Thursday, 9 April 2015

The City That Never Sleeps

My left shoulder is killing me. It hurts so much that I can barely lift my arm. It seems to get worse as I sleep, stiffening up overnight, cramping up for the morning light. The pain is not just in my shoulder, it's in my bicep as well, working its way down into my hands. I have a slighter pain on the right side, only in my bicep. It is, once again, the left side that causes me problems.

Here I am in New York City, complaining about pain. This is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, with every kind of entertainment and culture you could ask for. Every museum possible is here, every art gallery you can imagine, every kind of food and drink known to the planet. Yet here I am, slow to rise, struggling with pain, complaining.

I already know what I am going to do about this. Nothing. The pain will go away as I become more active. I won't work hard today, no driving; we are staying put for a few days so I can rest and so Katherine can see the 9/11 Memorial. I would like to see it to; perhaps enough time has passed that I can go there without the fear and anguish of loss rising within. me. I can still remember my Mom calling me to awaken me that morning, tell me to turn on the TV. I couldn't watch it then; I couldn't watch it for many years. I still have trouble watching those planes hit, those buildings fall, those people die.

My pain is slight compared with so many, those who have lived through that kind of loss. My complaint is small when seen in the light of the great tragedies of humankind. The only real difference is that this pain is mine; I'm the one who feels it. The significance of my loss is that it is mine; I am the one who bears it. Beyond that, I am minor when compared to the loss on September 11, 2001.

So in a few moments I will put on my shoes, my sweater, and my happy face. We will dive into the mass of humanity that is NYC, take the subway, get out at the new World Trade Center stop, go up into the light and see. Then we'll head to Chinatown for dinner. It will be a good afternoon and evening. Thank goodness New York is the city that never sleeps. I have a narrow waking time and want to make the most of it.

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