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I recently re-watched Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, a Japanese animation (anime) film about a girl who is transported to a world of spirits. A sorceress tries to steal her name, she helps a river god, and undertakes a journey to help a friend. Not to mention saving her parents from their own stupidity. It’s a “heroic journey,” a la Joseph Campbell. It’s a really great film – beautifully animated, great score…I could go on and on.

The real point of this is that the closing credits have a wonderful song, which definitely made me cry the last time I watched it. The English translation is:

Somewhere, a voice calls, in the depths of my heart
May I always be dreaming, the dreams that move my heart

So many tears of sadness, uncountable through and through
I know on the other side of them I’ll find you

Everytime we fall down to the ground we look up to the blue sky above
We wake to it’s blueness, as for the first time

Though the road is long and lonely and the end far away, out of sight
I can with these two arms embrace the light

As I bid farewell my heart stops, in tenderness I feel
My silent empty body begins to listen to what is real

The wonder of living, the wonder of dying
The wind, town, and flowers, we all dance one unity

Somewhere a voice calls in the depths of my heart
keep dreaming your dreams, don’t ever let them part

Why speak of all your sadness or of life’s painful woes
Instead let the same lips sing a gentle song for you

The whispering voice, we never want to forget,
in each passing memory always there to guide you

When a mirror has been broken, shattered pieces scattered on the ground
Glimpses of new life, reflected all around

Window of beginning, stillness, new light of the dawn
Let my silent, empty body be filled and reborn

No need to search outside, nor sail across the sea
Cause here shining inside me, it’s right here inside me

I’ve found a brightness, it’s always with me

I’m guessing you can probably tell why someone on a healing journey might tear up at that song. I thought you might enjoy it, too.

Here’s a youtube video of the closing credits, complete with a decent audio version. To truly appreciate it, you really need to see the film yourself.

Today is my birthday. I feel as though I should write something birthday related on my birthday, but really wasn’t sure what. I thought about writing about age-ism, or about reflections on my life thus far.

Really, though, this birthday has made me think a lot about my 21st birthday. It was my first birthday party after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and I was (am?) still adjusting to life with the “disability” label. I’d just applied for Supplemental Security Income. It was difficult for me to socialize much, as a lot of my friends were in other states or simply outside the distance I could comfortably drive.

It was so amazing to have a night with friends, to really feel surrounded and supported and loved. We went to a drag show at a local bar. It was exciting to be able to get into a 21-and-older establishment, and to order an obligatory alcoholic beverage. I had fun tipping all the drag queens, and they singled me out for having a birthday.

I know that people usually don’t like the whole have-everyone-at-the-restaurant-sing-a-song thing, but I really enjoyed it that night. Basically, a drag queen pie-d me in the face with a whipped cream pie while my friends laughed and took pictures. That probably sounds horrible and humiliating, but I actually felt…normal. Like a human being, instead of some fragile, trembling creature who was afraid to venture out of the house for fear of pain.

I was a bit worried about having a pain flare from the chairs in the restaurant. They were plastic patio chairs, and not ergonomically designed at all. I sat in them for four hours or so, and didn’t get up to stretch. My doctor would not have been pleased.

Imagine my surprise when I got home and found out that I wasn’t in pain. Anywhere. I usually have some sort of “background noise” of pain that never really goes away, even on my better days. My shoulders ache, or my hands are swollen. Something like that. For my 21st birthday, my body decided to give me some time without pain. It was incredible.

I decided I would use my new energy and pain-free body to do something “productive.” I went to sort and clean and organize, and soon found my body brought back to earth and pain. I learned an important lesson. If your body is feeling good, savor it. Experience that moment. Cleaning can always wait until another day.

If I ever needed a reminder that the mind-body connection is a real and vital part of life, I’ve gotten it recently. There have been a lot of new changes and new beginnings (no need to go into it here).

The thing with change – it’s hard, it’s difficult, and it’s absolutely essential to growth and development. (Just google “death and rebirth” if you want more examples.) That’s really a topic for another post, which will come at some point. But back to mind-body connection.

I went through a whole wealth of emotions recently – fear, anger, compassion, elation, frustration, and so on. I ended on a high note, and was really feeling proud of what I’ve accomplished.

As for my body – there was a delay of about 2-3 days, and then it started processing all that change physically. I’ve been dealing with a fibro flare – pain, fatigue, and fibro fog. This morning my stomach started acting up at about 6 am.

The thing is – it’s not a bad thing that my body is going through all these changes so rapidly. It’s only natural that with so much change going on, my body needs to process it too. When I go through emotional changes, I expect to cry. Why shouldn’t my body cry, too?

I know it’s going to get better. I just have to be with it for awhile, and let the changes happen. I don’t think burning up is a particularly pleasant experience for a metaphorical pheonix. But being reborn – that must be something.

My Etsy Store

A fibro-friendly item from my Etsy store

I've been working on making fibro-friendly jewelry. I'd love it if you checked them out by clicking the image above, or going to www.etsy.com/people/RogueCrafter

About Me

This blog is intended as a place for me to reflect on my own healing journey, in the hopes that others may also gain insight from my experiences. I've "borrowed" a line from Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken:

'Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.'

I think the most important thing for me now is that I feel empowered to be a force for positive change in my life. And that, my friends, has made all the difference.

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