The story of my life slipped a bit into flashes of Tweets, Instagrams and Facebook posts over the past several months. I have looked at WordPress. I have thought about writing a blog post. I have walked away each time. Too much work? Not really. Too much about me to send out into the world — at least in those moments? Probably. If I could say it (whatever it was) in 140 characters, or — better yet — a photograph, that’s the route I chose again and again.
Factors contributing to my reticence
- Grief. Really. How many times do you want to read that I am overcome all over again with an obesity of grief? It continues, diminishing perhaps, but continues.
- Pain. Remember this? The work of that project (wonderful though it was!) exacerbated, accelerated, and exposed a long-worsening problem in my neck, specifically between C5 & C6 in my spine (more info here). Cramming yards of layered felted fibre stuck together with hundreds of pins through the narrow arm-space of my sewing machine, my nose inches from the threading needle, led to the stilling of my knitting hands. Sitting at the computer desk was painful. Bending over an iPad was painful. Who wants to read about that again and again?
- Time. Pain took me to my general practitioner, who wanted to prescribe drugs — and did — and from whom I extracted a referral to a physical therapist of my choosing (with strong recommendations from knitting friends/physicians). Therapy visits and exercises ate up swathes of time I might have spent writing here. The physical therapist sent me back to my GP with the strident admonition that I have carpal tunnel release surgery in my right hand. Immediately. Add in referrals to a neurologist, visits with a surgeon, surgery and resultant one-handedness, and more physical therapy. Multiply with the ramp up of Kate’s senior year activities. Time for writing here was a luxury I could not afford.
- Habit. Nothing extinguishes a routine like the inability to set the stylus into the groove. (Vinyl is back, yes? So the metaphor is pertinent, salient, even apt?) After recovery and therapy visits were done, I did not take up blog-posting again. I started to. More than once. And the question, “Why?” would arise in my head, one easily answered before all of the above, and I would stop and think about that for a bit, and then not post.
- Silence. There are things about which I will not write here. Or should not. Or cannot. The importance (for me) of and troubles with being in silence has come up before, and will again, no doubt. The practice of being in silence has seeped into who I am online. There are things worth struggling to articulate, but not necessarily worth publishing once articulated. And there are things I have yet to be settled with (will I ever be? perhaps that’s the point?) in being in silence. Sometimes radio-silence here is fraught with all I am learning there.
I am knitting again, and have finished two pair socks since February. Ho hum, right? But also, oh joy! Knitting again!
The exercises my first physical therapist gave me continue to keep the pain from my arms and hands and where I ought to experience it — in my neck where it originates and belongs — when I have pain at all. My carpal tunnel release surgery was a complete success and it is something I should have had done years and years ago. Because I procrastinated, I have some mild muscle wasting in my palm at the base of my thumb that I will never recover. But it is not a hindrance and so I am knitting again. And sitting at the computer for long hours, striving to be mindful of posture, and mindful of what is worth publishing.