I have headaches lately, the top of my head and forehead hurts, heavy and unclear, cloudy with remedies and wondering why. Wouldn’t there be a reason a headache comes back, a cure hidden under the tin tapping bones that knit my mind together.

I live my life leaning into the next thing, like a car in a commercial riding so fast across a desert, around forested corners, weaving in traffic. My head, forever tilting forward, never quite reaching the wished for calm, happy, and good, pushing against the wind drag of calmer, happier, better.

In dreams I move constantly, in cars, and planes too, careening down roads and over lakes, always moving forward, ever forward. I wake up still moving, unaware of where I have been, shaking myself alert to start the measured warm up into another push of a day.

During the slow skid toward night, I sit for hours, and realize I have exhaled and not taken another breath, the pause so long I startle with the need to breath in.

In car commercials the actor leans back, knowing it is the car traveling fast, not the driver, aware of what is being sold, the part he plays is over when the engine dies.

My head hurts I think because the pressure isn’t changing, the pitch forward relentless and searching, my life a long exhaled doing, no inhale to straighten me back up. I can’t be the only one who feels this press, it isn’t me I think, it’s the escalator life, walking up when the stairs are moving down.

I am tired. Are we all tired? I have tried every way to push through the day, but the truth is this; I am the actor, in a car that doesn’t belong to me, driving too fast, around too sharp of corners, in traffic that is overwhelming and loud and not mine. And I don’t know when to let the engine die. I don’t know how.

Except I do. I have dreamed this answer, in a series of dreams over the last few years when I would wake with an audible message. The first was this; slow down, slow down, slow down; said three times because I wouldn’t listen, and now the first rule of this new year because now, I’m listening.

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