Thursday, 15 August 2013

Backwards and Forwards

Writing this morning is a pain, quite literally. My left shoulder continues to trouble me to no end. It simply will not stop stabbing and pinching and pulling and hurting. Never in my life have I had this kind of difficulty recovering from injury; never before has healing taken so long. This is just plain annoying.

The only way to shrug off this kind of pain is to manage it in my mind. Today I plan on doing that with more road tripping, with the distraction of driving and the stimulation of new places. In fact today will be my first day covering truly new places to me. The furthest I have ever gone up the north shore of the St. Lawrence has been Saint Simeon, where in 1995 we caught the ferry to Riviere-du-Loup on the Gaspé side. This time I plan on going all the way to Baie-Comeau and then catching the ferry to Matane on the Gaspé.

Slowly I am coming to realize that this trip is my farewell tour, my memory tour. I am combining my love of the new with the many amazing memories I have of our family road trip eighteen summers ago, when my children were young, a time when being a Dad was probably the most important part of my identity. The new places are things I wanted to do then but could not. The memory places are spots along the way that trigger something special. So rather than Montreal, although it was fun and interesting, I chose Quebec City where I will always remember dinner and exploration in the old city, a time wonderfully shared with Carla and the kids.

It is also why Peggy's Cove means more to me than Halifax, why the beaches of Cavendish pull so strongly. Yet the new pulls too. I want to drive the Cabot Trail. I want to round the tip of the Gaspé. These are places that we could not get to back those many summers past. These places, places where memories are yet to be made, pull me as strongly as the ties of memories from that summer, so much like this yet so different.

It's funny how the past can be so near yet so far, like fruit on a tree just slightly out of reach, ready to be plucked, too far away. I have never really lived in the past. Perhaps this road trip is recompense for that, payback for a mind always looking forward to the next destination. This road trip is a perfection where I drive backwards by driving forwards.


  1. Just wondering; have you tried getting a massage? It may help those muscles. Just a thought.


  2. Hi Diana

    I did. The PhysioTherapist took a look at it and worked it. The muscle is fine however when she did the massage the pain shot through the roof. When I get back home they are doing a bone scan to see if there is something wrong inside the bone itself.

    My own sense of what is happening is that my ALS is slowing my body's ability to heal.