The One-Two Punch

James has a need for a name for a feeling. Read his expressive blog and see if you have a name suitable for a particualr feeling. I’ve had it, I’ll bet you have too.

The Relative Cartographer

Late one night when I was 9, I awoke to the sound of my own name. In the dim hallway just outside my bedroom stood an inky silhouette, and even though I couldn’t see its eyes, I knew that silhouette was staring at me.

Chills, sweat, panic. As the shadow shifted its weight, I saw something familiar in its posture. I recognized my grandfather. A joy mixed with my fear, but something still wasn’t right. I heard the sound of chains (the dog’s leash?) from the other side of the house, and Grandpa was gone.

I got up and walked down the hall to search for him, but stopped when I remembered it was no use. He’d passed away years ago. I can’t say with certainty that he visited me that night, but I’m sure of the unlikely mix of joy and panic I felt in that moment.  I have felt it on two other occasions— both occasions were just as momentous. I want that mix of emotion to have a name.

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