Tai Chi Y2D128: the deep work

There’s tightness in my lower back this morning. I hurt. I don’t know if it was sleeping on an air mattress in the woods from Wednesday to Sunday that did it, or dancing and singing for the same time. But somewhere, somehow, I injured my lower back and it hurts today.

So I’m sitting with my hurt today, post tai chi and with a cup of coffee, trying to make sense of what hurts and why. It’s localized pain, not a broad ache. It’s not directly on or in my spine (just a little to the left of it). It’s between my lower back and my buttocks. It’s most noticeable when I’m standing. There’s a pulling sensation between this localized, muscular or tendonal pain — and the big round dome of my belly.

There are probably physical therapists and body workers who could tell me exactly what’s wrong. By reading this description, or watching me walk, they’d know what to work on. For me, it’s still a bit of a revelation. My body clues me in about all sorts of things, all the time.

At least, now it does. It didn’t used to. The hurts used to be general, non-localized, non-specific, and more uncomfortable than genuine pain. It’s a complicated thing: is it better to know, or not know and not care, where one hurts?

I think it’s better to know. But it seems to be a gift of uncertain provenance, and uncertain worthiness.

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