And so today’s moment of happiness despite the news.
Today ended up being a celebration of creativity, a revel in the difference. With what I do, with who I am, I am simply surrounded by creatives. I love the way some minds bend and turn around corners, when things are seen in a way they aren’t usually seen, when the unimagined becomes the imagined and then the reality. Because I’m surrounded by it, there are times I grow so used to creativity that the unusual becomes the usual. And then things happen that remind me that the people around me use their heads in different ways. Wonderful ways.
The first came right out of my own home, from my husband. Since the surgery last Tuesday, I’ve been unable to sleep. I couldn’t rest on my right side, the side that was operated on. I am a side-sleeper, and because of fibromyalgia, I flip from side to side frequently during the night. Too long on one side and I’m in pain, particularly in my hip and shoulder. But now there was pain in my breast and on my incisions if I pressed them into the mattress. As a result, I was stuck on my left side, only sleeping about an hour to an hour and a half at a time. I’d wake up in pain and have to pace for a while, working out the complaining muscles. Then I’d return to bed for another short sleep before I had to walk again. Five nights of this left me frazzled and exhausted. “Rest!” people kept telling me. “How?” I wanted to shout back.
My husband puzzled over this with me. I tried to sleep one night on the recliner, which didn’t work either. Same issue – not enough movement. But Michael got out his airplane pillow for me to use, one of those horseshoe-shaped pillows that go around your neck so you can sleep sitting up in an airplane. The night after the recliner failure, he took a second look at his pillow.
“Maybe you could use this,” he said. He flattened it, and just like that, it was a different thing. I could see where my breast would fit in the horseshoe-hole, supported all around by the pillow, so that there would be no compression.
It was the birth…of the BreastRest.
Last night…oh, did I sleep. I was able to turn. I woke up pain-free.
I love my husband.
Then came creativity burst number two. I was reading a student’s story, one she just started, about a woman who has an encounter with a raindrop. Yes, you read that right…a raindrop encounter. That was wonderful enough, but then I came across this sentence:
“It looked like a bird-wannabe perching on my finger in a blob sort of way.”
And I sat straight up and laughed!
Sometimes, creativity comes out in the most straightforward, plain-speaking, just shout-it-out way. Writers especially tend to think they need to load their creativity up with fancy words and fancy sentences and multi-syllables and descriptions. This student could have said:
“The raindrop, iridescent, ethereal, perched like a rare luminous bird on my ring finger, a wedding ring of surprise and startle. Its shape was curvaceous, its moistness saturated my skin with a tenderness like no other, and I longed to know…” you know, what the hell a raindrop was doing on my finger.
But this writer didn’t. Instead she captured an unlikely moment in lovely language that left no doubt what it was her character was seeing.
I’ve taught this one well, Grasshopper.
So this afternoon, I sat on my third floor deck, steeped in sunshine. My Starbucks was to my side, I had student manuscripts in my lap, and I was well-rested. I’d slept in a BreastRest. I was reading about raindrops that wanted to be birds in a blob sort of way. I was warm and I was happy and I was delving in other’s creativity and I was the beneficiary and it just felt so good.
I love my life.
And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.