…No, not the song!

My treat after a hard year and after exams are done is to get a massage.  Today, I had what was quite possibly the best massage I’ve ever had.  My back is usually just the part of my body between my neck and waist, which is opposite my stomach, but during the course of several academic terms and long flights, my back becomes the place where I hold all my stress and anxiety.  Of course, I neglect this part of my body, except for long stretches during yoga.  However, on days like this, when all that pent-up stress is released, my back becomes this force radiating calm and strength.

Having all that bad stuff removed from my muscles made me wonder where else I carry negative feelings or tension.  My heart certainly has its fair share of bruises and scrapes from confrontations with family, friends, and exes.  There are still some situations from years ago that I repeat in my head too often.  There are physical scars from surgeries, falls, and interactions with scared kittens.  My tongue has remembered some tastes I’d rather not have experienced, such as garum in sophomore year Roman history class.  Likewise my nose.  (Burnt popcorn and fried food on a small train?  No, thanks.)

My body has its problems, like with my knees, and I have come to accept that.  However, my feet have carried me all over Italy and England.  My hands have flipped through thousands of pages and written copious amounts of papers, and have nurtured and nourished young animals on the brink of death.  They have been burnt, almost frozen, painted, mittened, and muddied.  They’ve held others’ hands and prayed in churches over four countries.  Come to think of it, I love my hands.

Even though television is quick to suggest methods of making your feet, hands, head, nose, and, back feel better, each sore muscle and patch of skin has memories from my life.  Those scars, seen or unseen, have made me who I am today.  I should remember that my knee injury put me in the position to meet some of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and led to my current path.

I think a sore back is totally worth it.

I steal from the rich and give to the needy.
He takes a wee percentage, but I’m not greedy.
I rescue pretty damsels, man, I’m good.
What a guy, ha-ha, Monsieur Hood!

(From Shrek)

And, P.S.  That Robin Hood paper is done!  Woo-hoo!  I’m currently trying to wait patiently for my grades and for news about a scholarship at Durham.  However, I think the hard part about having nothing to do is waiting for the next thing.  Of course, I’ve been at my computer checking my e-mail and transcript every hour.  I think part of it is that I think I did good work this quarter and on my scholarship essay, and so I’m eager to see how my work was evaluated.  I’m uncertain if I’ll actually take the scholarship, as that would mean being in a different college (College of St Hild and St Bede instead of Ustinov College) and a different set of college-mates (mostly undergrad instead of completely postgrad), but it is funding…

I’ve been done and on summer break since Friday afternoon, and have no academic responsibilities until Saturday morning.  Then, it’s back to Washington for summer quarter.  I’m actually in a hurry to be away from this stifling heat, but I haven’t been home since before Thanksgiving, and so am really enjoying being home.