Both ways to and from Chicago, I watched the sunrise. I’ve only ever been awake to see the dawn two other times: Once on a swing when I was 18, glancing intermittently at the horizon whilst in quiet conversation after my first university cast party. Second, alone in Montreux, Switzerland, jet-lagged and wide awake, cross-legged on the shore of Lake Geneva. The third time was while my passenger fervently scoured my road map for the route towards an open border crossing. “What kind of border crossing CLOSES? Seriously??” She cried. I slipped out of the car with my camera. A long swath of pink lay stretched and soft across the sky as the first light from the sun simmered just beyond the horizon. The birds sang and moved in the trees all around me, yet the world retained it’s stillness. The fourth time was on the way back, watching the land rush past my car window, the sun rising high like a perfect dot in the sky.
In the wee hours of the morning, 52 floors above downtown Chicago I heard a quote that for me, relates directly to the experiences I just re-created for you: “You will put the star in starting over and over and over.” – Sarah Kay, spoken word poet.
Watching the sunrise and hearing this quote remind me that starting over is everyday, all the time, not just after the crisis that pulled you down into the dirt. Starting over is the norm and yet, we are taught that starting over usually means that we have failed in some way. Is it so much about 2nd chances as it is about creating that 1st chance? At any rate, one thing, at least, is clear – four times is certainly an inadequate number of sunrises for a person who’s had many years to do so. I must do better!
I am feeling much more grounded than when I left, my mind silent enough now that I’ve been able to relax into reading a book longer than I’d been able to in the last little while. The trip was a whirlwind that brought me into the homes of new friends, led to open hearted (and minded) discussions of new ideas and thoughts, my first chess game (on a board made by Indigenous Argentines no less!), mutual realizations of character with a long time friend, and a wild first drive on a six lane highway. It was also quite interesting that I was surrounded by health professionals, my friend having gone to optometry school there, I was in the midst of her peers the whole time and as it turned out, a dentist, a software developer turned med student, and a neurosurgeon. Writing it out, it seems strange that it turned out that way.
I’m downing my calcium pills with the re-introduced prednisone, especially after hearing my naturopath relate how after only two years on prednisone, she has osteopenia, a condition that is a precursor to osteoporosis. While Evil P decreases inflammation, it also decreases the formation of new bone, increases the breakdown of old bone, and decreases the absorption of calcium from food by the body. I’m at the two year mark this summer, albeit on a lower daily dosage than her, but her story reminds me of the potential that vital parts could ultimately be sacrificed for the “greater good.” My bones and I have never met face to face, but I’m pretty sure they’d like to keep all their parts intact, too. Who knows, perhaps, my pharmaceutical story will not end with any extra casualties. We must be good and wait.
My naturopath, who I will be writing about soon, has intrigued me with how alike we are in our lupus history, our personality, and as it would have it, our similar work schedule! With two appointments down, I’ve dipped my toe into naturopathic waters, my friends. I’d like nothing more than to learn with you by my side, so watch for a new category of posts called: “On the Naturopath!”
In the meantime, since you weren’t able to watch the sunrise with me, I’ve posted two pictures for you. Enjoy!