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Posts tagged ‘embodiment’

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


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.

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

I Cry All the Time

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life. At this posting my father has already died, but I want to share in this and the following few posts descriptions of his end days.

December 20
His eyelids flicker. I rarely see his blue eyes now since he sleeps most of the time. “Eyes are a piece of the brain,” someone once told me. Not as poetic as ‘window of the soul’, but right now that understanding of eyes captures my experience. I’m mostly shut out; those gatekeeper eyes slam the door in my face.  I’m alone out here in the chair by his bed. Read more

Winter Night

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.

All the to-ing and fro-ing from caregiving his ADLs has enflamed my chronic act-up-under-duress injury. I feel like a parolee; I can only go a few steps before a skewer pierces my trochanter, my IT band, my quads. I lie down and tuck the pain under a heating pad. My brother brings me a set of crutches which help. Ibuprofen helps. Not walking helps. It’ll heal but not tomorrow or the next day. Read more

Papery Hand

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.

I kiss his dry cheek this morning, hold his papery hand. The vinegar smell, the smell that always worries me, the scent of something fermenting, turning, is gone. Today he smells clean and strong despite his bones rising up to the skin. Read more

Caregiving is Detail

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.

Caregiving is detail. As detailed, nonverbal, and spatial as dance. Our ace guy is Jermaine Cardoza who comes three or four times a week to give Dad a head to toe sponge bath. Washing 180 pounds of deadweight or rigid body is no easy gig, but Jermaine extends both his hands with ease, gives a one word cue, “Stand,” and my father places his hands in Jermaine’s. With a wisp of effort, Jermaine leans slightly back and Dad rises out of his chair. No muscling. No grabbing under his armpits to drag him up. Read more