Armour Suit III

My trial run for this vacation is swimming 400 yards. The swim is slow but fine. However, at 4:30 am I start having vertigo and throwing up. Have to cancel clinic. Lasts about 4 hours. Not reassuring for our Christmas plans.

My daughter has her wisdom teeth out on Monday before Christmas, so is instructed to not exercise heavily for five days. I got dry sockets and was sick as snot in college, but mine were much more impacted. She does fine, stops the hydrocodone in 24 hours, and drops to a 200mg ibuprofen three times a day by Christmas. On with the ski plans!

We head for a family resort on the east side. Up to to slopes on a hotel ski bus the first day, renting skis. For the first time ever, my goal is to ski gently. I have been skiing since age 9, but have not skied in five years and had two major bouts with strep A that affect my muscles. The second time my fast twitch muscles didn’t work for ten months. The first goal was to survive and the second is will I get my muscles back?

I rent downhill skis. Last time I skied telemark, but they don’t have any to rent, and anyhow, tele is harder. In college I had 190cm dead straight Heads for downhill, so now they rent me 163cm skis. We ride the lift up. 20 degrees at the top, an inch of new snow on groomed slopes and gorgeous. And… I can ski.

I am trying NOT to engage the armour suit. My massage person thinks that’s what made me sick swimming, reengaging it and just trashing my muscles. He’s right, I think. I just swam the way I always have, but slowly. My goal down the hill is NOT to fall into old patterns. I ski gently, let the skis do much of the work, carving swoopy turns. Every so often I get quickly and feel the suit kicking in and I back off. I drag my right pole for balance when I am tired.

My daughter asks for pointers on our third or fourth run. She has not skied for five years either. She is doing the work and I show her how to finish a turn using the curve of the ski. Finishing the turn lets her slow down, so she gets the swoopy feel in the turn but doesn’t lose control. On the lift we watch people. Nearly everyone drops their hands. Try turning your lower body with your arms dropped behind. Doesn’t work. Hands and shoulders down the hill and let the lower body do the turning….

I can ski! I ski with my toes lifted, not curled and gripping the ground. It changes my balance and I have to pay attention not to engage the suit. By 11 I want food and on the chair at 2 I am on my last run: I can feel the cold through my coat. We have a few more days, save energy. Also my right shin is informing me that I’ve bruised the crap out of it…

And the next day! Bruised shin, but more skiing, still gently. Now I have hope that I will get muscles back! Hooray for hope! Hooray for skiing toes up! Hooray for skiing without armour!

at the end of the massage

at the end of the massage
I was dreamy and he put a warm towel over me
and said that I was not to get up until
my body had absorbed all of the heat from the towel
and he left the room

and I thought dreamily that it was so nice
to have my armor removed and muscles unlocked
and to just be assigned to let warmth seep in to me
until I held it all

and I thought dreamily that if all of the archetypes
are in each of us and I am learning to love all of mine
and even and especially the most horrific ones the ones
we all want to reject, not mine, the monsters, oh, poor monsters
that howl in the wilderness that howl in the dark that howl
to be loved

and I thought dreamily that if I love all of the archetypes
inside me then they aren’t a group that is around a table
in my mind, when they are all loved they come together and I
am one and everything is one

and I thought dreamily that how surprising that I felt one
quite suddenly and with no warning and with warming and oh
Beloved all connected

and I thought dreamily that was I really feeling healed as if
all of the splits and breaks and damaged are healed just by
love and I can add to the love in the world loving the inside
terrible parts of myself oh and the monsters long to be loved so
their weeping is terrible

and I thought dreamily blessings monsters blessings Beloved and
love to all and I lay there until I had absorbed all of the warmth
from the towel

and I got up slowly

and returned to the world