A Limited Range of Motion

I’m still waiting for the results of the second MRI. The doctor says it can verify a slipped disk, or cancer. But if it’s stress-induced, well – I function too well to qualify for a counselling referral. Despite my previous diagnoses. We go through the side effects for the various pain killer options. I opt…

Talismans and Scapegoats

Maybe the first step to taking responsibility is actually externalizing the problem: why am I using this person (or rooster) to punish myself?

Today I’m appreciating the synchronicity. “My students are driving me crazy,” I think. Like they have the time to bother with that. The energy to spare.

A Second, Brief Hike & Mixed Metaphors

It’s kind of like a second date. We took the same route as last weekend. And this time the veil of fog was gone. A steady, small gale blew over the stretches of open landscape. Catching us from side, front or pushing us as we made the circle of the trail. The sun had half-set:…

Into the White

Isn’t there a culture that conceptualizes the future as something that comes at us from behind to overtake us? Maybe they are the only ones to have it right. All this planning, all the mirages we see ahead of us. The clump of earth that should be frozen, but that rushes suddenly from behind to slip into the present, under your foot, in the form of soft and giving mud. And there you have it: the irretraceable moment that is a wet sock.

One Big Self

But I’m learning now to give up the resistance to the outside world. Learning to accept the hardness of stones, the sharpness of frozen rain hitting the bridge of my nose, and the slickness of the lichen that sprawls over the mountain’s granite (though it all too often lands me on my very unappreciative ass). Learning to accept the cold feet & the hot belly, or the cold belly & the hot feet, when I’m in the sleeping bag with a rubber flask that’s filled with water we boiled on the Primus – knowing halfway through the night, it’ll be cold “as a witch’s teat” and I’ll have to toss it out.

I guess the root of all acceptance is appreciation. I am learning to appreciate nature (and being out in it) on it’s own erotic terms.

Opening Myself to the Awkwardness

I also have a fear of being too personal. It’s like showing up in a dress that is just a smidgen too short and crosses some line no one explicitly told you about. Everyone lifts an eyebrow, and then looks away. Be honest, but don’t be too honest. Earnestness makes everyone feel awkward.

I’m reading Gregory Orr’s Poetry as Survival. He talks about the terrifying vulnerability of the self, and he describes the personal lyric as the self encountering its existential crises.

You know, I’m just going to give into this. To the fear. To the existential crises. To the who-gives-a-damn about propriety and position. To the friggin´earnestness.

Day Hike: Ulvarudlå, Jæren

It was one of those days that the Norwegian poet Tor Obrestad called white days. I am sure he is not the only one to have called them that. But translating his work, it was the first time I’d run across the phrase. I found “white days” much more beautiful than “overcast”. More sensual. Therefore more meaningful.

What I Mean By Staying Open

Things were good now, but they would change, and even that was a good thing. The way things are supposed to be.

This feeling is my definition of gratitude. It involves an element of submission, an acceptance and appreciation. It is lying in Savasana, palms up and open.