Last Wednesday night, while driving back from Asheville for the seven-thousandth time in a week, my back tightened. A small knot of discomfort. Once home, and in my state of perpetual wisdom, I chose to jump on my mini-trampoline anyway, even though that little tightened spot grew tighter and tighter with each bounce. So by the time I got up to my studio for a little creativity, my back was mocking my every move. It was so bad I was laughing, in that sardonic way that one laughs when one has shot off one’s foot, and this of course only made it worse, because laughing, like everything other movement, like say, breathing or walking, requires one’s back muscles.
Still I didn’t stop. I set myself up stiffly in bed, propped upon pillows, and proceeded to paint a design in my journal around the word “breathe.” Even though I could barely turn to dip my brush into my inks, and even though I had to rely on my darling-partner-guy to fetch every brush and jar of ink, and then place it within my meager reach, I pressed on.
The irony of my art journaling is not lost on me here. All that gold and blue paint, swirls and lettering, but the real wisdom, “choose what makes you strong, moment to moment,” is left in thin pencil, barely present on the page. Did I say real wisdom? I meant some-other-kind-of-wisdom-not-related-to-the-wisdom-I-usually-practice. You probably can’t even read the some-other-kind-of-wisdom in the photograph. Obviously I didn’t.
That was over a week ago, and my back still hasn’t forgiven me. I have friends and family telling me to suck it up and get Rolfed, as we have an immensely talented Rolfer in the valley who has transformed the lives of many, including my husband’s, with his fascia-reorganizing skills. However, true to my style of wisdom, I eschew such practical healing paths and trudge on. Since last Wednesday I have trudged through an assortment of beguiling ailments that mock my inherent wisdom: allergies so severe it took three rounds of Bendaryl to finally dry them up, then a stomach bug that left me bedridden for a day, then just as I’m feeling better cramps start to fire up, and then, just to make sure I hadn’t forgotten, my back started to knot up again. (And, to be totally honest, the day after my stomach bug cleared up I thought it would be just fine to have a few nice dark beers. After all, I’d had a very challenging week and deserved it. Not a good idea, said my still-on-the-mend stomach. Like it has some kind of wisdom or something.)
So now it’s Friday. Yesterday I had to play cleaning catch-up, what with being down and out for most of the week, my house was a whirlwind of grunge. This put me in a very foul mood for a good bit of the day, and I made my poor children suffer along with me. Then my super-partner showed up to help. He ran some necessary errands, cleaned up some clutter as best as he could, and then he cleaned out the refrigerator. Like really cleaned it. After that, what woman could stay in a very foul mood? One very wise woman, that’s who.
It wasn’t until I’d had a Starbucks Birthday Cake Pop, it being my Unbirthday and all, and then serendipitously ran into a very beautiful friend at the grocery store, that the fog of my purported wisdom cleared. Luckily my super-hub was with me, and we were able to stroll through the aisles of the grocery store smiling, cake pop and coffee in hand. Hey, choose what makes you strong, and never underestimate the power of the Cake Pop.