Hurt and Gladness

Today, I rode through an autumn snow flurry of falling leaves on my way to work.  A single leaf separated from the flock and slapped me sharply across the lips.  I can still feel the place where it touched me.

Yesterday, I hurt my shoulder while tumbling on the grass.  The insistent throbbing has diminished, but I can still feel it when I lift my elbow or reach back.  The pain today reminds me what it means to be alive in this body.

Today, I decided to get a tattoo.  A narrative of my life and those who came before me,  shoulder to shoulder, head to toe.  For the fierce pain of it, of course.  And to remind myself that I am here.

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