Sometimes I can keep track of things by the moon; I’ll see the full or new moon as some event happens, and then I’ll see the next month’s moon and be aware of the passage of time. Right now I have this awareness with the firsts of the months. It’s easy to do this during the first part of the year. January 1st is a holiday; February 1st is the day after my birthday; March 1st is exactly 28 days later, so it falls on the same day of the week.
Today is Sunday. It is snowing, and I don’t have a headache (one came courting yesterday but did not linger or materialize overnight). The following reflection was written one month ago. It was another snow-covered day (also without a headache):
While some of our forest walks were on the sides of mountains, we drove up to the top of a mountain to walk only once.
Hurricane Ridge - 5,242'
Overall, we saw a lot of overcast, grey skies, light rain, and patchy fog on this trip, but our day on Hurricane Ridge was clear and dry. We brought lunch with us (leftovers from breakfast), and we sat in the visitor center to eat because it was a little too cold to sit out. But it was not to cold to walk.
Forests (& rivers, lakes, & waterfalls)
After three years of regular visits to a small corner of the Olympic Peninsula, I thought that my love of the place had to do with the beaches and the mountains. In planning this recent trip, I realized that we might have some pleasant experiences with forests too - I had no idea what we were in for.
ONP = Olympic National Park
I had dreamed of long peaceful walks on the beach, exploring tide pools, and admiring colorful beach stones.
The weather and the tides had other plans though.
I'm not afraid of flying - even though that might be the craziest thing a normal human does - to go so fast and be so high.
When I rode a small fishing/working boat six miles into the Atlantic from the west coast of Scotland to visit the Isle of Staffa, I wasn't afraid. Despite the rough sea splashing into the boat, the wind, and the cold, I felt more invigorated than fearful.
But riding as a passenger on a two-lane twisting highway in dense fog on a very dark night terrifies me.
I have anxiety dreams before I travel. More than once I've dreamed of not having my passport once I get to the airport, or not having packed in time and hurriedly throwing things into a bag and forgetting cell phone charger or money and credit cards. I'm nervous about being late and missing a flight or a train. But the real dangers of travel, the things that could actually hurt me, don't worry me at all.
Walking before dawn
I woke up early enough that I headed out for my walk a good half-hour before sunrise. I knew that the moon was full, so I turned west as soon as I could to see the setting of that round celestial body. But it wasn't round at all. I could see its fullness - the full circle of its edge - but only a tiny sliver glowed as a full moon should. Could I really have stumbled onto a lunar eclipse?
Surely not - surely I would have known if the moon was going to eclipse this morning. Surely someone I know would have posted about it on FaceBook, at least. I used to pay attention to these things. The phases of the moon and the turning of the seasons used to matter to me a great deal. How could I be surprised by a total lunar eclipse?
No headache is no headache
My last post suggested some tyranny of the constant threat of headaches - it isn't really true. That's just drama and poetry.
Only when I'm having a headache do I feel overwhelmed by the multiplicity and mystery of causes and symptoms.
When I have no headache, I don't worry about them at all. I am not shackled by some worry or threat.
There is a clear separation between times of headaches and times of peace.
A High School Headache
I can't remember when I started having headaches, but by the time I was in high school, they were a regular part of my life.
I remember that I took a lot of Advil in high school and probably in middle school too. Because of the way they rattle in the bottle and have a sweet coating, I use to referred to them as candy. Now I am far more cautious - stomach bleeding is something I actually worry about.
So, even though I don't know when the headaches started, the headache story I tell here was far from being the first headache - this was just of particular note.
Something to blog about...
I started this "Pathways" blog for complicated reasons, but I've just realized that perhaps I have something real to write about after all... Last night I got lost down the wormhole of internet research - when a simple search leads you to something else and something else and something else. I started with questions about a vitamin and ended up reading about Cluster Headaches (CH).
Wine Town and Gelato Festival
- a souvenir -
As "Wine Town" festival participants, Brian and I each got a nice wine glass to carry around Florence with us. (We also each got a pouch on a necklace so we would have a place to store our glasses between tasting venues. I'm not kidding - we had wine glass jewelry.) We brought these glasses back home with us, and in the past year, they have been our favorite wine glasses. I write this post now, because one of them was broken tonight.
Like so many of our days in Florence, we stayed in the apartment through lunch, and then ventured out for the evening. Both the Wine Town festival and Gelato Festival began the day before, and we already had our tickets (and wine glasses). We went through Piazza Santa Maria Novella and Piazza Republica, which were common parts of our walk, and we sampled a few varieties of gelato. Our main goal, though, was to see as many of the performances associated with the wine festival as we could. Tastings of wine were not cheap, and so we had no more than our initial tickets provided - maybe 7 over two days.
Performances and Wine at Palazzo Vecchio
In a room of Palazzo Vecchio, in which we had never been, we saw a couple of unusual dance performances. I find it difficult to describe the first - I hope the pictures help. The central male dancer was strapped into a very large hemisphere of steel. Instead of having his feet on the ground, his lower half was converted to round ball; as he leaned and twisted, he could roll the ball around in a dance.