But back to my aches and pains.
This morning my pain and stiffness reminded me of a morning some 40 years ago, when I was only 21 living in a third floor apartment with no elevator. The night before that I had gone bowling, something I'd done fairly often as a child but seldom since junior high.
However, that next morning when I was heading off to work, I took the first step of the 3 flights down and I thought I would have to call in sick. I had to literally hang on to the railing in order to remain upright. The front of my thighs were so sore that when I stepped down onto each step I whimpered a little. I really thought I would not make it down to ground level without assistance. Evidently, although I was an active 21 year old with lots of energy and everything else that goes along with being a mere child, there were no day to day activities in my life back then that involved those same muscles in my upper legs. I felt like I was the age of my grandmother. I remember that incident like it was yesterday. If my life was a novel, it would serve as foreshadowing for today's dilemma.
I thought of that youthful 21 year old struggling down the stairs this morning when I made my way from the bedroom to the kitchen. Would I ever be able to walk normally again? My fingers recovered pretty quickly with one little Aleve, hence my typing this blog. And I was able to move around enough to boil an egg and make a cup of coffee.
In spite of running around with the grandbabies here and there I guess I have been a lot less active, than I thought for this past few weeks.
All this just proves that at my age if we don't keep moving we are doomed.
The word "stove" in this instance is the past tense of stave, which is both a verb and a noun. Sources agree that 'stave' is the plural of staff, meaning a stick. Of course we've all heard of to "stave off" and that literally means to hold back something nasty using our staffs. Most of us are familiar with the staves of a barrel, the strips of wood that make up the barrel.
"Me thinks we have hugely mistaken this matter of Life and Death. Me thinks that what they call my shadow here on earth is my true substance. Me thinks that in looking at things spiritual, we are too much like oysters observing the sun through the water, and thinking that thick water the thinnest of air. Me thinks my body is but the lees of my better being. In fact take my body who will, take it I say, it is not me.
And therefore three cheers for Nantucket; and come a stove boat and a stove body when they will, for stave my soul, Jove himself cannot."
Originally I wanted to use this quote just to illustrate stove body and stove boat, but as I read it digested it I am really quite taken by it's masterful construction, but more so by it's meaning. I understand him to be saying that while we accept that our bodies may be stoved as part of life, a vessel, as it were, nothing can take our souls. Melville speaks to the fact that we are so much more than just our bodies and this morning I say THANK GOD for that!
Also from Moby Dick the expression "A dead whale or a stove boat" described the tune the crew "pulled to" when they rowed out to get the whales.
How fitting that today I should find these quotes, on a day when I feel both like the dead whale and the stove boat.
Have a great day and keep moving!