Rendered Fat Content


Berthe Morisot: Young Woman Watering a Shrub (1883)
"I might even adopt a hobby that doesn't leave me limping."

I move like Quasimodo in the morning and like a zombie by evening. Whatever else I have been making these past ten weeks since we started The Grand Refurbishment, I have also produced Homemade aches and pains, ache-ers. My right wrist still feels the impact of my fall two or three weeks ago in the Pop-up Paint Tent. My lower back saddle feels tight with intermittent pain radiating down to my right knee. Who knows what produced that? I some days sense that I'm just actively crippling myself engaging in all this Homework. Most days, I appreciate the stretching. I sense that I might otherwise turn stationary and still and slip back to living exclusively in my head again. My body finds it interesting and entertaining to be involved again, though each new engagement seems to leave me limping away from it.

The Muse flees to the quackopractor or massage therapist at what seems to me the hint of a drop of a hat.
I've co-existed with some of my Ache-ers for years and would never think of even attempting to rid myself of them. They are my badges of courage and valiance, hard won and proudly worn. They might be who I am or who I'm becoming. I can easily imagine a future point in time where I'm just a bundle of ache-ers and pains, where everything elicits a knowing wince, where my history remains written across my face however I might move. I do not wish for my youthful range of motion, but the breadth experience has left me with. I'm in pretty good shape for a man my age and experience. I do not appear to be queuing up for any joint replacements. My back's in fine shape, if a little ache-ery most mornings. My hands. never capable of producing repetitive motion, seem subtle enough if sometimes stiff. My two and a half typing fingers, fully functional so far.

I visited a quackopractor once and could not quite accept the theatrics of the practice. I hold the profession in about the same esteem as I hold witch doctors, which I consider curious and belief based. Witch doctoring and quackopractory both seem to work in direct proportion to how much their patients believe they will help. Both involve manipulation of both body and imagination and each might produce resolution, but only if their patient can believe in them. They're Tinker Bell professions, lost to me because I lack a foundational faith in them. I'm left with my Ache-ers and pains, and proud to have them. Massage seems another matter, an indulgence I can't quite muster. I'm not the sort to go in for the laying on of hands. I consider the practice unbearable. I can stretch myself. I figure that if a muscle wants to seize up, it probably hold ample justification. Who would I have to be to try to dissuade it?

All that said, I've been considering a curious proposition. It seems that our society is based upon a presumption of scarcity, the assumption that we're missing something and that we need to acquire that something. We call these somethings goods and services, and the whole economy relies upon these continuing exchanges, each intended to fulfill some want or need, though none seem to permanently fulfill anything. The need reverts to unfulfilled shortly thereafter. A heart's desire might be soothed but never sated. What if I didn't want different? What if I could be satisfied with what I have and limit my need for further acquisition? What if I was fine just as I am, no longer aspiring for different? What if how I am amounts to healthy, Ache-ers, pains, and all? Perhaps after The Grand Refurbishing's finished I will settle into a time of appreciation rather than frantic acquisition of supplies and fresh Ache-ers. I might even adopt a hobby that doesn't leave me limping.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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