the body - my god. how it carries everything
I have been lying in bed for five days. I have to lie in bed for at least two more. I hate this shit. I am not good at doing nothing. All the friends that have come to take care of me remind me that my body is healing. That is what I am doing. But my brain is doing nothing. It’s exceedingly difficult to write this. I am on opiates, which seem like fun until you have to take them for several days in a row.
I have the most wonderful group of friends. No joke. I do not know how I would have survived this without them. I am taken care of and held. I know that “thank you” is not enough, but my brain isn’t able to come up with anything original right now. It took me a long time to remember the word reciprocity.
I had surgery on my sinuses, a procedure that I put off for about three years—even though I have not had a sense of smell for three years, even though I have not been able to breathe well for three years, even though I haven’t been able to SCUBA dive without taking a course of steroids for three years. It is minor surgery. Although minor seems major when it is happening to your body.
What my body is accomplishing is not the same as what my brain is accomplishing. Yesterday I googled, “how to have a productive sick day.”
My body is creating blood clots the size of baby fists. My body is healing. My body is weak and recovering from anesthesia. My body has become a non-smoking body. My body is remembering how to smell and breathe.
My brain has located every dust speck on the floor. I’m not supposed to lift anything or bend over for at least a week—risk of bleeding and damage to my brain or vision. This means I cannot bend over to pick up the Windex under the bathroom sink to clean the spots off of the bathroom mirror. These thoughts are making me lose my grip on reality.
Today I thought that I might have permanent brain damage, but J assures me that I do not.
Some friends and I are planning on traveling to AWP in a few months. I’m not registering for the conference this year. I’m going to the beach. I’m going to offsite readings. I’m going to catch up with friends and drink wine and not smoke cigarettes. I’m going to write by the ocean.
S, TC and I were emailing about our accommodations and travel plans and the conversation shifted to our bodies—various health concerns, a conversation we never would have had in our twenties. Actually, they were emailing, I could barely follow the thread of the email, hence the thoughts of brain damage
S wrote about snow and light and the body. A few emails in, TC wrote: “the body - my god. how it carries everything.”
A shard of light. A sword. I know that my brain is not damaged, because their words made me feel everything in my body. And, it carries.
Kristen E. Nelson
Casa Libre en la Solana
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