I had hopes of working on a new poem during Shabbat, but my body had other plans. I spent most of Shabbat lying on a heating pad, remembering that when the sciatica flares up, poetry is hard to come by.
The world becomes very immediate. Past and future both recede. I'm firmly in the now of pressing into the heating pad in hopes that spasming muscles and pinched nerve will yield into release.
I remember an on-call shift when I was doing my chaplaincy training some fifteen years ago now. I was having an allergic reaction to a drug I didn't yet know I shouldn't take, and as a result I was unwell.
In those pre-parenthood days, sleep wasn't so precious. I used to stay awake on hospital overnights. They were my opportunity to tend to people, and I didn't want to miss anyone who might need me.
So when my pager buzzed, I would go where it called. And when no one had an emergency need, I would just make my rounds again. Visit the ED again, or one of the ICUs. Someone always needed an ear.
I remember how humbling it was to discover that I couldn't walk the hospital halls in search of people in crisis. Instead I held still on the twin bed in the chaplain's room, praying no one would need me.
I'm thankful that no one needed me yesterday. I'm working on being thankful that my body is reminding me that I need to make time to stretch. This Shabbat was for gentle yoga and for lying very still.