Today is Day 7/Post 7 of the National Health Blog Posting Month. The writing prompt for the day is “A Case of the Mondays. Write about something that gets you down, burns you out or makes you sad. Turn it around at the end and tell Tuesday why you’re ready for it.”
I think yesterday’s non-prompt post already tackled this one, except that I wrote it on Sunday rather than today. I don’t know about you, but I can have a “case of the Mondays” just about any day of the week.
Here’s the thing, though. It’s rare that the Mondays get me down for more than a few hours. I’m simply not very good at wallowing. Yesterday I was bummed about my hip bursitis. Today I’m not, although both hips are still achy, stiff and sore. The difference? Last night, the characterization for the condition I’d been looking for came to me during a pained, wakeful moment.
A little backstory: To go with yesterday’s post, Creature without a shape, I used an illustration of a mythological Celtic beastie called a púca. According to the website “Ireland Myths, stories and pictures,” “The Púca are one of the most feared and mischievous of all the faeries in Ireland. It is a changeling who appears in many guises … Sometimes it takes the form of like that of some of the smaller faeries, from all accounts similar to a deformed hobbit like creature.” I chose the illustration without thinking, but as I wrote the post the creature seemed more and more familiar—it’s what, to me, this narsty, annoying bursitis looks like. Okay, it does, I thought, but unlike the rheuma-dragon and the osteo-wyrm, no memorable name for it comes tripping off my tongue.
Names are important, you see. The names of things give the mind a hook to hang them on, like rain-dampened jackets, and they can stay there until you need them again. A name gives the namer a modicum of control over the creature it represents, even if it’s only the diaphanous control of familiarity. But though I tried, yesterday I couldn’t find a magical name for the púca.
When the damned beastie woke me up at 2 a.m. to remind me, naggingly, of its presence, I growled and grudgingly turned over, putting my weight onto my other hip, which wasn’t hurting as much. And as I did, the púka’s name came to me: the bursa-púca.
Y-e-sssss! I said the name into the velvet dark a couple of times, voicing it to make it real. I visualized the mean little brown thing pummeling the trochanteric bursae and iliotibial bands in both my hips with stone hammers as it hopped and jibbered madly. And you know what happened?
I giggled. The image was so silly it tickled me.
Naming the bursa-púca didn’t make the pain go away, but the chuckle it bubbled out of me took the tired grimness out of it. I shifted my thoughts to my breathing—in (sohhh) out (hahhh)—and drifted gently back to sleep.
It made my Tuesday ever so much better.