1 Cricket 2 Passive Pain 3 Collagen / Whole 30

1) Last night we had a cricket* in our bedroom. Or perhaps in the wall of our room. The sound the cricket makes is just short of shrill, and the word “chirping” does not seem to do it justice**. And this one was incredibly loud. When crickets are loud outside in the trees, I think I generally attribute the volume to multiple crickets, but this, barring the improbable possibility of a highly synchronized family of crickets in our wall, was just one cricket. He chirped for hours, was still chirping when I went to sleep, but this morning he is silent. I think he is a night-cricket. Or he is dead.

The sound of the night cricket, if you stand in the middle of our room, seems to come from several directions at once. But once you have narrowed it down to a wall, you can stand right next to the wall, facing it, with your nose almost touching it, and definitely the sound is louder in your right ear. You can work your way along the wall to the sconce, which contains a light bulb, and it seems you have reached the apex of the sound. And if you touch and turn the flower-shaped glass shade the cricket stops for just long enough that you think maybe he was inside the shade, and now as sizzled, moth-like against the bulb. But then he starts again, and the wall theory comes to the fore yet again.

2) Today in yoga, after reading a book about kids who have cancer, I thought about pain. I was thinking about pain because of the pain depicted in the book about kids with cancer, and also because I was in pain. In yoga, the strength exercises bring one kind of pain, and the stretching exercises bring another. As I get older, the pain manifests with ever smaller increments of effort or extension, but also over the years, I have learned to play with the pain a little more–or play with the surrendering part of the pain. Which is what brought me to my exact thought–or the new thought–about pain, which is that I am better at passive pain. In moderate amounts of course. I can withstand pain, and even willing increase my own pain (in moderate amounts of course), when I am relieved of the responsibility of having to do anything else–like run, or pick up a kid and feed him, etc. And by “better,” I guess I mean I can do it for longer. Because I run sometimes until it hurt and then I keep running…just not for very long. I guess I could increase my endurance with necessity. I now swim for longer that I did at the beginning of the summer, and sometimes the tedium and mild discomfort of the rhythmic breathing fades away. The activity becomes second nature, and so then it feels almost passive. Like downward dog. A little.

3) Tangentially related to the increasing difficulty of stretching, I’ve started taking a collagen supplement. Three days so far, so I can’t say if it’s having much effect, although I imagine in certain light that the backs of my hands look a little plumper and smoother. The supplement is a powder, so must be mixed with a liquid. For best results, one should drink it on an empty stomach and not eat for a half an hour afterward. I’ve just drunk it while writing this post. In a little while, I’ll make breakfast–which I’ve decided will be a kind of fried-rice concoction, except with no rice, because of the whole thirty. I will saute shredded cabbage, and then add scrambled eggs and little pieces of duck meat left over from dinner last night. Yeah, I know. But it sounds good to me. Whole 30 is going okay. This is like day ten I think. Sometimes I resent the lack of options and bread and chocolate, but I enjoy seeing the incremental change to the shape of my body. I’ve lost between four and six pound, depending on the time of day. So there is discipline involved, with denying myself the pleasure of eating certain things, but often there is not that much discipline, more distracting myself with the other pleasure–that little rush that comes with accomplishing something. Also, there are not restrictions on quantity of allowed things, so I find I eat quite a lot of almond butter. I don’t know exactly how that relates to anything, but I’m just saying.

* Or it could be a cicada. I don’t quite understand the difference, and I’m feeling too lazy to look it up right now. Maybe if you come back to this post later, I’ll have added something informative.

** As I write this, I really want you to hear the cricket chirp, so I make the effort to listen to some cricket sound effects online, but none of them really sound like our cricket. If he is still alive and lively tonight, I WILL make a short recording and add it here.

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