It is surprising to what little extent the mind learns anything from the body. Vice versa, sure, all the time. Even when the body is lying still, safe and cool, the mind can make the heart race, the muscles tighten and the skin sweat. You can’t always get it to do what you want it to do, but it is listening.
The mind, however, doesn’t really give a shit what the body is up to. This is a great tune, it says, let's get up and dance! I guess that there are few of us, however decrepit, who can face an open flat field or an empty corridor and not wish to sprint to one end and back again. Similar temptations would include climbable trees or rocks in the middle of a river you're sure you could jump to in order to get across (I got in so much trouble last time I did that and I didn't even get very wet). And then there's this thing about getting lost.
I was reminded of this by a fantastic mist we had here. The temptation to walk into it and keep walking until you've lost sight of where you came from, and don't really know where you are. Dark woods are the same; the desire to wander into the darkness, to become disorientated. Whenever people say they like to travel and explore new places, or folks who like hiking about in the countryside, I imagine that's what they really mean; I want to get a bit lost in order to find myself again. Which may sound a little deeper than I believe it to be.
I tell myself off for caring about the things I can't do, especially these things which are a little frivolous. I also fantasise about taking flight but nobody is going to feel sorry for me that I don't happen to defy gravity. But it gets a lot more subtle than that. A temptation just to move about.
When I first got the electric wheelchair, I found it very difficult to keep still. Not me, not me in my body, but me in the chair. If I was waiting on a particular spot, I was inclined to shift about. It was a bad habit because the fidgeting meant engaging and disengaging the battery, which wouldn't have been very good for the machine.
And now, as my pain levels have reduced (she says, on the worst pain day in months - cursing my parents for living in a house with stairs), I find myself entertaining the more active whims for more than a passing moment. A few days without my body screaming at it and my mind forgets the experience of ten years. Let's take a little walk over there, just to see what we can see. Which is, incidentally, why I am in so much pain today.
I have to try and be good. It is many years since I have managed to get this far into a winter without some major immune disaster. I have had inexplicable crap spells, I have had colds, I have had ear, throat and miscellaneous icky yuck-yuck infections, but I keep getting over them, getting back to a level which is the best it has been in a long time. If I can only behave myself, I might be able to do a lot more by this time next year.
In other news, my computer has died, I'm borrowing my Dad's which is a rather temperamental machine and there's a good chance of getting stuck off-line for a while. Several other disasters today, too tedious to elaborate on. However, more positively, I have been rambling on these pages for two years today, so Happy Birthday to my blog. You may have noticed I converted to the new blogger this week and now have labels.
And for those interested in such things, this evening at five to seven (GMT), a French organisation called Alliance pour la Planète are asking everyone to turn their lights out and disconnect everything usually left on standby for five minutes as a gesture to demand urgent action on climate change from governments throughout the world.
Edit: After first posting this it occurred to me I might have used that Dusty Springfield line as a title to another post. I had done, but I'm tired so it'll have to do.