Saturday, May 8, 2010

Long-awaited answers; bliss and terror

At physical therapy this week (which I'm really enjoying), I got an answer to an "MS question" I've had for a long time.

I have always had difficulty knowing whether, at moments of trial, to push myself because it was "good for me" to do so, or to honor the desire not to push myself. My physical therapist finally provided the answer: If you have reserves, push yourself. If you have no reserves, don't push yourself. Pushing yourself when you have no reserves--that's when you'll get hurt.

OK. Finally an answer. I may not always be sure about whether I want or need to push myself, but I can pretty much always be sure whether I'm running on empty. When empty, don't push. Nice and easy.

Bliss: today I was at work, doing something to one of the computers, and while it was downloading something or other from Microsoft, I decided to do some tote renshu kyudo practice. In my school of kyudo, we have a moment called ten to chi, heaven and earth, which is not part of the "official" Federation kyudo form. It has always been my favorite moment in the form, and for some reason, today when I stood in that position, it felt just wonderful. I felt connected to the world, to the art of kyudo, to myself. For one lovely moment: bliss.

And yet, later this afternoon, I was contemplating a trip to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things, and I found myself fighting some vague terror about driving. I had been in the car earlier, I had had no problems at all--in fact, it was a better day than most, driving. But I kept hearing the noise in my head, "No, don't go to that fancy market, it's too far. Just go to the market two blocks away."

Well, I decided that damn it, I was going to the fancy market, if for no other reason than because the voices in my head needed to be shut up. And enjoyed the drive, and had no problem, and everything was fine.

But the frightened head voice... something's up with that. I don't know what, yet. But there's definitely something up.

Another gift of MS... ? Not the voice, I've had that for years. Who doesn't? But the terror... unearthing its cause, now that's going to be... interesting.

Among other things, I'm sure.

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