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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Holding it down


My neighborhood, which is a university neighborhood, empties out in the summer when the students leave. The streets are quieter, the days slower, and the sense is that almost everyone is at the lake somewhere, leaving those who couldn't get away to wander in the concrete and asphalt lands and find seats in restaurants that usually have long wait times and hail empty yellow cabs at will.

Further downtown, it's a different story. I don't go to midtown that much these days. When I used to work in the heart of Rockefeller Center, right across the street from Radio City Music Hall, I'd go outside for lunch and meld into the crush of office workers and tourists, and the sense there was that everyone had come from the lake to the city, leaving working stiffs to dream of escape to less hectic locales.

I went to midtown yesterday for MRIs of some problematic joints. I lay on the table for one-and-a-half hours, the machine clicking away, a discordant music as I daydreamed. A reader said in comments here recently that people taking care of her medically makes her "crack along [her] fault lines." Oh, how that resonated. I am now in a round of doctors appointments and follow ups with specialists and on and on and on. It really is time consuming to get on top of one's health when one is not in perfect health. But the trickier part is the way all this is making me feel so breakable, and I swear seeing inside my body has made the pain flare. I feel glued together lately. But with old, cracking, worn-out glue. I sometimes wonder if I wasn't doing better when I was just pushing through, ignoring the body's whimpers. I felt mentally tougher then.

My son has surgery scheduled on his torn ACL, which didn't stop him from hiking three miles up the Flatiron in Boulder, Colorado with friends this weekend past. And he rides his bike to work every day. The leg muscles around his knee are so strong they support him. He probably could have passed the fire department physical endurance and agility test but then he'd have needed surgery right after being hired, and he thought that would be in poor faith. So his dream has been delayed a bit. I am sure there is a larger purpose to all of this, though I have no idea what it is.

Full house this weekend: Family friends from St. Lucia—people who my kids grew up with during their summers with Grandma—will be in town and staying with us, plus my daughter will be home to do another one of her guest chef gigs and my niece arrives on Sunday to stay for the rest of summer. My son also arrived home from his trip to Denver yesterday, so all the young people will be back under my roof, plus assorted significant others visiting. Cue music. The babies are coming home.


Photos: 1) Thai Market restaurant during a Friday afternoon business lunch was oddly empty. My daughter doesn't like the idea of umbrellas indoors, but I'm a sucker for the color red, especially paired with gold. 2) A lovely chamber chamber trio practiced during set-up for St. Mary's garden party and silent movie fundraiser last Thursday. My husband was The Man.


27 comments:

  1. That photo of the red umbrellas is incredible art.

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    1. Thank you, Rebecca! I love that photo, too. I think the one thing that spoils it is the woman half hidden behind a chair. It would have been better if she could be seen between the chairs, or was completely hidden. Then again, life as it happens authentically can be just right too.

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  2. Attitude is so important when you are dealing with things seemingly out of your control. Many years ago I was dealing with some issues with my teeth and it required planning over a long period of time to tackle it with ever changing modifications while we waited to see how things were healing. I kept in mind that in the scheme of my life this was only temporary (and I suppose that could be said for EVERYTHING). Things in that department are settled now but I remain grateful that I was able to put it all in perspective.

    It might help to try to take charge of all the uncertainties you are dealing with at the moment. I always kept in the back of my mind two things; I can leave this office at any minute and at the end of the day I will be safe in my cozy bed away from all the prodding and quiet discussion.

    I am glad you have family time this weekend.

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    1. Gary, that does help. It's so important to just stay within the day. One day we look up and the situation will have been handled. Keep the focus on what sustains us. Thank you, dear friend.

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  3. I think that woman is an entire story unto herself. I think she belongs in the photo. I immediately wondered about her than thought about her as I went about my morning. There is a magic in photography that picks up with the eye might not even see. I think this woman is part of that magic. Again I could look at this photo all day. The red and gold and metal and splendid.

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    1. Lady Radish, I so agree with you! But does it frustrate you that you can't see her fully or does it add to the mystery? Hmmm. I love your eye and your mind.

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    2. It adds to the mystery. Also my son loves THIS ENTIRE SHOT and he doesn't like much of anything he is picky about photography the way I am picky about beginning violin students who are not my own. xoxoxox


      ps. HIGHEST PRAISE

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  4. I understand. Medical tests make me feel the brokeness of my body so much more than when I can safely hide things inside. This week I've felt every episode of my heart beating too fast and every skipped beat. I tell myself that things will settle down. But I know that it isn't for long. Accepting new normals seems to be the rule of the day.

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    1. Lisa, thanks for the solidarity. Today is better, pain wise.

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  5. I always love seeing your pictures of NY. They make me miss the East, which doesn't happen often, though the people are always in my heart.
    I'm sorry to hear about your procedures. The last time I was in the hospital was for Jack's birth and nothing was wrong with me, but just being there somehow makes it seems so. Especially with all the things hooked up to me despite the birth being totally natural. At least it didn't feel or smell like a hospital. I hope you find relief soon. Sending you well wishes of fast healing. xoxo

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    1. Rachel, New York misses you, too! xoxo

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  6. Be well, my love. Be well. You are being so brave. You are doing what must be done. I love you.

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    1. Mary, you know how I feel about doctors! That said, I have a lovely main doctor these days who really seems to care about how I do, so I don't want to disappoint her. I've always been a good girl at heart, even when I was rebelling. Affirmation gentles me right down. Haha

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  7. I love the photos and how great your favorite people will be with you. Regarding the medical stuff and feeling vulnerable...Don't let it get you down. Part of that is our medical system and how doctors and others react...You need not take that on. Keep as positive as you can so you don't fester and get anxious. Hugs.

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    1. e, you know, the doctor told me my left hip was at end stage degeneration and it wouldn't get any worse. In a strange way, that felt hopeful to me. At least I knew what it was going to be and that I could deal with the level of pain. It's my back that has me bent over lately. This is new. My poor bones. Thank you for the reminder to keep positive. xo

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  8. my thoughts are with you right now...

    and i am so glad to hear you're with family! they always create such a warm atmosphere as depicted in your posts.

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    1. Candice, i don't want you to worry... it doesn't affect work (smile).

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  9. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- summer is my favorite time to be in the city, when things are quieter and more emptied out. Enjoy it!

    As for the medical stuff, Ms Moon said it best. You are doing what you need to do, and I hope you get some degree of comfort and satisfaction from that, even if it's uncomfortable and unpleasant as it unfolds.

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    1. Steve, New York used to feel a little desolate to me when it emptied out but now that I am older I love it, too. And the medical stuff, one day at a time, one appointment at a time I suppose. I feel stronger today than I did yesterday when I wrote that post.

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  10. I love the images you take. I also dislike the vulnerability of being a patient. I'm a terrible one, actually. I'm thinking of you and the bravery it takes to be in medical care. Love to you.

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    1. Kimberly, the vulnerability is partly the terror that your doctors will find something that might take you out of the game. I think that's part of it. Thanks for the love, friend. Means a lot to hear your voice right now.

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  11. Your writing and photography are so beautiful and together they are exquisite. I am sorry you are in pain. It sucks. I have this tendonitis in my arm and am told to go to physical therapy. I just went in for the evaluation and manipulating my arm to get a sense of the condition left me in so much pain, I can't imagine the actual PT! How do our bodies start giving out like this? We are not THAT old? I wish you well friend.

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    1. Joanne, thanks for the good wishes and the kind words about the photos. I wish you well in PT. Remember to ice the arm afterward!

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  12. Oh dear Angella, I feel with you. It is so difficult to maintain your sense of autonomy and self confidence when you are unwell and worried about your health. Nothing in our lives teaches us how to cope with these situations and the loneliness they can bring. I hope you have good doctors to turn to. Be patient with yourself.

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    1. Sabine, I am curious about the loneliness that ensues; is it just an intense feeling of vulnerability? Thank you for you kindness. xo

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  13. Oh, I'm sorry about this dreadful medical stuff. I hope your doctors get to the bottom of your issues and help to resolve them quickly. All of these comments are so wise -- take care of yourself dear Angella!

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    1. Elizabeth, I got the results of the MRIs yesterday, and you know what, I'll live. My mother used to say even an iron bed would show dings and dents after so many decades of life. Now I have to decide how to proceed, and maybe I will do nothing for now. Thanks for your concern, my friend.

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