of time for back and forth 7 hours from now or let me know when we might jiggle concepts a little more.


    • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 2:59 pm

      I think he’d probably like to talk to you.

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 6:16 pm

        Hi Sam,

        It is early morning for me here all the way on the other side of the world…what time of day is it there?

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 6:31 pm

        dinner time.


      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 6:36 pm


  3. ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 6:39 pm

    Take your time with dinner, I’m getting breakfast…I have a few hours this morning to chat. Let me know when you are ready. 🙂

    • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 6:40 pm

      I’m trying to come now.

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 6:47 pm

        Whenever you’re ready, just say so…it would be nice to have Katya around too, so she can help us pick a few things.

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 6:48 pm

        i’m ready but i’m mixed up.

        You can chat on gmail if you want to.

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 6:49 pm

        Katya won’t come. We can’t come together.

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 6:50 pm

        Okay, I get it…just you and me then. 🙂

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 6:52 pm

        You want to talk here?

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 6:55 pm

        Yeah…that way everything is together like the feather and the wind. Did you get how Everywhere kinda knows about you and you kinda know about Everywhere? I have some other ways to say it.

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 6:56 pm

        No there were too words.

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 6:57 pm

        Yeah, I know buddy…I am kinda wordy.

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 6:58 pm

        I miss Nata.

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:01 pm

        I know…and Nata misses you too. There are ways that you don’t have to miss her though…ways you are sorta with her…if you want to here them.

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 7:02 pm


      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:05 pm

        So it’s cold and maybe you have socks on…maybe you can get near the heater and pick a sock to take off…or Katya can pick.

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 7:08 pm


      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:09 pm

        Is one sock off?

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 7:10 pm

        yes it’s cold.

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:11 pm

        Sorry about the cold…now I want you to look at your toes and tell me if your big toe is all by itself.

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 7:12 pm

        No, but it’s sort of separated

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:13 pm

        Good, now is your second toe sort of separated too?

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 7:14 pm


      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:15 pm

        Is there a little air between your second toe and the toes beside it?

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 7:16 pm

        not very much

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:17 pm

        Okay, now what about your three little toes…is there any air between them?

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 7:18 pm


      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 7:19 pm

        I’m scared

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:21 pm

        We can stop and cover your feet with the sock or your blanket if you like…I’m showing you how sparkles keep things together like toes and you and Nata…do you want to stop or keep going?

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 7:23 pm


      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:26 pm

        Let’s stop for now…put your sock back on, cover up with your blanket. There’s more I want to tell you about Sam’s Towel. Tell me when you are bundled back up.

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 7:11 pm

        does it have to be by the heater it’s cold with the blanket off

  4. ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    I was eating cookies and milk. Are you all bundled back up in socks and blankets?

  5. ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:39 pm

    You may need some time to warm back up…I’m sorry, I forgot how cold it is at your house. My town is so warm, I have to make it cooler inside my house…I never wear socks except at work.

  6. ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    It maybe getting time for bed for you, I wonder what you ate for supper. We can say good night if you are getting tired.

    • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 7:54 pm

      He got scared and stopped talking.

      • ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 8:05 pm

        I may have goofed a bit with including Katya, I also saw later that the heater may not have been turned on…we’re you guys in bed or curled up somewhere warmer than the heater area? I sorry Sam got scared – the lack of tone for typed communication is a huge obstacle. Please tell him I meant well and I’m sorry if I made things difficult for him. Also, I can float between personas much much better on blog…my regular straighter thinking guy takes over in standard communication. Talking with you guys is a new and wonderful experience…I’m learning a lot. I hope venturing out towards me is helping you. 🙂

      • Ashana M January 14, 2015 / 8:23 pm

        It wasn’t the tone or Katya–he’s right that you’ll only get one of them. He was cold and thought he was going to die.

  7. ridicuryder January 14, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    Yeah…I forgot about the stressors that cold brings out…does my being a bare-chested guy standing in a pool wearing a motorcycle helmet complicate things? It’s a cartoon helmet…maybe that helps. 🙂

    I suspect if we continue these interactions there will be all kinds of unsteadiness at times. I’m game if you are okay…I know you’ll fold-up when any of you need to. You have shared (it seems almost everything) extensively on blog, I wonder how your alters adapt to stepping into this wide arena? We can do the off-blog gmail thing if you think it would be better.


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