A short lyric essay about being young and in pain in San Francisco
Awww I love this piece Rae. It's such a beautiful blend of light and dark tying together your chronic pain with the special way in which you treasure those around you. Definitely keep mixing in the more lyrical writing it's a true gift of yours.
This is beautiful -- it made me want to know more about the partner with whom you're sharing steps! It resonated with me as an ultrarunner because my knee has "a shelf life" with a knee replacement in the future, due to cartilage loss like worn-out brake pads, enhancing any good and mostly pain-free run I run now.
Beautiful writing, Rae. Lyricism brings so much to an essay - as you have so clearly demonstrated. God speed with the chronic pain. I have had to learn to cohabitate with the migraines that started in my late twenties. They are no longer chronic but now only come and go, but the pain is real and debilitating. I feel you and I recognize and admire your spirit to live and love fully nonetheless.
This was really beautiful, thank you so much for sharing.
On chronic pain - I have had the fortune of not experiencing it myself, but I did study and work on it for many years. I'm sure you've come across this, but there's an insightful podcast on it from Ezra Klein with Rachel Zoffness that I thoroughly recommend, especially to recommend to people in our lives who may be less familiar with what chronic pain means (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/21/opinion/17eks-ezra-klein-podcast-rachel-zoffness.html).
Yes to chronic pain four years of debilitating back pain that once under the knife to fix revealed cysts growing in my facet joints. Excruciating - lonely and depressing. Grateful to be out of that but still suffer intermittently from the residual. Thankfully there are ways to cope with it. Thanks for your essay.
This was just so touching and beautiful, thank you.
Pain is lonely, for sure. Being disabled, visibly or invisibly, in any way can be a lonely experience when we hit our limits. I’m glad you got to enjoy your walks around the pain. I’m glad your loved one has such sensitive attention to your needs. A beautiful essay, thank you.
I love the piece Rae. Refreshing change of style and pace. Very sweet and personal. I write lyrical bits now and then too (and: tags!)
As for pain -- oh hell yes. The original injury occurred over the Y2K new year, and although I had surgery to relive the primary pain, I suffered a lot through my 30's in particular and into my 40's, and still now and then when I fail to exercise properly. I appreciate your connection of lonely to pain -- it was lonely, and I know now in retrospect how being in pain kept me from doing a lot of things, and contributed to psychic pain & depression (although there were other causes as well). It sucks.
I wrote about a relapse of this sciatica that happened pretty recently ⬇️
Beautiful. I love short lyric essays including this one : )