It’s beautiful outside today. I have the windows cracked, and somewhere in the distance I can hear a marching band practicing— or at least, I can hear their drum corps. It’s both nostalgic and vaguely military, muddling together two distinct segments of my life in the strangest ways. Yeah, I was that nerd, before the combat boots, before the languages, before the fiber and the paint. I’ve been a lot of different things.
Today, I’m mostly coming out of a bit of recovery. MDSW was a little much, but I also dropped another med this month, and that’s always an adjustment- Requip this time. I’ll feel a little crap for a few weeks, but it passes. The entire exercise has been a solid reminder that I am not invincible, merely doing much better, and it has also allowed me to spend some time in my body while it has felt less than optimal again, and that’s always been informative. I’ve been thinking about pain recently: all forms of pain, physical and emotional, how they tie into fear. I’ve thought some about that very human urge to avoid both pain and fear, and how it isn’t possible to live a life free of either; it’s in the avoidance that we run into so many of our problems. So what do you do, if pain is (or has become) inevitable?
No, really: I’m genuinely asking. If you thought I had the answer, you’re on the wrong blog, friend.
I’m working, lately, on reframing my relationship with pain. This brief period has been helpful, manifesting a little discomfort for me just when I needed to work with it. Pain is information: my body, mute, communicates with me in many ways; through hunger, desire, anxiety, euphoria, nausea, exhaustion, restlessness, satiety, comfort, and through pain, too. It’s information, my body’s way of letting me know there is a need; just as I don’t like shouting, I’m no fan of pain, but that doesn’t mean that the data contained isn’t sound or important. I’m learning to attend in this space. I’d prefer a nicely written card- I’m such a fan of personal mail, it’s just so civil– but seeing as my body and I were barely on speaking terms seven years ago, listening to my pain seems a vast improvement.
More of that “dinner before dessert” stuff: going through, rather than around.
By way of distraction, allow me to share with you a collection of wonderful things I’ve found this week.
First and foremost: a fundraiser my friend Lilie is doing for the folks affected by the fires in Fort McMurray. You can see the fundraiser here on Ravelry, but here is how it works: Lilie has put up a skein of her prize- winning handspun yarn to be won! You make a donation to the Canadian Red Cross ($10 minimum), then post in thread stating your donation has been made and that you’d like to enter the drawing. Forward your donation receipt to Lilie (her email is in the original post, up top) and she will select a winner using the Random Number Generator on 10 June!
If you’re wondering how much this matters: it matters a lot, folks. If you didn’t know that those fires were still burning, you aren’t alone- but it just keeps going. Dealing with a fire isn’t just about providing emergency shelter, either; it’s food, medical supplies, displaced people, missing pets, lost wages, destroyed documents, and so much more. This is a subject close to our hearts. If you have a little extra this month, please, consider giving.
(Just in case: I know Lilie, we’ve met several times IRL, and this is something she’s done before. It’s real and legit. And she’s terrific, gives great hugs, and even better knitwear!)
Moving away from wonderful people doing good things and onto the strange and surreal: I stumbled onto the Berenst#in Conspiracy this week, and I don’t recommend it if you’re feeling a little untethered because you’re coming off of a dopamine agonist, but otherwise, it’s an interesting run down memory lane for folks who grew up in the 80s and a great example of how flawed memory can be. It’s not just us- a whole slew of folks mis- remember those books as the “Berenstein” Bears! I’m chalking it up to there just not being very many names spelled ” —-stain”, vs “—-stein”, but you can get caught up in a web of Philip K. Dick- level science fiction conspiracy theories if you wander too far with this one. It’s a delightful and silly rabbit hole to fall down, if you have twenty minutes to spare.
Finally, allow me to give you Awaken With JP, my personal guru. (I don’t guru, actually, but from a pop culture perspective and all, etc.) One of my favorite things about the wellness community is that, in its healthier iterations, it can poke fun at itself. Ego is bullshit, after all! This is where JP comes in.
JP Sears is a yogi and wellness coach whose YouTube channel is among the happiest spots on the internet. As an insider, he knows all of the bullshit that goes on in the industry and isn’t at all shy about calling it out, which he does with wit, vigor, and grace. His serious work is beautiful and direct without being sappy and he never, ever uses the words “juicy” or “delicious” to describe a stretch, or your breath. Well done, friend.
Your turn: show me the best thing you’ve found online all week, please. I’ve got this wicked low- grade headache thing happening all week and I need some distractions— show everyone what’s turning your week up, if anything is.