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Lewis and Clark and their entourage walked barefoot across a significant part of what is now Montana. Oh, there were small cacti underfoot, too. I never expect hurt to play much of a role in my adventures, but he always seems to find some way to insinuate himself in there. Drag a load of prunings to the pile and some muscle pulls funny. A hand unaccustomed to pulling that hand plow across rocky soil swells and aches the next morning. Halfway through the adventure, gravity starts pulling harder and the internal metronome assumes a slower cadence. Frantic fractures into slower motion and the goal seems to shrink further into the future than it stood before the adventure began.

I woke hurting this morning. I first presumed I’d just get on what I was going to do anyway, but this hurt, a pulled muscle across my right chest, held me down like a taunting bully on top of me. I really, really wanted to fight back, but laid back into it, instead. The easy, refreshing pace of the first week has settled into a bit of a slog. My goal of clearing enough shrubbery to allow the fence painter access has not changed. The completion date seems to be fleeing before me.

Some say we are incapable of remembering pain, and I believe it. We recall completed efforts from within the bubble of accomplishment, though arriving there never involves continuous forward progress. Adventures are meanders through space, time, and, inevitably, some pain. Pleasure moves in only after the fact. My dominant sense while engaging screams skepticism that I’ll ever achieve anything.

I wince when I stand now, subvocalizing a low groan. My heart remains enthusiastic, but my innocent pursuit has given over to a more mature kind. Today, I chose not to suit up in my work clothes, and The Muse offered me permission to take the day off. I moved some shrub cuttings and set a sprinkler anyway, but disappeared with The Grand Other, leaving The Muse to paint that door and strip that wallpaper undistracted by either our bouncy ward or me.

Of course I feel guilty, though I know a day’s rest might restore some range of motion and propel me forward faster than had I not taken to the bench for this day’s game. I was not bred to take breaks, but to break my back instead. I was never taught what to do once my diligence produced that touted broken back, though. My backup plan seems to involve moping.

I might reflect on progress made, but that seems meagre compared to what I might have accomplished and the bits I have yet to do. The middle seems a muddle with no respite offered or found. My engine idles impatiently. My horsepower aches to race, but mostly aches today.

©2014 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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