Thursday, January 19, 2012

Inward, Turned

I almost missed an opportunity to use my blog as a protest. I did cram in a quick & dirty template redesign and was able to turn my background & text black for the SOPA Blackout protest. I'm sure I've missed a thousand opportunities to take action, and I'm letting that be OK. I'm largely indifferent to the Republican primary campaign, I'm changing the channel when news that hits me hard is aired. (Children missing, someone stabbed close to home) I'm clicking away from "Call for Artists" posts. I'm cultivating a dark-of-the-moon, gestating, dark, quiet, healing time. This has made winter far more tolerable- so much so that I hope I can revisit this feeling every winter, when the frantic rush of the holidays clashes so loudly with the earth's cool, fallow season.

I'm seeing my body & being as located in time as well as space.

I felt so proud, so vital, to have eaten so well and lost some weight. Now I've gained some back, during the bed rest and healing. It's OK. It's a softness, a temporal cushion and a time when rest is more important than motion.

I feel acutely fragile, both emotionally and physically. Somehow I am comfortable with this. When the bed rest was prescribed, I was on the other side of a shift. I'm on the aftermath now, and this new person/body understands transition and delicacy and quiet in a way that woman couldn't imagine.

All this said, I'm moving now more fluidly, my nerves and bones are more right and strong than in years. My muscles, understandably, are still healing from the surgery and are learning new structures. Something has settled, though. The scar is flatter, the skin silken but thick. The swelling around the new artificial spacer is gone completely- my body is comfortable with the new, better support. My trainer let me do real, strong work today. The heat at my temples wanted to yell, "finally!" and the muscles that got a real work-out feel wonderful. We laughed together at the trial-and-error of our hacks to the upper body equipment for a patient with an arm and a half.

I have more energy than I did when I first returned to work. I've been drawing (I need to take some time to scan the new sketchbook) again, and I might finish my Sketchbook Project 2012 book. Or not. I'll let my body guide me without expectation.

I wrote that: guide me without expectation. That's something huge, a perspective I used to see from outside and wish I could assimilate. It's been the arc of my life since mom died. Going into flow, surrendering to the same Universe that hurt me, was such a struggle. There was a wound in my psyche from that hurt, and the changes were marrow-deep. Pregnancy, mothering, art, then managing the shop were all fraught with a need for perfectionism that undermined the pleasure in all of it. I have been fully and comfortably present for so little in this long, difficult decade. Seeing that now, it's impossible not to follow with the idea that this physical hurdle was a necessary lesson.

This is new, too. Thank you, my curved snake spine for this knowledge. Thank you, pain, for teaching. Thank you, quiet and rest and winter for stopping the frenzied cycle. Thank you, disability, for teaching me to protect my limits. (And thank you immeasurably for the privilege of knowing my abilities are returning and expanding.) Thank you for my flaws, cracks, scars, and memories. Thank you for tears, worries, the unknown, and for courage. For knives, bolts, stitches, blood, and bandages.

"thank you,
thank you

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