Hey there, I’m Amber.
I live in the Oregon countryside with my husband of 20 years and our kids (teen + tween) on a pretend farm, in that we do not harvest crops but we do collect animals like it’s our job.
I find joy sitting on my porch, tending our little farm, and writing words here for you on the internet. I am an intense dog enthusiast, an over-thinker, a big feeler, and above all, a fun-haver.
I turned 40 recently and if I’m honest, I limped out of my 30’s. By the time I reached my fortieth birthday, I couldn’t have pointed you to a single area of my life that wasn’t either in painfully deep or obvious transition. It was like stepping into the upside down and the hits started coming, non discriminate.
Health. Friendship. Work stuff. Kid stuff. Faith stuff.
In what appears to be an ongoing barrage of both low and high key traumas, my body has quickly become my teacher. First anxiety showed up. Then the digestive issues. Then acute IBS. Then a brutal bout with Covid. Then a bacterial infection. Then the myriad of disorders and malabsorptions that followed.
They say the gut is like a second brain, an entire microbiome of life and death, and that it dictates just about every area of our lives from our mood to our weight to our sex drive.
It makes sense, doesn’t it, when people say their “stomach dropped” the minute they got bad news, or they aren’t sure why but they just have a “gut feeling” about someone, or how as humans we all tend to lurch for our middle whenever stricken with emotion.
The body knows, before the mind registers.
And the body tells the whole truth, but she tells it slant.
She speaks from instinct, from memory, from reflex.
A year ago I started writing these letters to my body.
At first it was mostly a way to process all the health scares, a small but cathartic way to make peace with a growing new collection of diagnosis.
Something shifted along the way though, and writing these letters has cracked me open in places I didn’t even know I was brittle.
It’s helped me name so many important things, beginning with the deep ache and longing I felt.
The ache of feeling disconnected from my own flesh and bone, and the longing to come home to myself.
To my audacity, my playfulness, my ability to dream. My compulsion to mine for the humor, no matter how dire the situation. All the parts of me I missed so badly I couldn’t even talk about it, much less acknowledge it.
Sometimes when you are busy surviving, or even just doing life, it’s easy to forget that you’re still a fun person. Or a sensual person. Or a thoughtful person.
Maybe you’re here because you feel it too. An ache in that faintly familiar space within yourself, the one that begs to be fully inhabited.
I’m really fascinated with what happens in that space. I believe that gently pressing down on that ache and listening to what it has to say can bring healing and freedom to places within us we didn’t even know existed.
I think so differently now about our tender, animal bodies.
About our nervous systems + our self-protective modes + our surprising resilience. I think about our fear and our grief and the unexpected places they hide under our skin. Our delight too.
Learning how to stay with and honor my physical body in all her iterations is some of the hardest work I’ve ever done, but it’s also reconnecting me with parts of myself that felt lost of forgotten on a shelf somewhere.
These letters have become a bit of a tether for me, a way to keep coming home to myself when everything feels a little upside down. I hope they serve you in some small way, I hope you feel at home here in this little corner, and mostly, I hope you feel at home in you.