May 23, 2024

on breaking the rules

I imagine myself hiking without pain because this is what the therapy exercise has told me to do. I do it wrong. Even my dreams know the climb is hard. I skip that and go straight to the mountaintop where I sit and become one with the vista. There’s no pain if you are nothing but landscape and beauty. Soon I will be the sunset, my pain the contrast that makes others sigh in wonder. For now, I am bright sunlight, rolling fields in the distance, and unanchored possibility. I have climbed mountains in my time. Today, I cannot walk to the mailbox without pain, and my dreams won’t be fooled into believing otherwise. I spare myself even the imagined act of walking uphill in my heavy boots that are probably making blisters on my real arthritic feet in this imaginary Eden. I have learned nothing from the exercise except that my path is my own. My imagination doesn’t easily follow rules, and that is how I have survived so far.

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