I use the word ‘confession’ not for its connotation of sin but rather of disclosure–self-disclosure. I write to know what I think and feel, to hear myself, sometimes to reveal myself to myself. This week I have been remembering a lot. Part of taking stock in this time of enormous reconsideration before stepping forward.
I painted yesterday—a little oil rendition of a selfie I took this past winter in the upstairs hall. The selfie is rather elegant while the painting is curious and ‘not like’. I lengthened the hair, made my skin shadows bruise-purple, one wall a geranium red and the other textured gray like papercrete. Gone are the hallway’s 30’s large-flowered wallpaper and polite off-white wood framing. I made my eyes too blue. Everything can be mutated so easily.
It was freeing, this reinvention of space and self. Read more
My round, fibrous-fatty-blood-coated* heel bone meets the gritty bottom first, then my step rolls fluidly along the footsole, smooth as frosting under the soft press of a spatula. The sole expands as I move through the step, but very little because I am in water up to my chest and weigh almost nothing to my legs. Read more
I am finally allowed, post surgery, to submerge in water. Yesterday, my PT took place in the pool, my body moving fully, my tissues rousing from torpor. This morning I wake, my dreams forgotten but with the pleasurable feeling of having dreamt. When I have movement during my day, I dream at night, as if dreams coil in my body, waiting for the quiet of sleep to emerge. I snuggle under the covers, watching a soft sky above crowns of thinning, yellowed treetops, and savoring the departure of lost dreams, secretly glad they are lost because I don’t need more filigree cluttering my mind or flesh. In the basement, the furnace kicks on dispelling early day chill.
We Are the Way We Move
I feel so odd. THR surgery has brutalized the soft tissue in and around my hip sockets’ joint capsules. During the first stages of healing, pelvic and femur bones fuse to titanium and ceramic implants, meanwhile the soft tissue must scar tightly so the prosthetic joint won’t dislocate. My physical therapy protocol of strengthening without stretching—the latter would be dangerous for me—feels strange. My inner voice repeats and repeats: Bulk muscles around the bones, compact, tough, to guard and brace. At least for now, while deep inside layers are still fragile. Let them knit and bind. Build a barrier wall. A barricade. I draw into a geological centrality, the way gravity makes the Earth’s crust adhere to the iron planetary core. My limbs and head pour toward my spine as planets cleave to the sun. Read more
…I am ten years old, on the island in July. One night, I sneak out to meet my neighboring friends, each of us clutching a pillow and blanket. We cut through the woods, clamber into the loft of a neighboring barn, and bunk down, giggling, in the hay. Above, in the rafters, sleepy swallows stir. Read more
A friend took these images an hour before a visiting nurse came to remove the staples.
Soon I will get detailed about this condition and operation but today it’s about meeting my surgeon.
I pass through the revolving doors of the Yawkey Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, between the glass walls then the brushed titanium elevator doors that whisper shut with efficient deference. The folks at Reception hand me an iPad with survey questions about my pain levels and can I walk 0-2 blocks, 2-5 blocks etc. etc, that feed right into their database. Next I hit Radiology with technicians who x-ray every angle, and now, in the small, tidy, dim examination room an intern yanks my legs too fast and far, like all the previous doctors in the diagnostic process. Seeing me wince appears to be an essential data point. At last Ric and I sit quietly, waiting. So much depends on the next person we see.
I feel the air push toward me. The door opens halfway. Dr. Young-Min Kwon moves through with exactitude Read more
I lean forward, my feet tucked under me, slightly suspended as my arms press down on the armchair arms. My iliotibial band glows gold with streaks of iridescent peacock blue. The chair bottom falls away. I hang over a chasm. A river crashes through the gorge far below, its roar faint I am so far up. I grip my legs to me but they grow heavy and slowly unfold, and hang down, and now I know that they hang by the merest thread from the sockets. The threads will break soon. My legs will fall and smash on the rocks jagging up through the churning white water. Read more
In the MRI tube, “Fire and Rain” pulses through headphones amidst the insistent rhythmic imaging racket. The music takes me back to 1970 walking along Main Street in Falmouth, MA. I went into the little record store two doors down from what is now the Pickle Jar Cafe but was Loreen’s back then and purchased my first LP—‘Sweet Baby James’ by James Taylor. I hadn’t has sex yet. I hadn’t smoked dope yet. Read more
My hips have made it clear; they want to stay.
And I want my hips.
Last week I spent a morning with Dance and Sports Medicine specialists looking at my hips and films of my hips, getting the docs’ opinion on what to do with my pain. It took some time to digest their words, to even hear their words. At some point I’ll pick apart their information, make choices, and set out plans, but first, where is my deep feeling? Read more