So I made it through my second yoga class the other day without stopping (or dying!), and I was warmed up enough that when I walked home, I barely noticed that the temperature had dropped to a balmy 7 degrees.
This time around, I was a touch less focused on just surviving the class, and could pay attention to things like exactly what my limits are right now (more than there used to be), and exactly how my body was having trouble moving (ways that never used to trouble me before). I did do every pose though! The quality sucked near the end, but I pushed myself as far as was reasonable I think. That’s what matters.
See, what I’m feeling with my return to yoga is almost exactly what I’ve been feeling like with my writing lately. I can’t seem to bring myself to feel good about the rebuilding I’m doing. Oh, I do it. I take a step forward and I’m determined to show up and take the next one; lots of people would pat me on the back for that. Yet, I know how far I’ve fallen. I don’t go, “Yay, me! Let’s keep moving forward!” I think, “One step down, 9,995 to go until I’m back to where I was.”
It’s motivation by self-loathing. It’s letting fear and anger fuel me.
It’s the Dark Side of the Force.
Probably not a good thing. But what to do about it…?
|From “An Everyday Horror Story”
by Harvey Pekar.
Art by Gerry Shamray.
Whatever lung pox I had that led to two weeks of paroxysms of coughing has messed up my voice. To clarify, it’s messed it up for an additional week after the coughing is now more or less under control. I’m starting to wonder if it’s one of the two(!) inhalers I’m on. I’m this close to having to having to use one of my Field Notes notebooks to write things out instead of speaking them.
Anyway, it reminded me of a story in Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor (issue 5), “An Everyday Horror Story,” in which our man has a long bout with laryngitis and it starts to do things to his head.
I’ll tell you, I’m starting to relate. It’s not just the voice loss, but these weird muscle spasms I’ve been getting lately.
I try to avoid soliciting curbside consultations from the medical professionals I work with, but a lot of them are just generally helpful by nature. So the other day, some of them dropped some knowledge on me. Now, I knew the muscles that were spasming (my intercostals) are the ones I use to cough but what I didn’t realize is that the reason they can take a long time to heal is because they can never truly rest, seeing as they’re the same muscles I use to breathe.
That’s what’s messing with my head. My voice I can rest, but I can’t stop breathing. Talk about feeling like a supernatural force is messing with you. It’s bad enough fighting my own procrastination, which I do every day. It’s even harder when you can’t talk and have trouble moving, or even sitting. But I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill, really. Harvey got his voice back. I’ll likely get my voice back (gonna call the doctor again, though). My intercostal muscles will get better. Maybe I’ll get my groove back, too.
Getting a jump on 2014 by planning how to revitalize this space.
We’re still 18 years away from 2031 when, if I’m still around, I’ll be 58 but still look the way I do now depending on what sort of genetic and/or cybernetic modifications I’ll be able to afford. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling like an ancient relic now.
But believe it or not, I’m in a better space than I was this time last year. Just.
Let’s just say that I’ve now lived long enough to get to the point where I can completely relate to what the late, great fellow-Clevelander Harvey Pekar says…
Don’t fret. Our man isn’t that hopeless. Granted, I’ve never been one of those people who fully appreciated the whole “adversity makes you tougher” idea. But I’ll tell you this–adversity has sure made me shrewder. It’s made me smarter. It’s made me hungry for the things I want in life. And it’s damn sure taken my patience away from the things that would stand in my way.
So, I take the ups and downs. Because as Robert Lamm sings…
We’ve all had our highs
The lows we can’t command
Sleeping through insomnia
It is more than you can stand
Boy, is that right.
I have a day off tomorrow. But not the day after. In the meantime, I’ll not be taking comments from the peanut gallery just now. In fact, I’m likely fast asleep. I love time-shifting this stuff.
See what I mean? Shrewder!
My goals for the past Memorial Day weekend are clearly stated in the first two verses of this song. And got’dammit I needed it because the pace of my life has been breakneck. Two days back at work, and it almost doesn’t feel like I’ve had a break.
I had I week where I had meetings on 3 out of the 4 edges of campus. I’ve “achieved” the level where I have to leave a meeting early just so I can arrive 10 minutes late to my next one. Where it’s up to me to make executive decisions about which meetings to beg off meetings, or face walks like this.
For these, and other reasons, I’ve been on silent running. Every day is a battle to reclaim energy to have a high-level of executive functioning the next day. I’ve time-shifted this entry–I’m sleeping as this goes out. It’s fine for now. But my life just hasn’t left me much to talk about on teh social medias on a daily basis without sounding like I’m just aching and moaning.
I am catching up, though. I’m closer to it than I’ve been in a long time, but not as close as I want to be. I’ll get there soon. And then, that’s when the last verse of “Funk 50” will become relevant.
I knew this week was going to be bad. It’s started off even worse. But I’m getting by. My coping mechanism of the day has been playing this video on a loop. It’s Joe Walsh playing “Funk #49” with Daryl Hall.
Yes, you read that right. And your brain is short-circuiting at the cognitive dissonance, isn’t it? It’s that short-circuit that keeps me from falling into a black hole of depression, because who can not get fired up hearing that guitar riff?
I’m actively juggling plates. That, and fighting off whatever Andromeda Strain I might’ve picked up at work, hence the extended absence. But these are plates that put me more and more in a position of having to (temporarily, at least) set aside the things that threaten to derail my momentum if any of the seeds I’ve sown are to bear any fruit.
I’ve been doing my best giving those things the Dikembe Mutombo treatment when necessary…
…and just taking things one day at a time.
This is a “Proof of life” post.
I do have stuff I could be talking about. Just don’t quite have the wherewithal yet. Mostly because it requires a level of organizational thought which I’m not currently capable, since I’m still recovering from whatever Andromeda Strain kept me away from the dayjob last week.
In the meantime, here’s the stuff I’ve been marinating my brain in for the past couple of weeks…
You’d think I’d have known, as a comic book guy, that avowed subbie and Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston actually had a hand in creating the polygraph. I’m truly ashamed that I never knew, or at least never retained that information.
My current favorite comedian: W. Kamau Bell. I’d only kinda sorta heard of him and then a couple of months ago, I’d heard Elvis Mitchell interview Bell on KCRW’s The Treatment. From there, I caught a couple of episodes of the podcast Bell does with guitarist Vernon Reid, The Field Negro Guide to Arts and Culture, and the first half of the first season of his TV show Totally Biased.
And, it just so happens he was on a recent episode of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.
Modern racism functions not by applying malice, but withholding forgiveness. We write so many rules that compliance is impossible, then enforce them selectively.
Popping my head out of the woodwork (read: out of my ass) again, because it’s been too long.
Stuff going on that’s too personal to report, but what I’d like to do is at least get to the backlog of stuff that isn’t too personal.
Because, you all missed me, right? Right?
Anywho, can totally relate to Hercules, here. Suffice it to say that my current struggles are ultimately described perfectly in this picture.
|“Kevin Sorbo ain’t got NOTHIN’ on me!”
But don’t worry. My resolution is to start getting things back into place and, as appropriate, TOSS SHIT INTO SPACE, just Lou Ferrigno does…