Tuesday, March 22, 2011

" The Pain Passes, the Beauty Remains"

When I woke up this morning, I felt the heaviness of the news around the world.  It seems a time of unusual anxiety, wars going viral, environmental catastrophes creating suffering of immense proportions.  I also feel the weight of my pain.  Pain that is on such a micro, individual level.  Ya, it's personal. I own it.  It affects other around me, no doubt, but I own it.  I feel it.  We're friends.  Today, being the first day of spring, I pushed a little harder, like the brand new violet crocus that exploded through melting snow and heavy mulch. I pulled the shades wide open, got the coffee going, and turned on my computer.  My opening page is a site called Happy News.  That is what I need to see first thing when I turn on my computer.  Will and Kate, the Happy News site says, they are asking wedding guests, all 1,900 of them to donate money to 26 charities they have selected. Well, that is good news.  I need that filter from the overwhelming disaster kind of news.

I check in with my companion, "pain" each day, just to see where we're at.  I make my assessment, take my medication, do a round of tai chi to balance my energy and get the chi flowing. Sometimes it is so intense, that I cry. The flow of energy connects me to my pain, to the pain of the universe, and to the beauty in my little world, and to the beauty that still reminds me that this planet gives us lots of second chances. 

 At the state park where I walk I find a new memorial bench.  The benches are parked like gravestones all along the trails. You can tell the old ones from the new.  The new benches have fresh, unweathered wood with shiny brass plaques. The older ones are gray and musty, sometimes splintered with missing bolts. Today, I am compelled to read the new ones.  I know someone died recently, and the honor of memorializing them with a bench in their favorite surroundings must be quite healing for those still here. The new brass plate has a quote by Renoir.  "The Pain Passes but the Beauty Remains."  I needed that quote to find me today.  I remember a bench from a few years back- the man who died was young and a long distance runner.  His shoes were left on the bench and people were invited to put on his shoes and take them for a run. I wonder if the shoes recognized that an old friend was taking them for a spin, or perhaps a curious stranger wanted to get to know this man through the countless miles he spent in such experienced shoes.  There was a box full of letters from friends, close family members, a very poignant one from a teen-aged daughter,  and a guy who took the shoes for a run.  It was there for all to read and to know this spirited person who likely ran mile after mile on the trails of the kettle morraine state forest.  After reading a few notes and contemplating the beat up shoes, I discovered this man was a generous soul, who managed to share his love of nature through a pair of ragged shoes and stories from loved ones left behind, and those just passing through.

I think that a lot these days.  Pain is with me, but together we are passing through. We're not missing the beauty.  Sometimes pain and beauty do just fine together.

Peace, Healing, Humor.

☀ spring has sprung, feed the baby fish please

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fifteen Minutes

My follow-up pain management visit is a week away but I am already thinking about my fifteen minutes.  I know that the fifteen minutes includes getting processed by the clinic nurse.  Forms will be updated.  Pain scales will be checked.  My blood pressure will be assessed.  We'll have a superficial chat.  I will wait.  I will wonder what kind of day my doctor is having.  Is she running on time?  Did she get held up at the rehab hospital?  Is another patient eating into my privileged time?  I'll hope that she is having a good day.  I think of Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory.  They are stuffing chocolates into their mouths at a frantic pace as the conveyor belt speeds up.

My doctor will walk in with a stack of charts.  She'll greet me politely and get down to business.  In less than five minutes I will report the facts.  I'll summarize my quality of life in a few sentences.  I'll tell her how long I can sit.  I'll report on my sleep and bowel habits. Happily, I'll tell her that I am walking over an hour a day.  I'll try to slip in a personal detail. Tell her that I knitted my first pair of socks.  She'll tell me that all looks good.  Remind me of the clinic policy and suggest a three month follow-up visit.

She'll smile and shake my hand.  The nurse will be in to discharge me.

I will wait.

Until my next fifteen minutes.

Peace, Healing, Humor.


The fish are hungry.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011


No picture today.  Just an apology.  Over the past few months I've ditched my blog, pulled the haiku into hiding.  Every now and then I feel a need to go under the radar, into true anti-tech, Luddite territory. I do that and end up hiding my blog.  But there is certainly more to it. I do crave privacy.  I crave time for my own creativity. And life sometimes is low on spoons.  The more to it, I believe, is a desire now and then, or a wish perhaps, that if I pull the blog, maybe my disease will disappear along with it.  I mean, what's wrong with a little fantastical thinking now and then, you know?  Dorothy did it.  She just clicked those ruby slippers three times, announced "There's no place like home," and somehow she landed back in Kansas, safe at home, with Toto in her bicycle basket.  So, I allow myself a little fantasy as well, but when reality bites again, I miss the writing, I miss the community and education that evolves through blogging.  At times too, I wonder if I am "overexposing" a bit too much. The more I know about chronic pain, the invisible variety, the kind where you hear "you look so beautiful, how could you not be well." statements that are so kind and well intended, yet somehow you feel "less than", when you hear it.
So, I am back from Oz, and me and the Tin Man had a dandy time.  But, now it's time to write about my life that has something to do with pelvic pain, and a lot to do with living.

Welcome Back,