During my recent break, I rode through fields of black, volcanic sand. I brushed my hands around, and felt the thick blanket of electrical energy that surrounded every square inch of my body. (Volcanos will either drain you, or amp you right up.) I drove past field of seemingly endless llamas and vicuñas. I stopped to take photographs of pre-Incan burial mounds. I soaked in thermal waters. I watched the sun set.
I also got completely slammed by the arrival of winter. I reminded myself that this is to be expected, as it happens every year right around this time. I reminded myself that the worst would soon pass, and that even when it seems like I may just be doing a little, I’m actually doing a lot. I scheduled extra hours of physical therapy, on top of the numerous sessions I already attend on any given week.
I was mesmerized by the audio and visual storytelling beauty of movies such as “The Secret of Kells” and “Song of the Sea”. I read “Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence” by Matthew Sanford. I thumb through my dog-eared copy of “A Resilient Life: Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive with Rheumatoid Arthritis” by my friend, Kat Elton. And I learned a lot from reading “Taking Charge: Making Healthcare Appointments Work for You” by Ricky White.
I built upon my love of Sigur Ros music, and explored the some of the latest sounds coming out of Iceland. (See “Nordic Fire”, The New Yorker, May 1, 2017.) Anna Thorvaldsdottir. Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Jon Leifs. Nordic Affect. Schola Cantorum Reykjavicensis.
I played with my dogs, and enjoyed nice meals with my husband. I helped assemble the collection for this year’s RA Guy Foundation Festival of Gloves. (Exciting things to come this year!) I woke up early. I slept in later. I struggled some mornings more than others, as the temperatures continued (and continue) to drop on a daily basis.
I reminded myself that everything was okay.
And I smiled.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!