I wrote this story one evening. I was confined to my TV, and my thoughts. I had a painful tendon problem in both of my hands for more than six months, and was told to use my hands as little as possible. I'm a potter who lives in her head, for her clay. I also write. I couldn't play with my clay, but I wrote anyway.
Chickpeas, Bulgar rice, fresh roasted red peppers, that’s what she is cooking. I’m watching the Create channel, no sound, just watching.
I’m eager to try some of these menus, ones I know I can create. And the serving dishes are all of a beautiful design and color. I know I can duplicate.
I turn away from the silent TV, I look towards the empty wall at the foot of my bed. Empty wall, until my mind dumps its load upon it. Then something catches my eye. A moving object, I must take a closer look. It could be a spider. I get up, out of the solitary confined position in which I must keep my hands. Moving my hands, contained in braces, is a pain. It hurts. I inhale, deeply, then let go of an over-sized exhale against the wall.
I pull myself to a kneeling position on the bed, only to inspect a small cobweb that has snagged a corner of the plaster wall. At the foot of my bed, it moves, a little, as my breath extends to seek it.
I watch its grace, in the way it sways back and forth.
I am far from graceful; I am awkward in my pain, so I leave this cobweb alone.
In watching this cobweb, I back away, feeling the pressure to compose these menus, or construct these platters for serving. I can’t help but pine. Now I must turn off this television. Now I must lie down, seeing and feeling the pain in my mind.
Continue resting your hands
But don’t think
My heart wants to sink
I’m struck through and through, propelling pieces of me, summoning the air, not with my hands, you fool, but with a whisper.
This cobweb appeals to me
It beckons me move
I’m tired of hearing my doctor telling me
Keep those hands still
Not one more word out of you
I want to write
I want to create art
Stop, my hands tell me
Again the cobweb moves to a fro.
How long is this pain to last?
I suppose forever, if I cannot stay motionless
Go to sleep
That’s all I’ve come to know
A story, alone on the shelf
The exhale becomes the rhythm of the cobweb’s sway