Details in the expanse

IMG_0215Last week words came easily, like water filling a tidepool at dusk, effortless and inevitable. This week a lot of big things happened, and words got blurry. I started my fall semester. I slowly, achingly gained enough elbow flexibility to wash my face with both hands. I saw my dad go into and come out of brain surgery. I walked a lot and carried a lot, having yet to figure out how much stuff I actually need for a day of school. I ate hospital cafeteria food with my mom, and we listened to one another. I brought ice cream and morning buns to my dad (on different days), watched football (twice, on different days), and saw his determination and lucidity gradually return.

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This disease is brutal, and so are the treatments. Individual lives are at once unflaggingly strong and terrifyingly tenuous. Like the confident, floppy-leafed maple trees that shelter tiny hopeful seedlings, we live in infinite beginnings and endings. We are at once anchored to minute, temporal details and awash in the broadest expanse.

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The expanse got big this week, like a sky so wide and open that there was nothing to do but float. I gave up on explanations, and efficiency, and doing dishes, and being ahead of whatever game I’d thought was worth playing. I noticed little things. I took pictures. I met my classmates. I cried behind my sunglasses, and I found people who let me cry without them. I cooked, and ate, and laughed, and eventually even did my dishes.

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I don’t think this life gets easy, or at least it doesn’t stay that way. But it keeps
getting beautiful. Relentlessly, effortlessly beautiful, in detail and expanse.

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About solveighanson

I'm a (late) thirtysomething Plant Breeding Ph.D. student, daughter / sister / auntie, vegetable fan, yogi, sometime cyclist, and enthusiastic if infrequent baker. I started this blog in the summer of 2010 to trace my recovery from a pelvic fracture sustained in a cycling accident. That healing process was truly transformative, and since then I seem to have written mostly about the transformations that have followed. And hence the title of the blog: Don't call me a butterfly, because I'm not done changing.
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2 Responses to Details in the expanse

  1. Ruth Hanson says:

    Solveig, Thank you for sharing your thoughts . At times I feel like a hitch -hiker on your journey. I appreciate your perceptions and, at times prodding, as we seek to make sense of all the experiences we are having. I am so glad to be traveling with you. Love, Mom

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. Beautifully written. I hope the writing of it brings you peace, or at least some clarity.

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