Monday, August 16, 2010

You see only part of me

As I walked outside this evening to a luminous half moon, I thought that what others see and know of me is not unlike the half-phase moon. What we see is far less than what's illuminated, and all that we're capable of seeing from our position here on terra firma is limited to half of a whole.

I'm one of those dorky pessimists who admits to having a dark side. I probably relish the dark side more than the light side because I enjoy the thinking being, and I'm more contemplative when the emotions flow freely in response to the outside world. These are the moments where inspiration flows, the muses take possession of my soul, and I must express these thoughts and feelings immediately. Rarely do I find these kinds of inspiration in the company of any people. Fortunately there are other reasons to enjoy the company of people, but I find myself more and more content as I become more and more reclusive.

This does not apply to the company of my faithful companion, Crash, however. I can gain perspective from this sweet, tough, frightened, regal, and goofy creature. I write and create with this flawed and awesome life by my side. I've found that my dogs provide essential support in the most trying times and without that support, I am lost. This is one of the reasons that I don't much like to travel...

I'd rather move someplace new with my dog than travel around the world alone. How sad others think I am. But with my dog, I am a part of pack. We become an insurmountable foe and can do anything. We can go anywhere with our heads held high or run away with our tails tucked in, as the situation warrants. Collectively, we know each others moves, and sense whatever else we need. It is an awesome collaboration that continues to strengthen with time, and differs with each dog.

I wonder whether if reopening my life in a new place will help remove the sense of unsettled that I feel here in Wisconsin. I felt this before in Tennessee, but not in Pittsburgh or Chicago. I need to relocate that sense of grounding and peace. Where next will that be?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I hurt myself tying my shoe!

So, I wake up this morning knowing that it will turn into a pretty toasty day outside, and not being much of a morning person, I consider it an accomplishment to get out of the house before 11 am on a weekend day. All well and good. I figure out my shopping list for Home Depot, and I'm ready to leave the house at 10:30 as soon as I put on my sneakers.

Or so I thought...I sit on my loveseat and tie up my sneakers, and then get up to a wincing pain in the knee. No warning. No popping. No obvious weirdness. I pull out the cane that I acquired a couple of years ago for a popped calf tendon, and hobble around the house, grabbing the ice bag as I inch along.

Eventually I did make it out to the Depot...they didn't have the glass tiles that I wanted, but I was able to grab some replacement louvers for the vertical blinds in my living room, a potted orchid, a potted Gerbera daisy, and an oak dowel. I successfully work my way through the self-check out, but inadvertently miss ringing up the dowel. So I proceed to do the second transaction for the dowel, grab my receipt, and walk (or should I say limp?) out to the car. As I place my items in the car, I realize that I don't have the dowel, so I walk back in to the store and get the wayward wood. Sometimes it seems as though very interesting forces are at work. Even as I typed this, I realized that I momentarily could not locate that same dowel...

As I was driving home, I figured I could stop for about 10 minutes to shoot some pictures. The car had been air conditioned for awhile, and the plants would be fine, right? I grab a few quick shots, head back home, and pull all the goodies and wayward goodies out of the car (yes, I really did put the dowel in the's on a chair next to the sliding glass door). To my dismay, the daisies all had wilted. Now I'm not a gardener by any means, but I do buy live plants as photographic and artistic subject matter. Sometimes they survive for weeks, even months before I completely neglect them. This one didn't even make it home before the blooms were toast. Right now, I've snipped the 3 flowers off the main foliage, and they're partially reconstituted in a large bowl of water...but certainly not the subject matter that I had intended.

I've rested, elevated, and iced that knee several more times today, but it's still misbehaving. I really don't want to add a knee brace to my arsenal of home medical supplies. As I noted before, I have a cane. I also have a sling (woosy shoulders), an array of ace bandages, a thigh wrap, several first aid kits, finger and wrist splints, ankle and elbow supports, and sundry other supplies...Most of these have been very useful over the years of minor sprains and strains associated with athletic endeavors. I can even peacefully justify their use when I move in some way that my body isn't accustomed. But when it comes down to things like "I must have slept in a bad position" or "I was just standing up"...I find it a bit annoying.

I started competitive athletics at age 8. Along the way, the list of sports has included softball, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, tennis, racquetball, and a little bit of gold. I used to lift weights and do strengthening with all the lovely gym equipment. Then I hit 35, and my dominant shoulder started screaming at me daily. I did physical therapy rehab twice and continued to be in pain every day. Ice was my best friend and Ibuprofen was my second best friend. My orthopedists gave me a variety of exercises that I did religiously and I found friends willing to give up their lunch hour to help me do the 100 throws a day pitching regimen, just to keep going.

A number of things were going on in my life, and depression hit big time. I gave up all athletic endeavors and crawled into a quiet, safe place. As I SLOWLY emerged from this depression months down the line, I realized that my shoulder didn't hurt. My docs had always told me to keep working, strengthening, playing. My body had decided otherwise. So technically I mostly retired from any competitive athletics...for about 8 years before playing softball and volleyball again. I still goofed around a bit and hiked and did other active things, and really payed for damages whenever a bowling ball was involved...I went from using an 11-12 pound ball down to an 8 pound ball and that was still NOT light enough for the shoulder [I did, however, have the tendency to hold on to the light ball a bit longer than I should, and did a softball pitch THUNK down the lane].

Anyway, I'm not the gal who generally stops if something hurts (usually only when forced to do so), but to have giant twinges of pain for NO APPARENT reason really chips me off. So, as I close this story to add ice to injury (again), sign all of my joints as well older than my years...
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