So much has happened since my cervical stenosis was relieved through surgery. I still have pain and weakness from pinched nerves in my lower back that is due to “mild “stenosis and bone slippage at L4-5. I saw my spine doctor just before I flew to NY last Thursday evening. The good news is that he said he didn’t think the discomfort would get any worse than it is now. I can live with it as I have been for a long time. Actually I can’t truly summon what it would be like to be totally pain free. As we age, most of us identify with many aches and twinges we never had before. I am not at all alone in this. The doctors would not operate again for at least another year. We’ll see if recovering atrophied muscles in my back might stabilize my spine. I am working on them to do just that.
My butterfly dance is in the digital “can”. I wish I could post the low resolution version of it here but since the photographer used gorgeous copyright footage of butterflies for the credits, I cannot. Originally, he was going to superimpose them over us dancing. The piece turned out to be compelling enough to stand on its own legs. Well, on Martha’s legs and on the legs of my “emerging from cocoon” chair where I am sitting throughout the five minute piece. The manifestation of an idea into a film has been a delightful process. It is a tribute to Kendal and all that it offers, that I could so easily collaborate to create this. Whenever it comes out, I can at least post the link for Kendal’s two minute promo version of the highlights.
The other minor miracle is that I flew to NY for a whirlwind weekend to attend my friend Phyllis’s eightieth birthday party. The whole first day was about seeing people who would not be there. They were so kind to drive in to see me. I wished I had time to see more folks but it was too much to do any more than I did. The next day was all about being with my two darling daughters and saving my energy for the evening celebration which was terrific fun and deeply moving. I basked in the well deserved love that Phyllis’s family and friends showered her with.
Emilia drove us back to the airport early Sunday morning and there ensued a tangled travel story. I will not add to the detailed repertoire of airport woes we all can trot out. It was actually weather related as there was “extreme fog” in Manhattan that morning. Driving into the city was eerie- you couldn’t see the top of the bridge overhead and only the very tops of the tallest buildings emerged from the gray mass before us. We had fortunately changed our flight to an earlier departure and it turned out to be the ONLY flight that wasn’t eventually cancelled. The last scheduled flight to Cleveland left at 5:00 P.M. After three very sore hours of sitting before our plane finally departed, I can’t imagine how I would have made it if I had to spent the entire day in that most uncomfortable airport. I returned to a local Ohio tornado warning, but no wicked witches were killed at Kendal on Sunday evening.
The point is that I did it at all and, yes, it was extremely fatiguing, but not devastating to my body. It means I can occasionally go to see Marion in upstate NY and not have it all on her to come see her family in OH. Of course, I had Emilia to buffer everything- I could not have done it without her. But to spread my wings even this much was an unsuspected possibility two months ago.
I have been pondering all month. How do we arrive at this exact point of time? Would I have created that dance if someone hadn’t years ago recorded that particular piece of music for Richard on a CD? Did it begin when I first read Chuang-Tzu’s Taoist writings in my twenties? Or when I danced to my mother’s guitar playing as a toddler as that one cute photo attests to? How did I end up here at Kendal? All of our hundreds of seemingly random choices conspired to bring us to this hour of this day in this circumstance. Eldering offers us the time to reflect on how we chose any number of threads to weave the tapestries of our lives. How did it all transpire? Whose dance is it anyway?