pain addled thoughts

De-elevating the foot. A tsunami of blood to the toes. Pressure. So much pressure. How did I get to be leagues under the sea?

Breathe in.

“It sucks when our bodies disappoint us.” (AC)

Pain so loud, the anatomy of my foot is outlined in red against my closed eyelids.

Breathe out.

It hurts. It itches. It’s fine down. Now it’s not. It’s better elevated. I’ve never thought so much about one specific portion of my body.

Breathe in.

Will I ever be anywhere other than this room?

Back pain. Arm pain. Hip pain. Ankle pain. Toe pain. Pain from overuse. Pain from underuse.

Breathe out.

50+ stairs.

Fuzzy brain. Tired. So tired. Guilt. Exhaustion. Clear headed. Frustration. Boredom.

Breathe in.

Everything takes longer than before. Not just the physical but the mental. Having to re-adjust my thought process from I’ll-just-grab-that-over-there to pick-up-crutches-stand-up-balance-get-situated-with-crutches-crutch-over-to-item-and-wait-both-hands-are-full-of-the-crutches-now-what to Mom-help-please.

Breathe out.

What is life outside?

Am I healing right? When will life be normal again?

Breathe in.

Let go of expectations and modesty. Reshape yourself.

permanent and not poem


Breathe out.

I’ve reached the end of my definition of patience.

Breathe in.


the taste of gratitude

Not liking animals and having to ask for help are my two biggest personal shortcomings. A scheduled foot surgery put me in the precariously vulnerable position of asking my mom for an extended amount of help.

She arrived the night before surgery as planned. What wasn’t planned was what happened once the doctor got to work in the operating room. I’ll spare the gruesome details, and leave you with the moral: I was supposed to be out of surgery and “walking” on my foot the same day. What actually happened is that I would not be allowed to bear weight on my foot for 10 days to 3 weeks.

The impossibility of using crutches while living in a studio apartment up 50+ stairs from street level crushed my anesthesia addled brain.

I now needed 100x more help. And I needed hair 100x longer to throw out the window for visitors.

Wait. It was just me with the mobility deficiency.

“The word [humble] comes from the Latin words humilis and humus. To be down low. To be of the earth. To be on the ground.”

In the recovery room, in the PT session (on how to use crutches), climbing those 50+ stairs (on my butt), in my studio apartment, in my bed with my foot elevated, I was smashed low. Mix in some tahini and I’d have made a tasty hummus.

Saying thank you 15x per hour didn’t feel like enough because my mom handled every task, every single task with cheer, efficiency, and grace. She consulted with the doctor, chatted with the nurses, took embarrassing pictures, walked by my wobbly side, let me sleep, made meals, fetched beverages, and patiently waited upon the patient. The mental and physical exhaustion crutches leave in their wake were monumental. We were both down low together despite the top level apartment location. Me with my limited mobility and her because solidarity is what mothers do.

Mothers’ Day came early for me in that my mother arrived when I needed her most and showcased her dazzling abilities. Perhaps we’ll celebrate with one of the three containers of hummus in my refrigerator.


unexpected wisdom

“Whatever decision you make becomes the new normal.”

He said it in with a brass band spilling their artistic guts onto the dance floor. He said it as we celebrated friends combining their lives and love. He said it partly in reference to the imminent birth of his daughter and partly about buying a house in an unexpected neighborhood.

He meant it as he said it. He meant it as advice to himself.

I couldn’t help but think how true to life/everything it was.

No matter the size or density, change is scary and difficult, but he was right that with time, life softens the edges of each decision until it takes on a familiar shape and you forget your fear and sink into what is now true.

I snatched that gold nugget and tucked it in my purse along with my chapstick, mints, and ID because the clarity, sageness, and calming aspects of M’s unexpected advice lingered longer than the very last note of the excellent trombone player.

convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #129


Me: What time do we land? 12:30? East coast time.

Flight attendant: Hmm. What time is it now?

Me: It’s just before 11 East Coast, so 9am Denver time.

FA: We’re due to land at 10:30 Denver time.

A: Okay yeah. 12:30. I haven’t changed my watch yet to Colorado time. Plus my grandmother lives in Denver so I’m used to the time difference.

FA: I live in Denver so I’m used to it too but when you’re flying all over and through various time zones, I’m not quite sure what time it is!

A: Now that is some challenging math.

Not to mention an interesting career choice that bleeds into one’s personal life unlike a lot of other job options. As she pushed the drink cart to serve other customers, I pondered all the questions I had about being a flight attendant. Hey, anything to make the flight time feel faster, right?


what’s the word I want?

Sometimes the English language just doesn’t have the right word…

The Japanese have “komorebi,” which means the scattered, dappled shape sunlight takes when filtered through trees.

They also have “tsundoku,” which is when you buy a book, don’t read it, and it goes into a pile of similarly unread books.

“Waldeinsamkeit” is the German way to describe the feeling of being alone in the woods.

I need a word for the exasperated sound you make when a parent asks you to do something you desperately don’t want to.

Inuits have “iktsuarpok” to describe the frustration of waiting for someone to show up.

“Utepils” is when Norwegians sit outside on a warm, sunny day and enjoy a beer.

“Culaccino” is the Italian word for the ring of condensation left behind on the table. It often happens when sitting outside on a sunny day.

I need a word for when you’ve been searching for years for a product you first heard about at work and you randomly find out your mother’s had the answer all along.

Walking on your tiptoes across hot sand is pronounced “hanyuku” by the Rukwangalis.

“Gökotta” is the Swedish word to wake up early enough and with the specific desire to go outside to hear the birds singing.

“Pochemuchka” is Russian for someone who asks too many questions (aka me during movies.)

I need a word for the shocked silence after someone asks a question and you answer differently than s/he expected.

Anything you can put on sliced bread is called “pålegg” in Swedish (and called delicious by me.)

“Sobremesa” is Spanish for the post lunch conversations had at the table.

In Indonesia, they say “jaysus” to describe an unfunny joke told so poorly people can’t help but laugh.

I need a word for when you type and delete and type and delete and type and delete words in rapid succession until you find the right combination appropriate to email your boss/coworkers.

“Tartle” is Scottish for that moment of hesitation when introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.

To eat past the point of being full because the food is so good can be explained with one Georgian word, “shemomedjamo.”

Trepverter” is Yiddish describing when you think of the perfect witty comeback too late.

I need a word for when you’re walking outside on a frosty evening and the smoky scent of a wood fire wafts by.