Hearts Abroad / Hearts Abroad (Diasporas on love) / Immigrant Life / Writing

Prompts: May 2017

More Notes from the Canadian honey jar

I really dropped the ball on this honey jar business! It’s been so long that it’s lost its ball-ness. Time to play catch-up, which on my planet means cramming multiple posts worth of prompts into one post! This selection contains my musings on the similarities between heartbreak and pins&needles; and the concept of letting someone “into your life”….

Prompt #8: May 11, 2017

Breakups: like when your leg reactivates after it has fallen asleep. Who’d think that reawakening/coming alive/the blood returning would be so painful?

The reason the leg or the arm fell asleep in the first place is because you left it in one position too long. To my knowledge, no other parts of the body have this tendency to “fall asleep”.

And the reason you left it in one position too long is because it was initially comfortable (unless you were stuck in that position and had no choice), or someone else was comfortable because of your position, and you didn’t want to disturb them so you stayed in that position too long. So either you were comfortable, or someone else was comfortable – that’s why the leg or arm was left in a certain position too long. Also, you just fell asleep yourself in a certain position. But that falls under the category of ‘left in a certain position too long’.

There is a parallel to relationships in this. You get comfortable with someone, whether or not it is the right person (whether or not you know this or not), and go ‘numb’, all the while (mistakenly) thinking that you are just fine/doing well. Only when you have to ‘shift position’ (i.e. the relationship is not going well) do you realize how long you’d been ‘stagnated’ in that state. And so it hurts to ‘come alive’ again, to feel new blood rushing into/old blood rushing out of a ‘dead zone’.

The most exquisitely excruciating aspect of it is that push/pull between what you want to do more than anything in the world in that moment, which is move, and the one thing you know you must not do if you want to avoid the pain, which is move. The pain makes you desperately want to move, but movement is also the one thing (the one choice) that will cause you additional, agonizing pain. Better to ride the pain that you do have, than move a muscle and bring on a whole new wave of even more intense pain.

Kind of like when a muscle cramps? (Charlie’s horse?) You clutch that muscle (calf, toe) and just have to ride it out. Just sit in it, become as still as you possibly can, surrender to the pain, etc. etc.

What’s the worst physical pain you’ve ever felt? What did you do?

Just sitting in the pain, in the discomfort, because you know that eventually (a few minutes from now, a few months from now, it will go away.)

End of relationships, numbed limbs, all the same! You become aware of/present in that aspect of your body like you never are at any other time! (imagine walking around with that much body awareness all the time!!)

I wrote out this prompt recently, so something in my recent experience must have come to mind when I had a foot falling asleep/waking up moment like that.

WHAT DOES SCIENCE SAY??? Hmm let’s see!

  • a.k.a – pins and needles/tingling hands & feet
  • that part of the body “feels foreign”/ “paralyzed”
  • transient paresthesia, and it’s what occurs when there’s sustained pressure placed on a nerve, causing a burning or prickling sensation that goes away soon after it’s relieved (ah so it has NOTHING to do with backed up blood haha!)
  • “Honeymoon” parasthesia, which occurs when a similar peripheral nerve is compressed, happens when someone’s sleeping on your arm all night.
  • The briefest, electric shock type of paresthesia can be caused by tweaking the ulnar nerve near the elbow. (“funny bone”)
  • The signal from the nerve is interrupted, disrupted, so strange/erratic signals ( = pins and needles sensation). The blood flow is never interrupted though!
  • Because the signals are not traveling effectively, you lose the sensation of that part of the body, or get weird sensations (excessive firing of nerves)
  • “superficial” = close to the skin (like nerves in arms and legs)
  • if the nerve was compressed too long, can take months to get the sensation back (oh this is deep!)
  • the pins & needles sensation is good, otherwise you wouldn’t know that the nerve has been pressured

Prompt #10: May 17, 2017

…All my dad said was that knowing someone for a year doesn’t mean anything, you hardly know them at all. Funny, the boy was a perfectly good guy, but my dad’s automatic reaction to him was as if he was a predator, going to get me pregnant and ruin my future.

…So, it turned out that that front desk guy had long noticed that the boy was not worthy of me. But of course he couldn’t say anything. He could only make his life difficult in small ways, like always asking him which apartment he’s going to, etc. even though he came frequently.

But after he was out of the picture, the day I returned to my condo after he had cleared it of his junk, (and junk it was; one more day and i would have called 1-800-junk) he said to me that he knew the guy was no good. He drove some old-ass Honda (which I had been so grateful for because at least it wasn’t what the previous guy drove; it’s funny what we consider ‘an improvement’) but had designer clothes (actually it might have just been a designer belt, Gucci?), and in his wallet were too many credit cards. From these pieces of information, the front desk guy concluded that this guy was no good. That he was ‘one of those’ who project a false image, live beyond their means, etc. And that was why he said to me, be careful who you let into your life. I never thought of it that way before. My life/access to it as a privilege, as a specific zone/area, etc….how novel it felt to have a man not only look out for me but actually speak to me, give me advice about relationships, good solid advice. It had been a while.

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