"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds."
The process of reconciling mind and body into a state at least approaching wholeness is as dense, demanding and fraught with tiger pits as an old Jon Hall adventure movie. He swam, he dove, he freed his or someone else's foot from a giant clam shell, he escaped peril of every description in his movie and tv roles. In real life, it is reported that his mother was a Tahitian princess. He could stand as a model for unstuckness, for not being defeated or even temporarily slowed by dangerous trails. It is his image that I wish to try and keep before my mind's eye when I become draggy, droopy, saggy and allow a life-long habit of depression to shout down other options. No one has locked our chamber door from the outside. The task is to know and remember that, to hold that vision and its possibilities no matter what. Always keep the Get Out of Jail Free card in a waterproof pocket. It is the one-way ticket out of where I, or you, have been for much too long.
Then we come to Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul and his view of, as the chapter is titled, "The Body's Poetics of Illness." He speaks of bringing imagination to the body - to the problem, or challenge, as I see it, in my case of regaining mobility - and I've begun to sing to myself as I do my trying to stand as tall as possible for as long as possible exercise. It helps me not think about my knees.
"When we bring imagination to the body, we can't expect dictionary-type explanations and clear solutions to problems. A symbol is often defined and treated as though it were a superficial matching of two things, as in dream books that tell you that a snake is always a reference to sex. More profoundly, though, a symbol is the act of throwing together two incongruous things and living in the tension that exists between them, watching the images that emerge from that tension. In this approach to symbol, there is no stopping point, no end to reflection, no single meaning and no clear instruction on what to do next." Giant grabbing clam shells.
So. To dismantle the clock, reassemble the cogs so they still mesh yet produce a different result may end up with me drawing wings at the sides of my knees with a ballpoint pen. I looked at temporary tattoos of lifty sorts of images. I have begun to picture helium balloons and the old gods working puppetry strings. I can tell when depression has arrived, putting its cavernous purse on my favorite chair so I have to move it or sit elsewhere. It clears its throat a lot and finds fault with everything, one time wondering why a person would (be so worthless as to) serve chips in a basket and not a bowl. If there are angels of imagination, I call to them now. My own reserves feel insufficient, yet, as I have told myself for years, I'm still here. Be so very, very gentle and good, yet not too soft and enabling with your dear selves. Our imaginations are as big as the cosmos. It is just a matter of opening the door - that's what I'm counting on - and stepping into our collective stardust. Whew. xo