2013 has gotten off to a slow start. Although this forced cutting-back and drawing-in has at times been difficult, there have been advantages in this withdrawal as it has forced me to look within and reevaluate the paths in which I, the inner person who is Mardel, interracts with the external world. In doing so I have hopefully begun the process of dismantling that disconnect that has seemingly always existed between who I am, my talents and passions, and the persona I present to the world.
I could say that all this is due to a bad back, and such a statement would in fact be partially true. My back has been bad. I did something when decorating the Christmas tree, reaching in to hang an ornament, and started an extended spiral of back pain that continues still. I didn't know then what I know now. I tried to exercise, as I have in the past, with some success, only to push myself too far and start another backward spiral. It is better now. I am on the long road back to health, knowing far more about how my own quirky architecture works, as well as how to protect and strengthen it. I am determined. Obvious as it is, I had neglected to accept that my own physical self and its congenital anomalies shape who I am as much as do thoughts and feelings. I cannot be who I am despite my back, just as I cannot be who I am apart from the world. I must be the person I am with my back and in the world. As easy that sounds, and as easy as it is to write that sentence, living with and in oneself and in the world is never actually easy.
However I also recognize that were I still living in Hyde Park, nice as that community was, and would be had my circumstances and my inner ability to deal with them been better, I would be suffering more. Much of my ability to use this time to my advantage has come about becasue of my move to Knoxville, the welcoming community at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, and the friends I have found. For this I am thankful. Although I did not think I wanted to move here, and I fought this move in my heart even as I packed, it is obvious to me now that this is exactly where I need to be.
There will finally be more posts coming up in the pipeline. To start, this week I will finally catch up with reading for the first two months of the year. Neither post should be lengthy as I have only finished 6 books this year, although there are far more than this piled up by my bedside. Afterwards, we shall see....