Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
Omar Khayam’s moving finger writes in some early, 50’s movie memory of a God-like, pen nib-shaped fingernail inking velum pages, oversized heavily bound volume… with perhaps a chorus from “Kismet” as soundtrack…
My early notions of fate were inevitably rather biblical.
A serious young man, I left the farm an unwitting pioneer joining the yet-to-boom generation about to embark on some joyfully inevitable explorations of a more colorfully sensual & sexual reaction to our starched & chromed childhoods.
But by the time the Beatles were asking “will you’ll still need me when…” I was graduating from college into a revolutionary worldview making any thought of actually reaching such an age untenable & laughable by the admonition never to trust anyone over thirty.
I came out inside a trust for my parents capability to honestly love. Putting a name to what could not otherwise be talked about. Still, no one was really very surprised, in the sense that I had always been somehow more comfortably fae than typically masculine. I’d constructed a self protective banner early on… embracing, if not actually flaunting, my capacity for difference & independence.
I was already losing my hair when those boys from Liverpool began changing the idea of long locks for men. I had to learn to celebrate an even more difficult difference as my own…
Inevitably crossing that threshold of age, I turned thirty with more resolve than distrust. I was reinventing myself inside a short & curious mentorship with a Jungian play therapist… leaving my first long term relationship to move from Denver’s city life toward the experience of becoming a more playful independent student of life & a hiker of the Red Rocks while working with other gems in Sedona as a jewelry artist. I eventually came to love solitude & celibacy during the decade of my forties. I managed to grow healthier through that difficult era, moving into my fifties richly prepared for new growth inside my relationship with Stephen, continuing the charmed life to which I’ve always felt born…
Stephen is currently involved with a biographic film project about his mentor, the poet/filmaker James Broughton, whose commonplace quote here at Soundcliff has become a useful mantra for me during my health difficulties this year, implying that what fate does best, perhaps, is to offer itself as teacher.
“Adventure, not predicament.”
Opportunity wasn’t the first thing I felt inside the fate which seized me in late May which required dealing with a very painful systemic inflammation in my body.
Whether fate or age or simply the beginnings of a new era in my life, my being was disrupted by what was diagnosed as bursitis/tendonitus. There seem to be no drugs to be prescribed & I felt fairly dismissed after it was ascertained I wasn’t a candidate for hip or knee surgery. I was referred to see a physical therapist, of which I think I got the Island’s best. She has helped me explore inside & through this cramped state, finding ways to dance with the tangle of muscles, tendons & bursa which seemed a more confusing kind of knot work than any celtic design.
It moved from alternating shoulders down to hips & knees… then, & most disconcerting to my artist, it settled out into my hands & fingers as well.
My symptoms matched the list a local herbalist described as those she was working to ameliorate with an anti inflammatory diet. While I did not take her class, I kibitzed from my sideline & stopped eating wheat, corn, dairy & refined sugar [including wine & alcohol], which are considered to be the biggest culprits. Two-thirds of each meal is to be high fiber greens, fruits & vegetables. Such simplicity becomes complicated by more complex chemical theory, but all with the goal to restore balance in intestinal flora, the cause of chronic inflammation… seeming cause itself to a broad range of maladies including diabetes & fibromyalgia.
Its quite the hot topic now, so there is lots of internet information…
I believed we ate rather sensibly already, which we did… & do. Still, one aspect of my age is the experience of watching science, particularly nutritional science, change over the years. While science certainly ought to evolve, especially over the course of years, in our culture we mostly hear or read about the “science” useful to some corporate entity for product promotion… using carefully edited language about carefully crafted research… which changes with the market sufficiently that we all have noted the rather temporary aspects of such “scientific evidence”.
Frankly I’ve learned to take “popular” science well salted. Remember that I grew up on a farm where we put out big blocks of salt for the animals, so while the saying suggests taking something with a “grain of salt” I can jokingly choose the size of the grain… fortunately salt doesn’t seem to be particularly problematic on this diet.
My independence appreciated being challenged with the theory’s expectation to find one’s own cure. The process of first eliminating those problematic foods allows discovery as increasing comfort becomes tangible proof before beginning to experiment with adding back various foods individually with intention to test tolerances, find balance & develop a personal formula to maintain health.
I am beginning to reliably attain the comfortable results I want during this elimination phase. I’ve taken months while the theory suggests benefits might become evident for some cases in only weeks. [Too much of my salty reservation?] But I began slowly to observe increasingly reliable relief inside what has long been an irregular rhythm of good & less good days.
I’ve never known pain as such a constant. The ubiquitous “How are you feeling?” piqued a word collector’s cleverness & creativity. “Crinkly” [I would spell it “krinkly”…] became a useful everyday description. It suggests anticipation that things might straighten out in spite that they would remain somewhat rippled for the memory. There was always that constant memory of the last vestige never far enough away to believe in comfort as anything quite less than temporary…
For fun I’ve begun to collect a hierarchy of such descriptors for pain. Above the quiet pervasive memory begins a murmuring, which increases to mumbling. Sighing can signal pain both on & off. Hissing does similar duty as both taking in or releasing out. Simpering rarely works so snipping comes along, teasing some belief in the possibility of giving it away. Creaking edges toward groaning before actually croaking. Singing is for the pure stuff. Squealing is for the hell of it… some yelping came in surprise. Screaming, yelling & keening were happily well beyond where I’ve needed to go, thank you very much…
This is pain I own. It is not external. No one is assaulting me. I’ve come to see it simplistically as a deep internal discussion sometimes verging toward louder argument between my selves: the gardening slow-foodie & the indulgent one who secretly in believes nothing if not celebrating excess…