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Posts tagged ‘embodiment’

Savor a New Body

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

Summer Nights

Distant Summers
…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

Incision

A friend took these images an hour before a visiting nurse came to remove the staples.

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Meeting Kwon

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

My Hips Can’t Heal

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

Fire & Rain

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

I Want My Hips

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

Corpse

In bed, alone, under two duvets to be warm on a cold night, I move with music in the earbuds. I focus on my right leg, which strokes the sheets, then my right side. Whoosh, a flood of tears. Strange chunks of brittle, wooden tears. Inside gloom in my skull I see Dad. Dad—-after he stopped breathing, when we were alone in the quiet room before the coroner arrived. Quiet. No longer hushed. Empty quiet. I sat in blunt shock of a din gone. His body cooled and stiffened. His skin drained and tightened over the bones Read more

Flesh Remembering

After my father’s death.

Neck
A friend tells me to lie down. Rest. I will massage your neck. I recline on my back and draw a quilt over me. The friend slides her fingertips along the side of my neck beneath my ear lobes. The pressure is light. My skull fills, images and colors colliding, eager crime scene witnesses needing to tell. My neck remembers my father’s last two weeks of bed bound changes. Read more

Dancing by His Bed

I continue writing about helping my father as he completed his life. At this posting my father has already died, but this piece and the following few posts concern his end days.

December 29: Morphine Day 2
I stand at the foot of his bed. He is in a state of torpor. Though I’m in too much pain to walk, I can stand and sway to plangent Persian music playing on my phone. I feel comforted dancing slowly at his feet. He loves my dance. If he could open his eyes, he would love seeing me. Read more