Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Slow Dance

Ugh. A day I would happily spend in bed if I could and yes, I suppose I could but no, I can't. Besides, laying down makes my hands go numb and yes, I probably have carpal tunnel in both of them and the left one is worse because that's the one I broke and I guess the doctor who set it when I was seventeen was drunk or something. I don't know but that wrist is a good quarter bigger in circumference than the other and it troubles me something fierce, especially when I knit or do yard work and I have done both lately.

I keep thinking that if I am falling apart at this pace now, in my late fifties, should I be so lucky to live another twenty years, I'll be nothing but a soul in a cage of pain. I lay in bed last night thinking of things like, there's stagger in my swagger, there's no dance in my prance (or prance in my dance, for that matter), no grace in my race, no spring in my swing, there's pain on this train, there's no hope but for dope, there's no giggle in my wiggle.  Etc. A strange funny mantra of pain rhymes.

I woke up a little after two and went into the bathroom and for a moment I was stunned at how peaceful, how beautiful it was in the darkness of that room with all of my Madonnas smiling invisibly at me, holding their hearts in their hands, my mermaids swimming in silent darkness, my Fridas, my silent jangly jewelry, one patch of light falling through the window to puddle on the floor.

I found the herbal sleep/pain remedy I take and popped two and went back to bed and slept fine, restored somehow, it's all in the mind anyway.

All in the mind and yet, I am not walking today but resting these bones, these joints which I have asked so much of all my life. These tender tendons and resistant ligaments and when Owen says, "Hold me," I can't help it, I have to and that's all there is to it. 

I have stirred up the sourdough and I have let out the chickens. Yesterday Baby walked in through the dog door, looked around and when I got up slowly and quietly to get the camera to take her picture, she pooped a little chicken splat and then slipped back out to the steps but she looked so fine and fancy on my back porch for those few seconds. What a sweet tiny visitation. 
Here's what she looks like this morning. 

She does not roost with the other chickens in the hen house but possibly up in a tree and every morning when I go out to let them out and throw some corn, she is there, waiting, shy but full of spirit, more spirit than seems possible for such a tiny hen. She has been laying again, in the nest in the garage that Mr. Moon made for her. All of the hens seem to be laying again, although not prolifically. I am getting plenty of eggs for our use, though, and I like to leave them in a wooden bowl that my neighbor made from the wood of a downed pecan tree because they are so beautiful. Useful jewels, perfect in form and in function, each egg as unique as the hen who laid it.

This brings to mind Steve Jobs and his insistence (some would say insane insistence) on the need for beauty in the form and functionality of the products that he helped design and create. The way he recognized the art of technology, the way he had each of the designers' signatures engraved inside the first Macintosh. The way he would say, "Do this," and his team would say, "No, that's impossible," and he would say, "No, it's not. Now do it," and they did. The way he refused to do market research because he believed that people didn't know what they wanted until he showed them and he was right. How could we know what we wanted when it hadn't yet been conceived? 

Ah well. It's a beautiful morning and the sun turns the leaves of the Japanese maple into fire and I rub my wrist and I sigh and I think of the bargain we unknowingly make when we are born which is to live and to be joyful and to hurt ourselves and to fall down and to get up and to trust our broken parts with people who may or may not have the qualifications or even desire to properly repair them and how yet, we have faith or we do not, but sometimes we have to trust and we create these cages from pain and from faith which hold our souls like that wooden bowl which holds the eggs and sometimes we are momentarily stunned by the beauty of them, even as they are so vastly imperfect, even as they fall apart, even as they somehow hold together, even as we dance through it all, limping and gimping and being simply in wonder if we take a moment, maybe even in the darkness, to see.


  1. This is a beautiful post. I loved your bathroom serenity, especially the silence of your jangly jewlery. Perfect. The eggs in the wooden bowl are lovely. All of it is, baby peeking in to see you, then pooping. I'm sorry about your bones, your wrist. I am glad you are taking the day off from walking. Thanks for helping me become someone who can make soup.

  2. I'm still lying in my bed as I read this, the window shades still down, my day just beginning, and thanks to you there is already beauty.

  3. I love the little pain rhymes, despite the fact that it meant you are in pain. The fact that you would have the humor and grace to think of something fun and silly while you hurt is especially zen.

    The Japanese Mags are so cool. If you get a chance check out the tree in my yard (some kind of little Maple type tree) right behind my back porch area that rains golden leaves in the winter. It literally makes a golden circle around itself. It's awesome.

    I know you didn't ask, and it's no cure...but... I have a small suggestion about the wrist... You may want to get a brace for it for when you are typing or knitting or weeding or just whenever it gets achy. I used one when I injured my wrists and it helped immensely. Way more than I thought it would. I also used lineament. (But I LIKE the smell!)
    Enjoy the leaves.

  4. Bethany- Thank you for being a beautiful part of my life.

    Denise- That gives my heart such happiness. Thank you for telling me that.

    Ms. Fleur- I have used a brace on and off. Perhaps I shall try it again.

  5. My grandpa used to say, There's a hitch in my giddy-up.

  6. Well this post made me smile and made me well up with tears. You have a knack for that. I will borrow your pain rhymes, I need them. And I've thought the exact same thing as you wrote, if 50's are this hard, how can I hope to live another decade or two? Would I want to if I'm required to spend so much time inside my head dealing with pain, especially nerve pain, and the nervousness and anxiety it causes? Some days I'm barely present in my life, just coping. I don't know about you, but I think in the last decade I've spent 90% of my time wishing I felt better. I guess we live for that 10% and try to tell ourselves it could be worse. But good grief it's draining and exhausting.

    Thank you, truly, for the wooden bowl of eggs, Miss Betty and the red Maple.


  7. Seeing through your eyes is sustaining, Ms. Moon. Thank you for the sustenance.


  8. I'm going to use your pain rhymes too. Any smile lessens pain.

    Lovely post and lovely pictures. Looks like you're having a beautiful autumn.

  9. I thought it was a trick, a bait and switch. Even though the title is Slow Dance, I fully expected to open the post and see a picture or video of you shakin' yer booty. But I enjoyed every bit of what I read.

    Shake it, shake it! Boom boom!

  10. I am awash and this awashes me more. It is a blue, blue, smokey blue day. It's as blue and black as a chimney fire. We have not put enough dab on the sticks. We were always in danger.

  11. Birdie- I've heard that one too.

    Mel- Yes, pain is so energy sucking. I am either complaining about something or, as you say, in my head trying to fight it and keep silent about it. Sometimes I just don't know if it's worth it. But what do we do? Recognize that this is the human condition and go on as best we can? Intelligent design? I laugh at that one.

    Elizabeth- And I say the same to you, dear friend.

    Kathleen- It is a diversion to make the pain rhymes up! Use mine, too. It has been a nice autumn here. Thank-you.

    Nancy- I was dancing in the Costco today and Owen said, "Stop dancing!" Ha! Critics are everywhere.

    Rebecca- Always. And we knew it and our bones still do.

  12. You have tremendous skill in perceiving the world and relating it to the rest of us. You not only notice little things but you file them away to write about with such grace and detail. Not everyone can do that. I loved this post. I also love that pecan-wood bowl, and yes, the Steve Jobs perfection of the egg.

  13. I too have been thinking about what life will be like as I age more. Not pretty I suppose. It seems that I went from 30 to 55 in one week. That sucks.


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