Yesterday I added some torso rotation to my mobility stretching. I should say added back rather than just added.
Wrong move. It really flared up the nerve impingement and pain. By 9 p.m. I was hurting quite a lot, and I was afraid it would be a sleepless night.
A bedtime cocktail of alka-seltzer (bubbly aspirin) and meloxicam (a prescription anti-inflammatory) came to the rescue though, and assisted as my body got to work fixing itself. It wasn't a comfortable night, but it wasn't sleepless either. Coupled with the amazing demonstration of self healing, I got out of bed feeling very much better than I expected.
I was still sore but not in pain this morning. I did a relaxed hike, walking on flat(ish) ground, a flat(ish) glacier, and up and down some small but challenging slopes.
Along the way I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the day was despite an uncomfortably cool and gusty wind.
As I navigate this nerve thing and the rebuilding of my overall fitness I find the path to be an exercise in exploring reach and grasp. It's a good thing for me to be doing. I'm discovering things I didn't know I was looking for. Even as I bump up against vexing limitations I find other places where the horizons are far away and there's seemingly endless room to explore. It's a physical and metaphysical thing. Body mind and spirit are all in play. It's living, and it's a choice. The burdens I've chosen to carry are hard to bear, but they are not too hard to bear. It all feels exactly right.
Outside it's January on the High Plains. We're six weeks into winter and nearly halfway to Vernal Equinox. It's cold and blustery out but the sun is marching higher in the sky and kissing the ground and everything upon the ground with tantalizing warmth. There's a promise there I can believe in, and the certain knowledge that enduring the day's bluster will make the warm embrace of true spring all the sweeter.
Just as there are things my body cannot do, there are things my heart and soul cannot do. But here too there are other paths to explore. Boundless paths, really, and likely more rewarding and even more valid than the pathways of my immediate desire.
New paths add perspective and vital depth to scale and context. If I truly believe the things I say, then questing for growth, and testing reach and grasp, are more vital now than ever. Some things I cannot do, and I am chained by those realities. In the things I can do, however, I am unbound, and limited only by my choice. Do. Or do not.
Browning lamented that we seem to be free but are actually fettered. My experience and my sense tell me that I am fettered and free. The two are simply opposite sides of the same coin.
Every time I read Browning I get new stuff. It's always a slog. I never quite break through to understanding. Perhaps that's the point. Fortunately for me, I can take his work for what it is and what it says to me, and I never have to do the anglush perfesser thing and force the words to fit into a communally held psychotic view of a world I've never bothered to visit. Except...
Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged.
There burns a truer light of God in them,
In their vexed beating stuffed and stopped-up brain,
Heart, or whate'er else, than goes on to prompt
This low-pulsed forthright craftsman's hand of mine.
Their works drop groundward, but themselves, I know,
Reach many a time a heaven that's shut to me,
Enter and take their place there sure enough,
Though they come back and cannot tell the world.
Is it true that I'm lacking in omniscience? Seriously? Me?
Um, it sure looks like it. Good thing to keep in mind I think.
Speak as they please, what does the mountain care?
Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?
Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.