Love in the time of nostalgia.

Do you remember the last trip you went on? Maybe it was a road trip, the scenery flowing by. Or a flight above patchwork plains, cars moving below like ants? Or maybe a visit to family, the old and familiar meshing with the growth of life? Do you remember that feeling of just… moving. The passing trees, the stirring in your soul as the landscape shuffles and re-arranges itself into your own personal puzzle. It’s a wanderlust- inherent, vital and deep.

I remember wind on the mountains- Wyoming maybe or wildflowers in a spring breeze in Colorado. I remember a trumpet in New Orleans in the rain, walking the streets taking in sights and sounds that wedge their way into my body like a seed dropped in flight. …


What seems like ages ago I started a blog called “In the Time Of”. I think I had just graduated college. I wrote my first post for the blog, a piece called, “Love in the Time Of,” in which I tried to encapsulate (I’m sure poorly), the feeling of being out of college, floating through life and anxieties untethered.

That seems small now, but the title still seems to fit. So when I decided I wanted to get back into writing (I’m sure I could say for noble purposes to give people uplifting words during this time of crisis etc etc., but really because I’m bored and other people are bored so the chances you’ll read my writing are just statistically higher), the title seemed to fit. In the time of… In the time of what? Pandemic? Disease? Quarantine? Being in small spaces with your loved ones? Being far away from your loved ones? Uncertaintly? Beauty? Eating a lot of popcorn? The list goes on. The truth is, there’s a lot happening and there’s also very little. So it seemed like a good time to excersie writing the details. The day in and day outs that always get left out because grand adventures are much easier to write about. But what makes me special, sets me apart from the rest? …


Five years ago, on a tiny island in the northwest pacific ocean, I watched the sheep grow. They were babies, mid-March under the roling green fields. Hidden behind fence posts and down tall pine-shadowed country roads with names like “Enchanted Forest Drive” and “Lovers Lane.” The clouds spun overhead wrapping the hills. The smell of salt water stuck to the trees, the sky. The world was waking up.

I remember anxiety, fluttering in my chest like a caged bird threatening to explode. I had run so far- first from my parents’ home; 17 years old, a freshman in college standing awkwardly in a circle with strangers, hugging my parents goodbye, averting their gaze. …


Image for post
Image for post

There’s a certain kind of light that hits the trees in the northwest — one that’s hard to describe. Each place has its resonance, its natural shift that hits in the heart sparking nostalgia and a panging sense of beauty and memory, sinking your bones into the earth, merging body and place. The northeast has its fire fall days with a crisp blue sky, and silent dark nights with winter snowfall, soft and still as breathing. The south has it’s drooping trees, heavy air laden with humid memories and slow cicada nights. The desert has its dry sparking air and sweet sagebrush, the mountains their electric peaks, and California the forever ocean salt melting into the sky. But the northwest has light. …


Image for post
Image for post
Dunno who this person is ^^

I was talking with my therapist the other day, which is how I start most of these writing pieces, but that’s really the way the world should be — so anyway. I was talking with my therapist the other day about rain. I was saying that I craved rain. And that it’s almost shameful, like a secret, whispered quietly. …


Image for post
Image for post

This is an article I’ve wanted to write for a while. But I always wanted to wait for the “right time”. Like Mental Health Awareness Month, or for some big mental health crisis or high profile suicide to hit the news; when it seemed “relevant”. But the reality is that mental health is always relevant and also has shit timing. And really, I’m just hiding behind excuses. So I decided to write it in parts, because it’s a long story and more digestible this way. And also honestly it’s just easier for me to get through. So stay with me friends. …


I had this idea after the new year. January 3rd or 4th or so, and I was driving up to the women’s spa in north Seattle, after being sick for a couple days. It was raining, but I didn’t feel sad. Or rather, I did feel sad, but that was okay. You know the difference? When you’re watching a sad movie or listening to that one song. And you cry but it shakes your whole body and after you feel lighter. Cleared. That’s how I felt in the rain. I went into the spa and I felt my shoulders drop. They give you this robe; I had a coupon which was nice. They give you this robe, and you store your clothes and the water has cucumbers in it. And I laid down, no clothes, in the pink something-salt room where the steam envelopes you and I closed my eyes and let the sweat drip down. And after there was a room, and it was quiet and had tea. And I sat in the little egg thing hanging from the ceiling, drinking tea in my robe and reading Pema Chodron. Pema said, sit with your discomfort. Don’t fight it. With resistance comes struggle, and with struggle comes suffering. But sit, like the steam and let it wash over you, be with you and envelop you. And let your shoulders drop. Your eyes close, your heart open. And feel. Just feel. …


Image for post
Image for post

Last night my long time friend Jessica and I (names have been changed) went to a sex workshop at Babeland, a female run progressive sex toy store in the hip Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle. We met up with our bikes at the light rail station and rode the train together, discussing jobs and relationships in the energy of the rare Seattle spring Friday afternoon sun. We stopped off at a Syrian restaurant for happy hour; curry moscow mules and hummus plates as Jessica spoke of her difficulties at work, struggles with openly talking about race in her workplace, and the emotional stress of trying to speak her mind. …


I think the whole world holds a little bit of sadness and a little bit of happiness in each moment. It’s like Inside Out, incidentally the only movie we are allowed to recommend for “life work” in our counseling practicum. Last week I was on spring break in Utah. Things were a little hard; sick, exhausted from graduate school. But we walked through the canyons and the sunsets reflected on the walls, red and glowing. I remember a moon. A high desert moon, sliver and smiling. …


Image for post
Image for post

A few months ago, back in maybe February I went to a Seattle concert with my boyfriend, cousin and good friend from graduate school. Before the show we had stopped in at a YMCA fundraiser for a city community center, a small building in a growing urban neighborhood with garden plots that also houses the youth outdoor program I work for during summers. The theme was Cascade Royale (cunningly named after the title of the building, Cascade People’s Center), a play on James Bond. So, that rainy Seattle night, I put on a long dress, my boyfriend had on a suit, my cousin and friend also were dressed up. On the way to the fundraiser we went out for Ethiopian food in the Central District, squished into a the corner small cafe with injera and honey wine, pretending it was a midwinter psuedo-adult sort of prom. It was fun, one of those chiller mid-20s city nights with close friends, tinged with the edge of a new adult heavy tiredness, but still electrifying the memories of a freedom of youth. …

About

Erin Elizabeth Dunn

"Do not let your fire go out spark by irreplaceable spark"

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store