Friday, December 11, 2015

30 days of gratitude, day 11: those old familiar rags

I have a backlog of posts that will eventually appear, once I double-check spelling and grammar and have a few minutes to breathe. But tonight...

It's a Friday evening; so many things to be grateful for on this quiet evening at home. I've pulled on my favorite pair of sweatpants, nearly worn thin after 23 years of use. I remember buying them in college, sometime in the fall of 1992.  The elastic waistband's failed; the fabric's disintegrating. El Bandito keeps trying to convince me to discard them, and if I were moving somewhere, if drawer space were really an issue, or hell, if I was assessing them realistically instead of sentimentally... they'd be gone.

But they're comfortable. Easing into your own skin comfortable.  I've got a sweatshirt I inherited from S. that has the same ripped, disintegrating, and yet... home-ishness. For years, I had a pair of jeans that I borrowed from Jote on one of our last shared days of college and never had a chance to return. Banana Republic, way back then They were close to a perfect fit, already broken-in. I did try to give them back, but we'd gone on separate paths and didn't reconnect for a while. Eventually, they disintegrated, as well-worn and well-loved jeans do, and when not only the knees, but the butt and the inseams ripped... I had to admit they were done, as much as it kind of hurt to do so. It was not only the memories of many days across several years, but the association with a friend who replaced my champagne-sodden pants with clean, dry jeans and a perfect understanding...

These sweatpants... I should admit they're done too. But they're a comfort, a reminder of time past, and when they really won't stay up anymore, even with the drawstring knotted...  I'll say goodbye, and the next pair, I'm sure I'll say "they don't make 'em like they used to", though they may last just as long in just as disreputable condition. That's not the point.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

30 days of gratitude, day 3

Sports medicine.
I don't know at one point I realized I was an athlete, but I have come to accept it as true.

I haven't actually had that many injuries as an adult, but the ones I've had have been doozies.  Torn shoulder ligament, grade 2-3 ankle sprain and high ankle sprains.

And now, the reminder of my youth -- the osteoarthritis that was predicted in my teens from the damaged knees has made itself known.

I've been working on strengthening and stabilizing the more-affected knee in physical therapy, and that's helped.

But going to sports medicine specialists? They get it.  They understand that it's not a matter of *not* doing something, it's figuring out how to minimize pain and damage as a consequence.

They think this circus stuff is crazy, and that running is... probably not the optimal activity for me... but they're helping reduce the pain and make it easier for me to do the things I love.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

30 days of gratitude: day 2, TK

This isn't, despite the photo, specifically a post about circus, and the gratitude I have for all that it's brought to my life.

It's about the sheer joy I have seeing this woman, friend and travel companion extraordinaire, back on the trapeze after 11 months of rehabbing an injury.

I  know, from my own history of injuries, just how hard it is to be patient.  Or how easy it is to think about just giving it up.

She has an ear-to-ear grin when she's in the air, and I am so happy for her return. She's not ready to rejoin me as a doubles-partner yet, but hopefully that will come eventually.  In the meantime, I get to enjoy her love for the trapeze and her thrill at being back.

(see also, last year, day 13)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

30 days of Gratitude: Day 1. Remembrance.

A year later, I step back to this space. Jote's 30 Days  always makes me think, and I love seeing how the idea has spread amongst my friends.  I let this blog founder for the year, despite so many stories to tell.

But this... I could do this project on instagram, or even Facebook, but I like separating it a little from the fleeting nature of those forums. Even if this is neglected, less written in, less read... it's also a little more present.

Today's World AIDS Day, and it breaks my heart that we need such a designation.  We've come so far.  It's not like the bleak early days when it was "the gay plague", not like the late years of high school and early college days when it felt like friends and friends of friends were dying too often, too quickly, too young. But just because it's not ... I was about to say, because it's not in my current circle of friends, family and acquaintances... but now, it's so much more manageable that it may well still be present and just not really discussed.

More manageable. Still deadly. Still heartbreaking. It's a day that I remember those young lives cut short, those fresh faces of my own youth, and applaud the people who remain activists in some form or another.

And it's for them, and for the remembrances, that I'm grateful on this first day of December.

Monday, December 22, 2014

gratitude, day 22.

That I am married to the kind of guy who will share his umbrella with a stranger at the bus stop.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Gratitude, Day 20


... that so much, big and small, of the last 5-10 years of my life can be summed up with "I had planned to ________, but I trained circus instead." 

Damn everything but the circus!

...damn everything that is grim, dull,
motionless, unrisking, inward turning,
damn everything that won't get into the
circle, that won't enjoy, that won't throw
its heart into the tension, surprise, fear
and delight of the circus, the round
world, the full existence... 


- e.e. cummings
 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

tk (gratitude day 13)

for a friend, a travel companion, a cat-sitter extraordinaire, a drinking pal, a trapeze partner.

and this. the reason we do these crazy things, hanging from each other's hands. The grace. The bringing in to being.


We talked about the fact...

by Robert Lax
We talked about the fact that
it wasn't the danger,
it wasn't the skill,
it wasn't the applause
that made the act what it was.
It was principally the grace;
the bringing into being,
for a moment,
the beautiful thing,
the somersault,
the leap,
the entrechat on horseback.
The skill,
of course, has something to do
with it. It is pleasant
to know you can do anything
so difficult. It is good when you
have mastered it, and you are
really in competition with yourself.

"When we make a mistake in
the ring we are very angry. The
audience doesn't know, but we
know."

But it is a pleasure
to do anything
so difficult
and do it
gracefully.
"We talked about the fact..." by Robert Lax from Circus Days & Nights. © The Overlook Press.