Mutinies

Italy
Views from the Castello Aragonese, Ischia.

(Definitely not the first person to make this observation, but I’m going to make it anyway.) When you are well, your body is invisible. The body is this lovely, useful scaffolding, like a shoe so comfortable you forget you are wearing shoes.

But when you are unwell, the metaphor is no longer useful. Illness is not an uncomfortable shoe; illness is a mutiny. When you are unhealthy, you feel betrayed. You turn your back and see that your team has abandoned you; your family, those you knew and loved, have not only rejected you but decided that you’re the target now. They’re out to get you, and you never thought this day would come, not from your beloveds, not from the heartbeat that was so strong and regular, not from the hearing that never faltered, not from the immune system that shielded you day in and day out. The feeling of betrayal is really what lurks beneath that pervasive grief of illness, especially chronic illness. The traitorous war is never over, and you’re always on the losing team.

Grateful for

  • Coming home and wanting to come home
  • Fireflies, standing on the back deck and watching them light up the dark trees with G.
  • Friends who make us dinner and let us talk about Italy, even though it’s really boring to listen to people talk about their trips, they always act interested
  • Friends who went to Italy and shared slideshows with us and let us try our best rendition at Neapolitan pizza on them
  • Coming back to work! I genuinely missed my team.
  • Stupid pups who love being alive
  • A refreshed desire to read everything in sight
  • A flourishing front yard, even though I’m anxious to transplant things I underestimated

“Love came to confirm all of the old things whose existence she only knew of without ever having accepted or felt them. The world spun under her feet, there were two sexes among humans, a line connected hunger to satisfaction, animal love, rainwater headed for the sea, children were growing beings, in the earth the sprout would become a plant. She could not longer deny… what? She wondered in suspense. The luminous centre of things, the confirmation underpinning everything, the harmony that existed beneath the things she didn’t understand.”

Near to the Wild Heart, Clarice Lispector

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