Independence day

longhorn beetle

Tired of dodging the persistent longhorn beetle, I finally let it land so it could verify that I was not a tree. Recovering from a week of crippling lower back pain, I was celebrating my personal Independence Day a day late, but the forest still had claims on me. I remembered the Sunday before, how my back had gone out just as I was sitting down, and the flies had landed on me just the same. We are little more than large and awkward guests in a world of insects, I sometimes think. If only we all had exoskeletons instead of these troublesome, tree-like spines!

This is how the recovery happened: I had laid down Saturday afternoon and unexpectedly fell into a deep sleep, though I had gotten plenty of sleep the night before. I dreamed I was inching across one of the high barn beams despite my bad back, a burning cigarette dangling from my lips. My father came into the barn, spotted me in the rafters, and said, “So that’s what you meant by a spiritual retreat!” When I woke up, the pain was already beginning to recede.

Fourth of July:
fireflies flash, fireworks boom,
the moon turns to fuzz.

10 Comments


  1. Hmm. I’ll recommend this to my clients, but barns are a little scarce in urban Portland. (But of course, if you only need to dream them, I’m sure they can manage!) :-)

    Reply

    1. Getting the right dreams on command might be challenging, at least if you forego psychtropics.

      Reply

  2. “We are little more than large and awkward guests in a world of insects, I sometimes think.”

    I just snagged that for the quote randomizer on my site. Also, your jeans are very clean.

    Reply

    1. Well, that patch of my jeans happened to be clean that day. It may not be representative.

      Reply

  3. Sorry about your back, best of luck for continued recovery.

    I’ve been having some lower back pain for a couple of months now, but it’s hardly crippling — just annoying.

    Reply

    1. Maybe you need to see someone like Dale, then. That doesn’t sound good.

      Reply

      1. OWell, the original, worse, pain seems to have been just a strain or knot, which went away over a few weeks. The annoying, persistent, remnant, turned out to be from… my hemorrhoids. <sigh>

        Reply

Leave a Reply