To be more accurate, these are “after” thoughts. There was no In-Between because I was stuck on a treadmill. Walking. For 30 minutes.
I grumble, but in truth it felt really good. Remember when I said my sciatica was getting better? NOPE. Reality caught up with my denial. I have a big ol’ herniated disc pressing on the right root of my sciatic nerve so… yeah. No weight-bearing activities for me for a while. No running. (SOB) No Insanity. I can’t deny that I’m more than a little blue about it.
BUT I can walk and bike! It’s recommended, in fact. So I did. I found it enormously therapeutic (physically and psychologically) to get a workout in, even if it was of such low intensity. After being out of commission for a few weeks, my body is desperate to move and sweat. The endorphins my walking workout released is easing my pain a bit, too, so I am very happy about that. Friday I get an epidural for the pain (why get pregnant when you can just get THE DRUGS) and I am feeling almost optimistic about my healing. KNOCKS ON ALL THE WOOD AND ALL THE NON-WOOD AND ON ALL THE SENTIENT CREATURES TAKING UP RESIDENCE IN MY HOUSEHOLD (EXCEPT FOR THE COCKROACHES).
Thankfully, I found that dumbbells are not the source of my gym thought powers! C.S. Lewis, Nietzsche, Thoreau, and Wordsworth are right: walking is great for thinking.
1. I love it when themes materialize in my reading. Right now I’m reading The Plague and The Hot Zone. Maybe my physical maladies are taking over my subconscious and making me reach for the scary illness books for some odd form of consolation. I may have a herniated disc, but at least I don’t have Ebola!
2. I read a psychology.com article the other day noting that much of what we would call empathy is actually just projection. I have been thinking about that ever since. I’ve always considered empathy to be somewhat imaginative, in that I am feeling what I imagine it would feel like to be in that person’s situation. But perhaps that is not actually empathy. Maybe I am just as imaginatively emotive as I am empathetic (because I am still strongly empathetic, especially when someone makes it clear what they are thinking and feeling). I can also see why the tendency to project ourselves onto others while calling it empathy can be dangerous and even harmful. I can see it really operating in situations of diversity and intersectionality. I want to be careful to preserve other people as “other” people in my minds, in the sense of being their own people and not unintentionally reducing them to extensions of my self-knowledge or imaginings.
3. I said I loved Hegel but now I hate Hegel and I want to light his impenetrable prose on fire and glare-at-slash-dance-manically-around the ashes. I think he’s both the worst and best of Continental philosophy. Bravo, Hegel, you opaque bastard.
4. I accidentally snapped an anthurium flower off my potted plant and almost cried. It was my favorite bloom, such a bright, waxy, shiny, unapologetic, bold, passionate red. Rest in beauty, sweet petal. May Thor and a choir of flaming horses welcome you to Valhalla.