My wife bought me this cat in Japantown tonight, because I rushed to the shop window, pointed, and said, “That one!”
The figurine evoked a visceral response in me that seemed excessive, even if it did remind me of our cat, Sydney. And it turned out to be an incense burner.
I am allergic to incense.
For weeks, my emotions have been simmering over a flame stoked by fear and doubt, diagnostics and diagnoses, and today, I felt a steady rage that I could barely contain. I have been unwilling to speak it, afraid to let it interfere with my professional responsibilities, worried that I will break and be unable to reassemble the pieces. And then, in its strange and poetic way, the universe handed me this little gift of a Sydney-shaped incense burner, so that I could bring myself to say:
I am incensed.
And sometimes there isn’t any sense to be made, no real resolution to whatever it is we are handed. Thus I begin 2015 with but one resolution: to remember that numbness is no better than pain.