30 July 2013

With age comes wisdom or something

"PushPushPush!" the
water class instructor
shouted, and I
                                         am finally learning, so I

28 July 2013

last month's dubious omens

Dead fox
Rotting crane
Gleaming dragonflies
This summer's omens?

sawdust gleaming red

Chain saws cut through the trees blocking the trail leaving behind sawdust gleaming red in the sun (because of my slightly tinted sunglasses)      tree blood solidified     every day more of the red is leached and blown away and scattered      soon no one will know what happened and what died here so violently

What I've learned about bathing suits and water physical therapy

  • Don't get anything with metal underwires.  Sure, it gives you extra support, but it's much harder to get on (and especially off when it is wet, and you are sort-of crippled).  If this is a bathing suit you'll be wearing regularly, the underwires will start to rust before the suit itself gets worn out.  (You might not mind this if you made mistake the next mistake.) 
  • Don't get a tankini top (even if it has adjustable ties on the side).  If you have a larger bust and a narrowish waist and are generally tall, you will spend a lot of time getting gracelessly tangled with the ties as they float gracefully in the water around you, always wherever your hands need to be.  You will also end up basically wearing a bikini and revealing a lot of your waist. This is true whether you try to use the ties to keep the suit close to your body (which requires you to cinch it so tight that it shortens to the point where your tummy is on display anyway) or whether you leave it long to shorten the floating straps.  Water is buoyant, darn it.  And your suit will float up quite happily, anchored mostly by your underwire lines, if you have them, making you glad you are in a pool with a bunch of old people who are hopefully not affected by this display of excess flesh.
  • Don't get a suit with a skirt if you are trying to use it to cover up your thighs.  (See above.)
  • Don't buy/wear a suit you really like.  A suit worn occasionally over the summer and cleaned well can last for years.  A suit worn weekly will be lucky to last you 6 months of moderate water activity.  So if you buy a suit and like it, for the love of all that is durable, don't wear it for PT.  And if you are looking for a suit for PT, don't buy one that you love and adore because when you realize that it will wear out faster the more you wear it, you will find reasons not to go to the pool for PT.  You do not need more silly excuses not to go.  So just wear the cheaper, less-attractive suit for PT, and save the good suit for when you are with people who care how you look.  (Or when you are with people you care about looking at you or something.)

dead trees still standing strong

A couple of days after I watched the rain driven sideways in 80 mile per hour winds, I went to my park to check on the trees.  (When exactly did I start associating myself more with dead trees, I wonder?)  All of my dead trees were still standing.  Everywhere around me were scattered the dead and dying,  trees and branches that had been fully alive until some time during the storm when they just couldn't take it any more.  They were still vibrant green, leaves still mostly full and healthy but starting to wilt because they had been cut off from a firm connection to their sources.  I placed my tarp carefully and with a small sigh of relief that my trees were untouched.

Come, Lord Jesus

The coffin
is the size
of those cheap
styrofoam coolers
 you get at gas
stations and the
teddy bear
beside it looks
off the frame
into some distance
I can't see
blue and white
flowers cover
the top of the box
and I want
to live
in a world
where this
doesn't happen
but I don't
live there

16 July 2013

Another time I don't know how to pray

Just another time I don't know how to pray.  I mean, what
do you say to someone you lived with for a year years ago
who just nearly died and did lose a baby not yet ready to live
on her birthday.  All empty words and assurances feel heavy
in their emptiness.  I would not add to their pain, not
knowingly, and I don't know what I could say that would not
press on the pain of this gaping wound.  "I am praying for you,"
I say, and think, "that your faith will not fail, that this will not
break you or break you apart, that God will hold you up and
hold you together and sustain you and wrap you in peace
and love as you mourn for your dead baby as you grow a year
older and feel a hundred years older."  Some things you just
can't say.  Oh, Lord, teach us how to pray.  Oh, God, please

13 July 2013

wanting to own that water

On the first day of physical therapy across town, I stopped in a cafe to wait out the rush hour traffic that lasts for 3+ hours, and I saw this painting for sale.  Blues and greens and all the luminous shades in between and black layered on each other: it was beautiful.  I loved it immediately, and I wanted to buy it, to support this artist of water from a lake I have never actually seen.  I wanted to look at it every single day I was home, to rest my eyes on its restless beauty.  But I could not afford it.  Not when I need new orthopedic shoes because the ones I've been using for longer than the doctor says I should are completely losing their tread, and I keep slipping and skidding on carpet and wet concrete, the motion tugging at the tear in my hip. 

But when I looked at that painting, sidelong glances every minute or so, every time I looked at it, I just grew to love it more.  I tried to tell myself that I could start wearing my boots outside until Winter came again, that I could ask for money for my orthopedic shoes as a Christmas present (and maybe it would work this year), that surely a couple of slips and falls are worth it to be able to daily look into the depths of Lake Superior as rendered by this artist who loves the same colors I did (or at least loves this lake made of colors I love), that I might never again find a painting I immediately connect with and love so deeply.  Dangerous thoughts for someone in my position.

I have not returned to that cafe after other PT appointments since that first day because I try not to test my self-control when I can avoid it.  I am practical. 

Sometimes I hate being practical.