A Moment of Chronic Pain

I have a gizmonic exercise bike I found on the sidewalk last year.

I say ‘gizmonic’ because it has a computer that monitors heart rate and caloric output.

It also has games.

I brought it home and slipped some batteries into it and
nothing.

It looked like the computer was broken.

The fix was simple.

The springs that held the batteries in place weren’t making contact
with the batteries.

I stretched them and Bingo!

A fancy exercise bike for the time it took me to stretch
some springs.

My favorite game is the  ‘Calorie Destroyer.

The faster I pedal the more ammo and mobility my gun has.

Last week I raised the seat for better leg extension.

Bad idea.

As I reached level four I felt a twinge of pain in my lower back.

Did that stop me? Of course not!

I was taught to ignore pain.

The twinge became a sharp pain.

The next day I felt stiff.

Friday I walk across the City to therapy.

I began to dress.

There’s  a small chair in front of the door to bedroom closet.

I needed a jacket so I moved the chair and felt something pop; a jolt
of pain raced up my spine and down my legs.

Did I decide not to walk over five miles to my therapist, most of it up hill?

Of course not!

I was in so much pain that when I got home I took two aspirin and a double dose of ‘Clonopin.’ Most docs use benzos to treat severe spasms of the lower back. (I don’t advise anyone else to ever do this without consulting a doctor.)

I laid down and entered the world of pain.

Survival in the world of pain means finding the ‘right’ position: a way to arrange one’s body to cut severe pain.

Finding the ‘right’ position and holding it for as long as possible was the focus of all of my energy and concentration.

I’d find a position only to have to find another position five minutes later.

This meant having more pain to find respite in less pain.

For all my emotional pain I have never had to deal with severe medical pain.

After it was over I had a deeper appreciation for the suffering and courage of
people in chronic pain.

Rob Goldstein 2015-2018

First published November 2015
Revised November 2018

I Will Tell You These Secrets

Your touch

is a

soothing

caress

and when

we touch

my heart

beats within

your chest.

I think of you

each morning,

I look for you

each night,

I remember

your embrace

and savor the

memory of my

delight.

How can I express

the power

of my gratitude?

To hold you,

to know that

I am safe,

sheltered from

the pain

of these

memories

that

consume

me.

I look into

your eyes

and see

that you are

not

afraid.

I can never

repay you

for the wonder

you bring,

but I can tell

you these secrets:

you kiss my lips and open my heart

you touch me and awaken my body

you gaze into my eyes and heal

my soul,

and when you hold me,

I am complete.

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2019

 

I first posted ‘I Will Tell You These Secrets in August 2016 as an experiment in
the use of VR and video to stage a performance.  As I review the video I can
see what works but I think it lacks maturity.

I’ve revised the poem and re-posted it because it is a heartfelt expression of
love and gratitude.

In the interests of transparency I’ve left the video as part of the post.

What do you think?

 

 

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope yours is warm and safe.

Rob Goldstein

Sunday’s Meditation: If You Want to Achieve Greatness, Stop Asking For Permission