Introspection I

It’s time to change colours in a striped piece, and I pause.  Outside the door I hear a lone bird calling “Sweetie, sweetie, sweetie, sweetie” over and over.  It gives an odd feeling of spring, despite the constant hum of the heater working overtime on this 32 degree morning.  I’m in a garden-type hotel, with weather right outside my door. 


This week has plunged me into my head, once again taking stock of my feelings and progress, or lack of it.  I was gung-ho for this trip, physically ready to travel south and conquer the world.  I was in the midst of remarkable physical improvement.  Travel has pushed me back a bit.  I arrived tired and found I didn’t pack my CPAP mask.  The first two nights I struggled to sleep, propped on four or five pillows so that I could breathe.  It was an exercise in forced exhaustion.  The third night, I began to use a new mask, purchased from my favorite medical supplier, one that I’ve used again and again on my trips to the college town.  It took two days to regain my rest, and a dose of big diuretics to get rid of the fluid that accumulated during my folly. 


It is remarkable to me that this never gets easy.  No wonder that my patients used to come to appointments with such profound decompensation.  It takes daily, thoughtful, patient surveillance of my situation to prevent problems.  If I take my eye off the ball and try to be a little bit normal, I am slipping backward.  How clever of god to give me a medical background to deal with this constant test.  No wonder that I dream of being in school, training over and over, being quizzed and questioned and observed and never making it safely to graduation or completion.  How ironic, having to turn my knowledge on myself with the lack of objectivity always present as a stumbling block. 


My knitting is comforting this week.  It is a comfort, a constant, a place where I find satisfaction.  I feel competent.  I don’t dream of knitting tests or competitions.  When I look at the work of artists who are in a whole other realm from me, I am admiring, but not envious.  I can see the art and grace and skill in my own work. 


Fairly new for me is to see the art and grace and skill in me, recognize that there is no price to be put on my human worth.  In a recent mini-meltdown, with memories of a past crisis, I yelled “I am a good woman”.  Only the walls heard me, but it stuck in my mind that I need that affirmation.  I’ve looked at the press around an actress’ recent weight gain, and marvelled at the superficiality of our culture.  But that’s not the only arena where I have recently surfaced to sanity.  There is the guilt and self-doubt that seems to capture women, in particular, immersing them in quicksand, leaving them – me – immobile.  Immobile, lassooed by inertia, and doomed to repeat the same mistakes.  I am a good woman, indeed, good and aware and freed from my past, and not compelled to continue explaining myself. 


There are some days when I may only make sense to myself.  Pardonnez-moi.



One Response

  1. I would have sworn I was reading a page out of a good book. I don’t have lupus, but I am sure anyone who does would greatly benefit from reading your site. I wish you well.

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