Symbols, the grace of rest, and pushing limits

White ceramic bunny with a bow and some easter eggs. Text: Oldies but goodies, Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt


This post is from April, 2013.

We’re in Lent, the pre-Easter season, again.

The post took me back sharply to Princeton, and the Princeton U. chapel, and being able, with a great effort, to sing in Latin for Holy Week.

A few things changed: back then I could still stand for part of the services, and some of the singing. By the time I left last year, I could not find the energy to participate in all the holy week services, I was allowed to park ON campus at the end of the handicapped ramp at the back of the chapel, and I had published Pride’s Children: PURGATORY.

Then I knew there was a possibility we would be moving, and every last chance to sing there (terrific acoustics, great tiny Catholic choir, gorgeous chapel) was precious – though we didn’t actually move until 2018 (at the end of the summer, right before classes and singing started up again after the break).

It is bittersweet – I miss it, it doesn’t miss me.

I am no better now, and six more years of my life have not been saved by medical research figuring out what’s wrong with us people with ME/CFS and fixing it.

But I’m glad I posted this back then, and I read it again and was transported instantly to the proud vaulted cathedral of stone. And the music.

Can you remember grace, and the symbol thereof, in a time in your life?

4 thoughts on “Symbols, the grace of rest, and pushing limits

  1. marianallen

    I went to a therapist because I thought about how I could kill myself easily and that made me happy, and THAT scared me. She told me to hold onto little things in LIFE that made me happy. She asked me to list some. The first thing I thought of was blue-tailed lizards, which make me happy out of all sensible proportion. When I left the office…. Well, I suppose you can guess what was waiting for me, right in the middle of the sidewalk.


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      I’m so glad you’re still here.

      And you’ve never forgotten that little guy.

      So many things make me happy. Just the absence or the lowering of pain gives me hope.

      I have become really good at those little things.

      Yesterday, because I had a lot of pain over the past couple of days, and it drove me back to the various kinds of isometric exercises I do – which temporarily increases the pain – I noticed I was walking better. Just a bit, but the idea that I might be able to do enough to improve…! Well! And the outdoor pool yesterday, which isn’t as warm and convenient as the indoor therapy pool, but is outside! Well! And I took it easy, and didn’t do too much in the pool, and I slept better.

      I wish I didn’t have to spend so much time micromanaging my poor body, but it’s what I have to work with.

      That was a great suggestion from your therapist.

      Liked by 1 person


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