Inertia- as defined by Websters- "physics : a property of matter by which something that is not moving remains still and something that is moving goes at the same speed and in the same direction until another thing or force affects it."
I've always had it, or felt like I did. Certainly not first thing in the morning, but once I was up and running, I could always just keep going. When I was younger it wasn't unusual for me to work 12 or 14 hours a day. 16. I didn't need to. I wanted to.
The last 14 months have been a lesson in the other side of it. An object at rest stays at rest. In December of 2012 I was diagnosed with cancer in my vocal chord. What? Me? C'mon, obviously a mistake. Never a smoker, moderate drinker, damn near vegetarian, lots of exercise…… c'mon!
Nope. Doctor Haben was right. Two surgeries later…. and what? It appears that the good doctor got it, auguring my throat with his trusty laser. Turns out my system does NOT like morphine. Or much of any drug. And my head…. well my head spent a lot of time thinking about life and where I was. I don't think it's possible to have cancer associated with yourself and not spend time contemplating your mortality. My momentum came to a halt.
When Darby told a friend of hers, the friend responded, I thought he was unstoppable.
I did too.
After a couple months of that it was enough- enough of the depression, the mortal questions. I knew where I was, where I was trying to go. But still, I couldn't shake off the inertia. I felt like I plodded through last year.
Muddle-headed and stuck in first gear, I ground through the year. I read very little, one of my favorite pastimes and the driver of much of my thinking. About the end of November, Darby read an article about the side affects of Prilosec (I'd been taking it as a potential preventative for acid reflux for the cancer in my throat). It can interfere with the body's ability to process B12 and protein, which interferes with short term memory. Muddle. I talked to Dr Haben about it, and he suggested after getting past my next adventure we try dropping it.
So, that next adventure? A year later, almost to the day of the first cancer surgery, I went in to have my knee replaced. Something I've been putting off for a long time- I destroyed it in highschool. While on the blood thinners and pain killers for the knee surgery, I forgot to take my Prilosec. A couple weeks after the surgery I'd had enough of the side effects of the painkillers and dropped them. And a few days later, it felt like a fog lifted.
I've been sidelined by the need for rehab of my knee, but it's coming along really well. I'm back in the studio for two sessions every day, held up as much by the brutally cold winter and poorly insulated studio as my swelling joint. But the inertia is changing, from a body at rest to a body in motion. I have a dozen or so pieces underway, and several big canvases waiting for paint. I'm part of a three person show that opens in a couple weeks at The Oxford Gallery here in Rochester.
The muddle is gone. I'm healthy. I'm rolling again. 2014 is looking pretty damn good.