Monthly Archives: November 2012

Like Loki

An unfunny thing happened to me once I got home. I began to hurt.

While I was away those four weeks, my body settled into a rhythm of its own making. I’d expected that being in unfamiliar surroundings for that long would raise my stress level and thus make my disease rear its ugly head.  But, that didn’t happen. Instead, I found a calming, physical peace. A peace that I now miss almost as much as I miss holding my new grandchild in my arms.

Maybe it was sharing the first few weeks of her life that had me feeling so high pain could not intrude. There was no time and no room for it, no portal left open for it to enter.

Unknowingly or instinctively, I scheduled a buffer, a few relaxing days in Key West. A cushioning, so to speak, between There and Here. Between Away and Back. Between Dream and Reality.

I related all this to my rheumatologist, my confessor of all things physical. And he said the strangest thing. Sitting across from me at his desk, he stopped his note-taking and looked at me. “When I travel I feel fine, it’s when I come back that I start to hurt,” he said.

I could only nod mutely. I am always taken aback when someone understands and verbalizes exactly what I am trying to say. I’m more used to being misunderstood or ignored even.

And then I remembered; my confessor and I share the same disease. Of course he knows what Rheumatoid Arthritis feels like! How it can grab you and swing you around and slam you into the ground time and again, sort of like the Hulk did to Loki in the movie, The Avengers.

That was a funny scene, more so because it was quite unexpected. The audience couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Loki deserved to be treated that way, but as a god, puny though he might be, he was left unfazed and unhurt. All that was wounded was his pride. For the moment.

Unlike Loki, we are neither gods, nor descendent of frost giants. We are warm and human, and don’t deserve to be treated this way; no one’s laughing.  Yet like Loki, we stand defiant, sure that we can withstand anything, before we find ourselves flying through the air being swung by our feet, helpless.

And like Loki, we get up. We don’t stay down. We fight back. Once that look of surprise leaves our face.

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Life is Rich

After having spent the last four weeks traveling, to the country in the Deep South and then to the southernmost point of the country itself, I’m tired. Tired but grateful I was able to spend time with my family, and time away from the rut and routine one falls into. Almost without noticing.

These photos serve to remind me not to forget. That life is rich, if you make it so.

A view of Key West. What a beautiful island.

I was shocked to see how long my hair had gotten. When did that happen? This picture was taken at the Botanical Garden. The bell is made out of an oxygen tank, they say, and was donated by Yoko Ono.

At Papa’s. Hemingway Home and Museum. It was surreal walking through it.

One of Papa’s 45 six-toed cats that own the place, descendents from his cat Snowball. I wish I had caught this one’s name. The cats don’t allow the roaming tourists to disturb their naps. You find them curled up in all sorts of places.

Of course, the Atlantic Ocean. Gives one pause. I picked up some washed up coral rock. They will make perfect paper weights. And weigh my thoughts as well.

Sunset at the southernmost point. A wondrous sight. And then it was back to reality. I suppose I had to return sometime.

While my turkey roasts, and the cooking smells suffuse my house, I am able to enjoy a few minutes of quiet before my kids descend on me. And gives me time to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Something I try to do every day, give thanks that is.

Needing a Fix

While in the midst of bonding with my new granddaughter, I find myself going through withdrawals.  It is a painful process, I assure you. The frustration builds day by day, the raw need claws at you with a razor-sharp edge. You don’t realize how much you depend on something until it is no longer there. Or, as in my case, intermittently there.

As a writer, I have been rightly spoiled. By my high-speed internet access. I got used to being able to log on anytime, anywhere, anyplace that had Wi-Fi available.  No matter when or where inspiration hit, there was my trusty laptop, drowsing, waiting for me to wake it up.

Or whenever I felt the overwhelming urge to interact with friend and foe alike, there was nothing to stop me. Nothing to prevent me from running off at the mouth, or should I say, at the fingers. Now there are trees, millions of them, surrounding the home I’m in. Green silent sentinels forming a protective barrier, holding me in and my signal out. (I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ve decided to blame the trees.)

And then one day, there was the weather. Apparently it got too cold for the satellite. It even sent me a message; it was experiencing weather related problems it said. At least it didn’t leave me in the dark about that, but if my Miami blood can handle the near freezing temperatures, why can’t this man-made piece of metal?

I didn’t know how good I had it. I thought walking the length of my house to plug in was the greatest inconvenience. No, I thought carrying the cord across the house from my bedroom to my office was the greatest inconvenience. Ha! What would I give to have that “problem” now.

The pain is real, I tell you. Especially for this political junkie. How can I keep up with the state of the world if I have to wait 30 minutes for a page to load? Staring at the screen does not help; I know, I’ve tried it. I guess a watched pot doesn’t boil.

It is so bad that I even have time to read, entire chapters, while I wait. And to add insult to injury, I can’t watch clips, can’t run video. If I’m lucky, I can read the text of an article, but streaming, fuggedaboutit. Thank God for YouTube. What I missed will be waiting for me when I get home; I will get my fill, gorge, overdose.

I know I should be happy and appreciative. When I hear the baby cry, my heart twists, I will miss that sound. I will miss seeing her grow up on a daily basis. But, she is surrounded by people who love her dearly, for within the trees are the hidden homes of extended family. I am extremely glad I had these first few weeks with her. She is a joy.

And I am appreciative, but Lord, I do miss my reliable internet. I need to write, I need to research, I need to stay in contact, I need to find a beta reader, or two or three. And by God, I need to gossip!!!