Over the past three days I have been descending deeper into a mood of blue. It comes now and then, out of the non-blue, usually following a period of bliss where the colours are more vibrant, the air is sweeter and there are no days, only continuous joy and adventure punctuated with periods of restless sleep.
I try not to be too hard on myself when these downward snippets occur. And I try, and usually fail, to not be too hard on the people around me, as well. But the days when I don't want to get out of bed always come around on days when I need to get out of bed, which actually is lucky and very helpful, though completely undesirable at the time.
Life is heavy with assignments, and will be for the next few weeks. I am unable to leave them at home when I go out, and I feel a little shorter from carrying their weight around with me. But at the same time, I wouldn't have it any other way; I delight in their presence, in the opportunities they are giving me to learn, to explore the subject I love, and their weight is a constant reminder that I care; that right now I am doing the right thing, and rather masochistically, I am enjoying the slight destruction it brings.
But, as with every challenge anyone ever faces, it is making me unnervingly aware of my limits. It is not coming naturally; the thoughts are not in my head, and thus I am stilted and frustrated by my lack of knowledge.
To add to this frustration, I cannot run far without intense pain. Two weeks ago I ran ten miles, and now I can't run ten kilometres without experiencing pain that literally makes me nauseous and watery-eyed. I don't run to keep fit or to stay in shape, they are just added-extras to something much bigger, something I can't explain. Murakami explained it well in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running; only runners understand why runners run. But more than just feeling frustrated and locked in, this injury is making me greatly aware of my body's power over me. I realize now that my body is in many ways independant of me; it does what it likes, sometimes it takes control and says 'no', and I have to listen and give it what it demands, or put up with the consequences. And I know that this continuing injury is the consequence of not listening in the past. I've finally made an appointment with my physio, and a cheeky part of me is hoping that this will be enough to satisfy my knee, and maybe it will let me run tomorrow...
Together, all three of the above have contributed to a bout of loss-of-self. Usually I am charged with energy and enthusiasm and self confidence, but not today; today I am doubting every inch of my being. There are some remedies which, when applied in vast quantity, work without fail, and I am now waiting for some results after applying some of my favourites: mashed potato, baked beans, yoga, a chat with my Mum, writing about it all. Fingers crossed for a speedy return-to-self.