Even My Ordinary Life is Rather Extraordinary: How Do I Love Thee, Let me Count the Ways; Sciatica and Extraordinary Defined; Aphrodite On My Wall Facing My Bed; It Is All About Me

Awoke this morning at seven – a wonderful sleep of approximately twelve hours as I fell asleep very early last night. I got up, filled two hot water bottles and came back to bed. Now that is rather ordinary, to say the very least. Hot water bottles most comforting, eases the sciatica pain in my lower back. For those not in the know sciatica is “pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back, often owing to degeneration of an intervertebral disk.” Now that is a rather ordinary situation – to be experienced by a 77 year old woman. Nothing very special about that. Perhaps it would be a good idea to define extraordinary: very unusual or remarkable: Its synonyms are: remarkable exceptional, amazing, astonishing, astounding, sensational, stunning, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal; striking, outstanding, momentous, impressive, singular, memorable, unforgettable, unique, noteworthy; out of the ordinary, unusual, uncommon, rare, surprising; informal fantastic, terrific, tremendous, stupendous, awesome; literary wondrous.

Of course it is unusual, rare, surprising and out of the ordinary to be living through this mismanaged pandemic in San Francisco, now made even more impossible with the raging wildfires. But I am not alone in this and am able to cope quite well due to my retirement income and the help and ongoing assistance of Personal Driver. I keep myself super safe – often not going out for a week at a time. Stock up on groceries, so no need to walk outside the confines of my apartment.

But what is surprising and uncommon is that my mood, my spirits and happiness has not been affected by this self isolation. I am most outgoing, make friends very easily and do a great job of entertaining the people around me. It has been about six months since this all started. When this all began there were no men in my life – a very unusual occurrence for Alexis McBride. So to wake to How Do U Love You streaming through by consciousness was rather amusing and outstanding. Of course, I had to Google it. “ Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I mistakenly thought it was Shakespeare but no it is Elizabeth Barrett Browning.” I am providing a link to a YouTube, with a young man reciting the poem in its entirety https://youtu.be/IsI4_A_LMN8. It is truly beautiful.

But what is rather remarkable about this recent (almost) fetish is that there is no man in my life. Well, there might be one but it is definitely in an embryonic state – slowed by the pandemic and the impossibility of travel, particularly for me.

At the moment I lie in bed. I live in a most ordinary one bedroom apartment with a sliding glass door separating the living room from the bedroom. The sliding glass for is left permanently open so it is possible to view the living room at all times. On the bookcase there is a globe – perfectly ordinary except the globe is covered in stickies which mark all of the countries where my blog is read. It was a fun experiment – many of the countries were unkown to me. Type Amazing Statistics into the search engine to view the depth and breadth of them. A picnic blanket with bag from my alma mater, the University of Alberta, a gift actually. That is rather ordinary. A recent addition to the wall is a framed photograph taken by yours truly. It is a statue, a woman, taken I believe in the British Museum. I pondered the identity and yesterday it came to – I knew who she is. So, of course, I Googled and what did I find? Aphrodite is an ancient Greek goddess associated with love, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation. She was syncretized with the Roman goddess Venus. Aphrodite’s major symbols include myrtles, roses, doves, sparrows, and swans. There was more: Aphrodite was, in fact, widely worshipped as a goddess of the sea and of seafaring; she was also honoured as a goddess of war, especially at Sparta, Thebes, Cyprus, and other places. However, she was known primarily as a goddess of love and fertility and even occasionally presided over marriage. But she did have her weaknesses: One of Aphrodite’s strengths was that she was beautiful and attracted a lot of men. A weakness of Aphrodite is that every time she saw someone more beautiful or attractive then her she gave them a horrible life or killed them. Another weakness of Aphrodite is that she cheated on her husband(Hephaestus) a lot.

So what is rather extraordinary about all of this is that I did not, by choice, have children – so clearly I could not be a goddess of fertility. I shall not say anything at all about her cheating on her husband. So there she is facing my bed – I sleep alone, no man has graced this bed in months and months and months. For various reasons none shall even at the concussion of this pandemic.

There is a possibility that I shall blog again today, addressing another matter having nothing to do with love. It did not seem to be a good idea to address such dissimilar topics.

Today is an IN day without nothing in particular planned. Tomorrow is a huge day and will be discussed a its conclusion.

The photograph is of a collage on my bathroom wall. Maps of Vancouver and San Francisco, my passport picture and a mirror purchased at a car boot sale in London which says: It’s All About Me.


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