At thirty-six, I signed up for swimming lessons. After three frigid dunks, I stopped splashing around.

At thirty-seven, I briefly sat in a circle of college students attempting to sing alto in a Georgian Choir. I squawked.

Thrice, I’ve joined a coven of pussy worshippers and fell asleep when we were instructed to touch Pussy.

Sometimes, halfway through a body scan exercise, I remember to join my body. Other times, not at all.

Once, during Reiki, the healer held her hands over my chest, and suddenly, my back arched, and I wept.

Once, during yoga, the instructor instructed “release,” and I wept.

On occasion, when I do feel my body, I marvel at the pain.

Is that always there? The pain.

How do you come back home to your body?

Where am I if not in my body?

I wanted to swim in the ways I hear people speak about how freedom feels.

I sink and scramble doggy paddle style. I tread water and hold my breath.

I wanted to sing how I hear people speak of how it feels like freedom.

I squeak shamefully.

I wanted to feel my sexiness the way I hear people speak of how it feels like freedom.

I freeze.

My self mostly feels all mind. I picture it as a winged horse missing its carriage. The carriage my body.

Ceramics are my somatics. I told someone I needed to work in clay for a few hours to rest my mind. It’s true. Ceramics ground me. Hands in terra. Hands in matter. I forget what I’m thinking and feel something. I feel something soft and wet between my fingers. Something matters. I feel the weight of a form as it grows taller or wider in response to my hand’s pressure. I matter in this moment of touch.

As a ceramics novice, I have yet to learn how to do anything well, and it is a slow multi-step process from start to finish. I spoke with a studio mate about how it’s one-offs and one-offs of disappointment. I mentioned I had found only one small thing I liked making after a year. They suggested that I make that one small thing for a while longer. My mind felt uncertain about this humbling instruction, but I took it.

Months later, something suddenly shifted, as if the slow turning of a stuck gear had slipped, and I saw and felt that the one small thing I enjoyed making was precisely what I wanted to do as part of a whole.

It reminded me of walking. It reminded me of journaling. It reminded me of life being a practice of being alive.

Last year, I started going to yoga once a week. It was challenging to keep doing this one small thing until one day, it wasn’t. Then, I added two more classes to my mornings. These three classes became places where my body led me like a horse drawn to water.

I want to feel more free in my body.

Deep diving in the pool or pussy or singing in tongues wasn’t my way home to my body.

For now, I’m following the instructions my ceramics pal suggested.

Doing the small things you love each day until one day, you realize it’s, and you are part of the whole thing you love. This may be the simple way home.

The empty carriage I imagined as my body was always an empty carriage because my body was the thirsty horse.

Dawn Breeze; Artist-Mother-Writer-Founder-Pie Enthusiast lives and works in the Hudson Valley. Find her mushing clay, musing about art and the alphabet, building progressive education opportunities, advocating for social change, or facilitating transformative learning experiences. Projects include: Creativity + Courage, Place CorpsInstar LodgeSunday

Portrait by Rebecca Westby