feeling the beginning of a return (to health)



It is much easier to passively consume than it is to engage creatively when one is sick*. 

I have my 365 project to keep up and that's fairly easy at this point (I'm in year three of a 365 project. What?!?!?!). Point, click, mix, post. My brain doesn't need to actively do much except decide yes or no. And making self-portraits when I'm feeling shitty gives me a serious Frida Kahlo buzz. Something beautiful out of pain. Yes. 

And Frida was so hardcore she painted when she was in the thick of it. But she also had a lot more help than I do - I'm talking servants. Private nurses. Someone set up her paint tray and easel. Someone washed her brushes. Someone brought her water and carried away her bed pan. She was flat on her back, unable to move. She had help. That's something to remind yourself, when you're feeling un-awesome because "if Frida could..." If you don't have a housekeeper and cooks and a personal nurse, a driver and an assistant - you don't have to do what Frida did. You could try. But it would be exhausting. It exhausted her and she had all that help. Do what you can do, with the resources you have and what you need. Frida didn't even paint much when she was bedridden. Just a little a day. Let go of the "should."

Still. It's awfully difficult to remind myself that I don't need to exhaust myself, to write, when I'm in the middle of it. I love writing. 

I'm not doing a poem a day project this month (decided even before I got sick - after three months, I needed a month off) but if I was, I know that it would be hard but doable. Poems can be short. Super simple short. I like super simple short poems. (I also like really long complex poems. One of my best long poems is going to be published next month at Kind Over Matter; I'll give you a head's up when it goes live.)

What's hard to write is anything that isn't about being sick. 

(Hello book writing being on pause.)

Being sick puts me right here, in this moment. Embracing what is, is the only way through. And what is is fatigue. And a complete inability to nap. Sleeping in, yes. Napping, no. Laying down is pretty much the best thing ever right now. I get up to get myself something to drink and I'm super grateful when my head hits the pillow. 

And writing is mentally exhausting. 

Mental exhaustion is real. It is just as draining, physically, as bodily exhaustion. 

Writing is just exhausting.

And so, I embrace that fact and let myself off the hook. 

(Hello days when I didn't write last week.)

And I embrace passive consumption* while I rest because engaging creatively is just too much sometimes. And letting myself rest is the most important thing, in getting over bronchitis. 

And I will be well. Soon. I can feel it coming, like a summer thunderstorm, clouds gathering and gathering until finally boom. The thunder booms, the lightning cracks and the rain pours down. 

Yes, I will be well. 

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* I'm feeling significantly better today, you can probably tell. Writing this wasn't exhausting. Though I'm still laying down and resting. I'll be doing that until I'm completely better. 

* I prefer reading to watching movies during the day, pretty much always, but since I finished the October Daye book (I was waiting for last week) in one day, I'm embracing different ways to passively consume while I wait for the latest published book in the series. Then I'll move to another series. That's how my reading habit feeds itself. 

There are days when I'm too sick to read. But those are usually the days I can sleep. (That happened at least once last week.)