Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Et Tu?

Frankly, I feel betrayed by the one entity I most rely on: my body. Actually, let me re-phrase that. Today, I've realised to what extent my body has been betraying me for the past few years.

I have always believed that the body is a summation of the balance between mind and spirit; that good health reflects this balance, and is a conscious choice; that I would know if something were wrong with me, better than any doctor.

I had not realised how slowly it all seeps away, without one's notice, when one is caught up in the time-consuming business of living. It happens very discreetly and the little negligible things go first, all choices, hour by ticking hour.

My eyes felt too tired or blurred to quilt; I blamed this on the extended time I've been spending with the electronic media, especially lately. So I decided to take a little break and chose to read instead. My feet swelled up and ached; I blamed this on the increased lecture time as I've just re-gutted my class structure to include more instruction. My fingers hurt; and again, I blamed the extra typing I've been doing. Predictibly, my eyes itched, watered, and refused to even look at the words dancing before me; I blamed the computer screen I spend the day staring at. I found myself tired at mid-morning. Admittedly, I've never been overly industrious, but I noticed I'd been napping a great deal lately.

It took an outsider, a doctor, to force me to take stock: that the pallor of my skin was not due to my being out of sunlight; that I needed outside help to re-balance the humors that make up my being; that my age is not advanced enough for me to plead it as an excuse.

This is, at this point, thankfully fixable with a little white iron pill, staring innocently up at me, tiny enough to be lost in the folds of my palm. It is humbling to think that that mote holds the balance of my being.

The worst of all is the deep betrayal I have felt from my body. I now believe it has a separate consciousness all of its own, and that my own intelligence and care are not enough to sustain it. This entity I reside in has lately cheated me out of hours of quilting, denied me poetry I could have made, even books I could have read, and stairs I could have climbed.

After a very, very long time, I've finished four books in five days, completed my syllabi for the quarter that begins on Monday, watched an entire season of Deep Space 9, and stayed up till 1am without paying the price for it the following day. Tomorrow, I look forward to some quilting and more reading, without feeling dizzy with fatigue at the mere thought of it.

This entry is directed to my body, which, I hope reads this somehow, and realises the hurt it has visited upon me by lying and cheating in this manner. I hope it feels chastised enough to promise not to try such shenanigans any more.

After all, we have miles to go before we can be safely out of these woods; I shall need strong eyes to tell a true light from mirages and bog fires, solid fingers to firmly clasp the walking stick, and strong limbs for definite purchase.


  1. Age is that goon squad, we've learned from our summer reading (hurrah, Jennifer Egan, and perhaps, at last, the return of my computer which means I can return to my own short story project!). Maybe you got off easily, if I'm reading correctly and it's just an iron pill you require. I was scared you were setting us up for a story of failed kidneys!

    Be well, my friend. I don't like to imagine my life without you!!!!

  2. oh Kristin, i am so fortunate to have a friend like you! thank you so much.
    the amount of blood iron is directly proprotionate to the sense of well-being, and inversly proportionate to the water one's cells fail to process.
    stupid thing, but true.
    sorry for talking about my innards.