Upright

 Answering the call to uprightness.  

Answering the call to uprightness.  

For about ten days now, I have been able to stand upright. It is such a beautiful feeling to raise my head up to the top of my spine and look around me. I have spent three months hunched over, my spine pitching forward and sideways, doing its best to escape the pain of the herniated disc below, refusing to come up. During that time I looked mostly at the floor and felt pain much of the time. When there wasn't actual pain I created suffering for myself. I have been humbled physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Then one Monday morning I woke up and stood up. So simple, so fundamental, so wonderful. I was shocked and surprised and tentatively looked about me like a man who has lost his bearings. Throughout the day as my back continued to function I felt pangs of gratitude that made me smile and sob in turn.

The days have gone on and my spine has continued to answer the call to uprightness. It feels fragile. I fear that I will be hauled back down to size. My confidence is delicate. Part of me feels more comfortable and familiar with the pain and misery. I can do that. I can exist. I can battle through. That's a story I identify with, that I'm attached to. I don't want to raise my head up again only to come crashing back down.

Certainly there is still some pain. Significantly reduced but there nonetheless. Some muscles in my body are still in spasm and my pelvis is out of alignment. I have lost my natural lordosis, the sting of sciatica continues to pull me out of sleep and my energy is low, depleted by my body's crisis.

But each morning I get up. I stand up straight, and I smile. I'm grateful. I look out of the window at the beginning of the new day and I take another speculative step into my own new beginnings, where perhaps I don't have to fight so hard. Let's see.

Ben Parkes2 Comments