Poetry break

Splenic vein, from The Anatomy of the Veins, by Rob Swatski on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

Sorry I’ve been quiet for a few days. I saw my shrink on Monday, and I’m not going to lie, things are getting very real in there. We’re starting to get to the heart of the matter. My shrink not only works with cancer patients and PTSD sufferers, she has survived lymphoma herself. So she’s a pretty heavy hitter in this particular realm. (Thank you so much, K, for recommending her to me.) Good scan results are good, yes. But – getting past the initial goodness – there are boatloads of uncertainty, fear, anger, self-criticism, and God knows what else, to unravel. I have a good coach.

I’ve been working out a lot this week – three days in a row, which gets you to the point where you don’t know where each particular hurt comes from because they seem to be multilayered. It’s good, muscle-developing pain though. I’m glad to have it back.

It’s not entirely my choice, to be suddenly exercising this hard. My period will arrive any second (and I already know how much my father loves reading about that), and if I’m going to prevent the unwanted guest of a migraine, I need to bust my ass at the gym, often. It’s the only thing that helps, which I say because I once took one of the migraine pills my doctor prescribed, and did not enjoy the feeling of a prickly caterpillar crawling up my face. Eesh.

Despite the exercise, by late afternoon I was in the grips of a pretty bad depression, almost tropical, almost like a weather system. I observed it and asked J to excuse me for a while (meaning he made dinner) and just lay in my bed unable to move, almost. There were multiple reasons I gave myself for feeling this down, but it all comes back to hormones. I’m hoping this resolves in the next day or so.

I’m lucky, though, that I’ve had these few hours to lie around feeling totally flattened. Because it made me remember the first line (“Quand le ciel bas et lourd pèse comme un couvercle…”) from this Baudelaire poem, which I spent time studying both in high school and college. The site has a number of different translations of it, so you can choose the one that resonates most with you. If you want to hear it in French, here’s an over-the-top rendition:

Moral: Poetry can save you, if you let it.

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