Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Coming Apart at the Seams

Ahh, life on the loverley West Coast. When it rains, it pours, and not just mainly on the planes nor even just the plains of Spain. Sorry, I've always wanted to do that.

After a coughing bout that left me feeling like I'd cracked a couple of ribs and had me folded in half like a cheap card table, I straightened myself back up and promptly yelped as my sciatic nerve stabbed me in the ass like an assassin's dagger. I threw my back out coughing!? What the Hell is going on here? I demand answers!

To make matters worse, in the past week I have also had to go out and acquire reading glasses. At least if I want to read a menu in what it seems is always a dimly lit restaurant or the fine print in my deal with the Devil, or even the instructions on cooking Mac 'n Cheese. Notice that my reading boils generally boils down to food and sin...

In the midst of my body beginning to come apart at the seams, I have found some solace in reading on the couch and puttering in the kitchen. This is my segue, such as it is to the following quotes:

From M.F.K Fisher's novel, Sister Age. -

"St. Francis gently sang of his family: his brother the Sun, his sister the Moon. He talked of Brother Pain, who was as welcome and well-loved as any other visitor in a life filled with birds and beasts and light and dark. It is not always easy for us lesser people to accept gracefully some such presence as Brother Pain or his cousins, or even the inevitable visits of a possibly nagging harpy like Sister Age. But with a saint to guide us, it can be possible."

As someone who has lived with chronic back pain for over two decades, the last decade following back surgery, there are long periods where Brother Pain is no more than a figure in the background. But when he wants your attention, he wants your attention. And as the years and miles accumulate, Brother Pain and Sister Age are ever more frequent visitors. And try as one might to be a gracious host, not all visitors are welcomed with embraces as equally open or warm... Unless of course you are a saint. I can assure you, I am not.

In a similar vein, Judith Jones wrote in her memoirs, The Tenth Muse of a quote from Alfred North Whitehead: "Cooking is one of those arts which most requires to be done by persons of a religious nature." The quote is in the Chapter entitled, The Pleasure That Lasts the Longest and is a truism I suspect for all the sensual pursuits of life. After the legs have lost a step and the eyes dimmed and lost a little of their focus, your palate can get ever sharper and more adventuresome. Things to look forward to, when the pleasures of the flesh give way to the appetites of the flesh. Sustenance all...


Blogger Scooter said...

Bitchin' about reading glasses and a back spasm? Ya, f'in' sissy! I am battling tennis elbow and recently got PROGRESSIVE BIFOCALS. This aging stinks...but it beats the alternative.

1:49:00 PM  

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