A tight, stiff neck greeted me this morning as I got out of bed. I tried massaging it a little, but nothing made a difference. My neck was still stiff and tight.
Beloved suggested he would massage it a bit to see if it made any difference. He applied heat before he rubbed it, and still, it hurt the same as before. He decided to massage my back, and oddly as he massaged down by my shoulder blades, my neck started to feel better. It may have been a case of my body just relaxing, or it may have been one of those connections that seem to happen all the time. You know, the kind you feel pain in one area of your body, but the other area is where the pain originates.
I didn’t think much of it; I was just grateful for my neck to feel better, which is also not unusual. I end up ignoring those connections, those pieces I should be paying attention to, simply because I feel better.
While talking with a specialist later on today, I casually mentioned the pain in my neck and how it finally left. He said that what I was talking about was referred pain, and it isn’t uncommon. It turns out that this type of pain is why people turn all sorts of healing in desperation. They are treating the area that hurts, but it isn’t the source, so of course, the pain stays. It continues to ache and bother you, and so you try more things. However, you are always treating the wrong area, so nothing you try works.
The four-footed one heaved herself up to join me on the cushion with a loud sigh. Lately, she has been doing a lot of sighing; I assume it is her running commentary about having me around so much. Granted, she may be exhausted with having humans around non-stop too. It’s a bit hard to tell with her.
She sighs when she settles down to rest, on Mondays, if the sun is out. She sighs when she moves from one spot to another on Mondays if the sun isn’t out. Tuesdays mean she sighs for any reason at all. Wednesdays are reserved for late-night sighing only unless the mood strikes her to sigh during the day. On Thursdays, she sighs when she naps unless she is awake, and then she sighs on odd hours if she remembers.
Fridays and the weekends are random sighing times. Thus, it is all a bit confusing when she opts to sigh off of schedule and such. Perhaps she is tired of having to heave herself up onto the cushions rather than having me pick her up and place her ever so delicately where she wants to be.
Never the less, she sighed once she was up sitting next to me. And then she sighed once more when she flopped her head onto my leg. Not that I blame her. I’ve found myself sighing a lot these days too. Boredom, frustration, or just the nature of being cooped up in the same place day after day, I cannot name why I sigh so much now.
Let’s go for a bike ride he said. It would be nice, he said. Just think of all the things we will see on the bike ride that we’d miss if we drove, he said.
So that’s why I found myself sitting on a boulder, watching the cars zip by while he tried to put the chain back on the bike. Again.
To be fair, it was nice to begin with before we started pedaling our way into the adventure. We didn’t even get away from the house before the first mishap. His tire leaked, so he had to fix it first. A few blocks later, the chain fell off the bike for the first time.
Not to worry, he said. It would be fixed in a jiffy, he claimed. Granted, he never set out how long a jiffy was, so I guess that claim was correct. For the record, a jiffy is more than 15 minutes.
If we made it more than five miles total (round trip mind you), I would be surprised. Heck, it would be a miracle!
Perhaps I need to listen less to him. He clearly does not have any inside information, or maybe the universe has a sense of humor to go with his bad timing!
Fish have cheeks. I can’t say I’ve spent any time pondering the cheeks of fish, crabs, lobsters, or any other animal. I guess they must all have a variant of cheeks or so. Surely some people have contemplated the cheeks of these creatures. It just hasn’t been me.
However, after a trip to the market where the sign read ‘cheeks of fish,’ I have been considering them the rest of the day. For all I know, these may be the best tasting portions of the fish. They may have been the best-kept secret of all times. People may pay an arm and a leg just for a small taste of fish cheeks.
Regardless, I am not interested in tasting them. I’m more interested in our need to find cheeks on creatures like fish. Even more interesting to me is the type of person who first named the cheeks and the soul who decided to eat them.
What did the fish do to make someone declare “fish have cheeks” that first time? How did someone decide that these parts of the fish would be okay to eat? And why did they choose to eat the cheeks of the fish? How did they determine the best way to prepare them? I mean, when I think of cheeks, I think of people smiling and how their cheeks do that pleasant bunching up. Never has the thought of how to prepare cheeks crossed my mind.
If someone had told me that I would be sitting at an outside table enjoying a delicious coffee while a duck rested by my feet, I would have laughed at them.
I’m not really an outside kind of person. Sure, I go outside. I walk outside with the four-footed one. I read outside now and then for an hour or two. I do not, however, eat or drink outside.
This may seem a bit strange to you, but I have this weird concern about consuming flies. I’m sure we all consume flies unknowingly. I guess it’s a fact of life. However, what I am trying to do is limit and reduce the number of flies that are consumed. It isn’t that I am discriminating against flies as per se. I am, however, discriminating against having poop-laden fly feet in my mouth.
Sure, laugh all you want. But think about it for a minute. Flies love all sorts of gross things, including piles of poop, decaying flesh, and garbage. I’d just as soon not eat garbage, poop, or rotting meat, thank you all the same. I really take exception to consuming it against my own choice. But never mind, enjoy your time on the patio dining with your friends. Who am I to say anything anyway, I’m drinking coffee with a duck near my feet.
How much of life is determined by a series of coincidences? How much is determined by random choices made in the spur of the moment?
Perhaps you don’t think it goes that way. Maybe you believe that there is a set of orders and rules, pre-planning perhaps. There may be a massive book, one that has our future already written. We blindly make our way through life, not realizing that we are merely acting the parts which were cleverly written before.
These little things have been turning themselves over and over in my brain as of late. To be exact, they seem to pop up when I am exhausted and want nothing more than to sleep. Instead of sleeping, the questions which have no doubt bothered others since time began, make their ways into my head, and must be examined.
Why these thoughts pop into my head doesn’t bother me. After all, what I study is in keeping with these thoughts. Instead, what bothers me is the timing of these disturbances. It’s not very sporting of these questions; instead, it is unfair. They rob me of sleep, they rob me of energy, and in the end, I am no closer to solving things than anyone else has been.
My parents were both sticklers for being on time. Being five minutes early was, to them, the same as being on time. Arriving after the appointed time was shameful in their eyes.
There are, of course, places were arriving early is seen as poor manners. Coming at an appointed time is also frowned upon. Time, in these places, is not something people need to adhere to so strictly.
Since I don’t have to work at a specific time, there is no requirement for me to do things according to the clock. However, the habits of my childhood have stuck with me, and somehow I have set a time when I need to start work. Further to that, I have stuck with that time.
This practice of mine has managed to become the ways of the four-footed one as well. She is a creature of habit, getting up at the same time. She wants her walks and feeding all to happen each day at the same time. Okay, truthfully, she wants to have food all the time, preferably of the treat variety. However, she’s also logical. She knows I won’t let her eat all day long, so she settles for scheduled meals.
She allows me leeway of 30 minutes, but anything after that is simply not happening. I’m sure she’d welcome my parent’s approach to being early, although I cannot recall what’s ever happening in my childhood. It certainly doesn’t happen when it comes to food and the four-footed one as I fear soon she’d trick me into feeding her all day long.
The four-footed one dropped her lion with a rather satisfying plop onto the chair beside me. I imagined a massive smile on her face, pleased with her accomplishment while at the same time demanding that I too share in her joy.
The truth was that at the moment, I did not embrace the lion’s return as much as she did. Of course, only moments before I had tossed the lion as far away from me as I could. Four-feet took of galloping (yes, she gallops, or so it seems) to track down the lion before it disappeared. Or as you may recognize it, before the four-footed one became distracted.
I tossed the lion further and turned back to what I was doing. Before the lion had even landed, she was already running to retrieve it.
If not distracted, four-feet can play this game, or any variant of it, all day long. She doesn’t actually fetch the toys and return them to you. Instead, she grabs her toy, runs around for a while, and will suddenly return back to you with the item in her mouth. If you hold out your hand, she will run away again. However, if you sit very still, she will drop it near you.
“Do you believe,” he asked as he moved around, grabbing a variety of small bags from the counter. I was so busy watching his actions that I missed the rest of what he was asking.
Do I believe is a great question, too large to possibly answer fully. It isn’t that I don’t believe in anything, I mean I doubt that it’s even possible for anyone to be that way.
I believe in the pure joy of walking on the beach with the waves gently lapping at my feet. It’s an honest feeling, basic and fulfilling all at the same time. Perhaps I might not find the pureness of the act to be satisfying if I wasn’t so busy and rarely making it to the beach.
I believe the essential act of walking with the four-footed one while her nose guides us on the adventure is something else. This forays, no matter where we happen to be, manage to put things into perspective, the big stuff stops looming, and I can break down the pieces to toss away the bits that aren’t needed.
I believe in the solidness of a rising sun and eternalness of the setting sun. The sun comes up, making everything visible again. When it sets, things aren’t always as they seem, sometimes they hold the promise of so much more.
So no, I didn’t really answer the question the healer asked me, at least not out loud. But I know what I believe in, and why. For me, that’s more than enough.
The four-footed one tried to steal my pillow, which is why I woke up shortly after one this morning. That’s how I knew that Beloved wasn’t in bed.
The soft flickering light of a candle told me that he was in the sitting room, a candle or two providing him with enough illumination for whatever had captured his attention.
I had a choice to make, either protect my pillow from the four-footed thief or get out of bed and find out what Beloved was doing. As I was getting up, a third option crossed my mind. I could check on Beloved while protecting my pillow by merely taking the thing with me. So that’s what I did.
I found myself sitting in the oversized chair, clutching a pillow, and listening to Beloved tell me about his friend. It is also why the four-footed one found her way onto the chair with me, still trying to steal the pillow, or at least a portion of it to snuggle against.
Since I had won the first round of pillow games with the dog, I decided not to push things too much and let her snuggle in. I made a note to wash the pillowcase when we officially started our day. I listened to Beloved unburden his heart, allowed the dog to settle down, and decided that despite the strange hours and what have you, this is precisely where I needed to be.