Someday I Will Be All Right ~ BitterSweetLife

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Someday I Will Be All Right

3:13 a.m. Searching for evidence of bittersweetness, I discover I’ve been carrying it around in my DNA.

I lie on my back with a flat, weighty sensation in my stomach, as if the organs in my chest have sunk down and consolidated in a dense rectangle. When I put my hand on my belly I feel my heart pumping with bellows-like heat. The rest of me is insubstantial, ethereal periphery with a mercury core. Bits of my interior are detaching themselves and falling toward this abdominal magnet, this visceral furnace, this six-cylinder engine. The steaming works have been shoved into overdrive, gears grinding.

I don’t feel all right.

And this is a statement with philosophical weight. I’m getting older, but my body stubbornly maintains a static ideal—how fast I should be able to run, how high I should be able to jump, how well I should be able to sleep, the “normal” ease and agility of my movements… This musculo-skeletal mass refuses to adjust its expectations with age.

My body possesses, and therefore I have, an irrepressible expectation of peerless vitality. This is ridiculous but undeniable. If I were to be hit by a car and paralyzed from the waist down, my body would refuse to take this in stride. Lose a leg and imaginary toes keep tingling. Health, in a sense that extends beyond minimal function, is a demand burned into my DNA.

When I feel fit and vigorous, the conviction rises that I ought to remain this way, and become even more so: “If I keep this up, I’ll jump even higher, run even faster, get even stronger…” When my bright well-being goes missing, hope of recovery willfully moves in. Why are my genes hopeful?

Robin Hobb writes:

We eat and drink and sleep and assume that we will always rise up the next day, that meals and rest will always replenish us. Injuries we expect to heal, and pain to lessen as time goes by. Even when we are faced with wounds that heal more slowly, with pain that lessens by day only to return in full force at nightfall, even when sleep does not leave us rested, we still expect that somehow tomorrow all will come back into balance and that we will go on.

Undeniably, there is an element of strangeness here. My body balks at dysfunction, refuses to adapt and move on, mulishly looks forward to some type of ultimate refurbishment. This seems unrealistic, but I have bought into it, without having ever decided to.

I am preinclined to physical resurrection and my body sniffs at anything less. Even now, I find myself reaching for it. Indeed, I seem to be counting on it. And now that I think about it, I am. But my body always was, even before I thought about it.

As for this evening, I don’t feel all right, and this is a welcome realization. The holistic sense of lack is more than mere motor memory.

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Andrew Simone said...

Heh, there must have been something in the air last night. I, literally, paced up and down the stairs for an hour looking to do something. All my friends were busy, I did not feel like blogging, TV was not an option, and I didn't even want a beer. Nothing would satisfy, so I went to sleep (perchance to dream?). It is half of what we both long for, eh? The "lack" stretches our being and almost bursts under the weight (or wait?). It is surely true that we yearn for the ressurection in Christ, who else could satisfy?

mikeofearthsea said...

Ariel, i don't quite understand. what's up?


Ariel said...

To paraphrase oc, I'm experiencing the "wait" for Christ in the "weight" of some stomach sickness. My body isn't digging it, and refuses to buy into this condition as "normal" in the remotest way.

Consequently, I'm thinking that our hard-wired expectation of good health (no matter the odds) is oddly revealing. Where does this "biological" (illogical) sense of hope come from? I think I know the answer.

For now, anything that keeps me up at nights thinking about body-soul perfection (resurrection) can't be all bad.

I'm not planning on dying anytime soon, though. Maybe I should clarify that. :)

mikeofearthsea said...

hmmm... if you don't mind me asking a personal question, how old are you? the reason i ask is that i would think deep thoughts like yours when i was 18-22. if you're in seminary, maybe you're around 25? but then, maybe you're older - closer to 30. you definitely have more time and efficiency of mind to blog more than i think i ever could - at least for the forseeable future - and your multiple blogs and detailed description of many works indicate you've speant a substantial time at least skimming them if not reading them.

You sate advid reader and writer - and hoops player - a true renaissance man (sp?) - so, hopefully you're getting enough exercise.

i guess - as i'm 35 - i'm trying to identify with all my seminary friends / contacts who blog voluminously, and yet, occasionally spurt out a quip i can't understand. my bias assumes incoherence, but how vain to assume that what i don't understand is incoherrent (i'm pretty incoherrent - including in this posted omment - myself).

Being relitively new to the blogging game, i take long blogs (and not so long blogs) too seriously.

So... enough rambling. "i don't feel all right." hmmm... (again) That is actually profound. here's one of many responses i could offer:

from age 2-21 - i felt great. 22-25 not so great. 26-30, better. 33 (the age jesus began his public ministry) not so good again. (by "feel" i guess i would mean spiritually, physically, emotionally, whatever. at 35, i still don't "feel" me best - yet i feel my best - in the god sense. Here is a trustworthy statement i know you'll agree with. feelings = good but als feeling = "notoriously unreliable" (hank h.) So... after about 35 years, though treasuring my feelings (and certainly never going "beyond" feeling) god has me operating at a level where i "know." i know i'm sounding a little vague - i guess i'll close for now with: thanks for wrtiting bro - keep writting - it's fun responding to your writing - keep in touch with your feelings - and... let the Master lead you - whatever your feelings or dna "breakdowns..." (but you know all this already.

Gosh, i don't think i've been this incoherent or rambly for a long time. good to find your blog.



(i'll check out kansas basptist's website - thanks)

Ariel said...

26 years old, Mike. I guess I'll be finding out soon if thoughtfulness is really a function of age. And definitely, I recommend a balanced diet of books and basketball.

I'm not sure I follow everything you wrote, but it seems I should emphasize this point: The title phrase of this post should be read with the emphasis, "Someday I'll be ALL right." The ALL - holistic, delicious wellness in Christ's presence - is what I was hinting at.

In light of that approaching reality, the importance (or non-importance) of our fluctuating feelings can be seen in perspective.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife