I was talking with a friend this past weekend and he asked me how I was feeling. I tried not to overthink the question and just say the first thing that came to mind.
"I am feeling pressed."
The answer I gave him was an honest one. In so many ways it feels like the walls have been slowly and consciously moving inward. It hasn't been a rapid progression -more like a steady,in-working of things from multiple angles.
(When I think too long about it I begin to panic. Sleep becomes lighter and breathes become shorter. I don't much like this and, despite my efforts, very little changes the pressure that I feel.)
I've decided that if I can't alleviate the pressure, perhaps I can alter my perspective.
When you iron clothing, the ultimate goal is to press out any wrinkles or deformities in the fabric. The weight of the iron in combination with it's internal heat work together to force a clean and straightened article of clothing. The goal of this type of pressing is to restore something back to it's original state.
Things like fruits and nuts undergo a similar type of pressing but the outcome is very different. For example, when pressing grapes to make wine the goal is not to produce perfectly flat, wrinkle-free grape skins. No. On the contrary, the point of pressing grapes is to extract something that is inside. Ultimately you are harvesting from the grape something that it would not have been able to give up on it's own.
My goal this week is to change the metaphor.
I am not being squeezed and suffocated, rather this current period of pain and suffering is meant for restoration. This current "pressing" is working to force something out of me that I could not produce by my own strength.