Category Archives: Marie Forest

July 3 – Pain and Pleasure: Two Sides of the Same Coin

by Marie Forrest

I feel my eyelids bathed in the morning light and I realise that the sleep mask has slipped off my face yet again. I lie there and wonder “Does it slip off by itself, or do I push it up on my forehead myself?” I think the same thing every morning. I peel my eyes open hoping the rain has finally stopped, and I am overjoyed to see sunlight peeking through the curtains. “Yes! I can finally hang the wash out today instead of draping clothes across the radiators and on the clothes horses strategically stabled near the dehumidifiers. The Irish sun is known to be fickle, but such a long absence is unusual in June.

I finally try to move under the covers and the pain instantly snaps me back from my sun worship and into the heavy, leaden feeling of my limbs. I close my eyes, take a deep breath and call upon the Qi, the universal energy to enter my body. As I inhale, I see a golden shower of light entering through my crown, and as I exhale, I feel it rush through my body, entering my chest and abdomen first, then my arms and legs and lastly I feel my finger tips and toes tingling with a warm buzz. I concentrate the golden light around the most intense areas of pain, my right foot that was crushed some years ago in a motorcycle accident, my left knee, still painful from the surgery 27 years ago that was supposed to have me back in action in three months’ time, but instead, ended a promising dance career, and finally my low back and neck, injured in a car accident 30 years ago. I hold the golden energy in these places, caressing the pain from the joints and releasing it down to the finger tips and toes and out into the earth to ground and renew. As the pain eases the energy moves through the rest of my muscles affected by the fibromyalgia. They gradually smooth and lengthen out of the cramped corners where the retreated during the night. Another deep breath and I am able to stretch my arms and legs in opposite directions, and the bones pop into place. The aches subside enough to sit up in bed just as I hear my husband’s tread on the stairs. He stands at the door with not one, but three cups of tea – one for himself and two for me. He smiles and kisses my forehead as I eagerly grasp the cup of tea. I take the first sip and savour it for a fleeting second before guzzling the rest, enjoying the feel of it sloshing down my throat and warming my belly. My husband hands me my second cup. His own cup is still untouched as he sits on the edge of the bed, ready to join me in our companionable morning tea ceremony. I am finally ready to say “good morning”.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Marie spends most of her time in Ireland with her husband, living near the town where he grew up. After 4-years of receiving the SCN newsletter, Marie finally joined the network and is looking forward to the classes, writing circles and the opportunity to meet other women writers.