January 31, 1998

Raven gave me a massage last night. The reason I put it into emphasis is because of the astonishing quality difference between someone just putting their hands on my back and rubbing around randomly and the purposed and focused attention he gave my actual back with it's actual problems and it's actual history of the last two weeks.

My back, when he got to it, was tied up in knots from the thousand shocks that flesh is heir to. Each mis-step, each twist I had to make to compensate for the knee, each time I'd stood solely on my left leg, each time I levered myself up from the chair, each night I spent with my legs at not quite the right angle for my lower to be stretched out the way it needs to to rest, and each time I tried to bend my right knee a bit past where it ought to go was imprinted in the muscles and knots and pains of my back.

When I was doing the small things that I had to reheat dinner for myself and find something interesting for Raven to eat, I was stumping about like a tired, gimpy sailor, knee turned out to compensate for the fact that it couldn't bend. I was limping backly, hunched forward, and exhausted by even small walks across the room.

After about an hour's concentrated moving about of the tension, including my helping out with some tai chi breathing to consciously relax the muscles he found knotted, I was able to walk *normally* again. Or as normally as I could with a right knee that still doesn't quite bend beyond 90 degrees, which is pretty good. He found every cluster of tied-together muscles in my back, including one pretty impressive one just under my left shoulderblade, and he worked them out, gave them the chance to relax, and I tried my best to follow each stroke with the breath to follow, and it worked amazingly well. The difference was that he felt things out and helped to straighten them back to what they should be.

It's made an astonishing difference.

Even today I feel much better than I have for a while. I'm still going to be accumulating some stress and strain in my back from the fact that my leg is still out of it, but it's from a better starting point. I also slept about ten thousand times better. Now I actually have a feeling as to why Raven slept for two hours in the tub the time I gave him a back rub. He's given me more than I ever expected back.

We had a very quiet evening, dinner, then the rub and then I just lazed out lying on the couch while he and I listened to a couple of CD's, one that he brought, which was called Karma by Delirium. The other was by Vas, which Tom Gryn had given me for Christmas. The first was very influenced by Arabian music motifs, and included Sarah McLaughlin's voice here and there. The second is a neat fusion of East Indian with jazz. Yeah. Odd combination. Most might be classified, not so neatly, as New Age.

It's also a gorgeous day, today, even though I'm at work, and we'll likely get out after John's finished with the build, and I'm done yanking all my Visual workbench tools from this machine as I installed Service pack 3 and it's broken enough things to be really annoying. I get to reinstall all three tools that I have running on it (V C++, J++, and Developer Network) and redo the old service packs. Yeesh.

At least I can do voice commands to my machine and not bother anyone, with no one here.

Heh. Also read through a bunch of Helen: Sweetheart of the Internet today. Carl and Gretchen pointed me at her, and it's just *great*.

I'm also contemplating sacrilege and using Front Page to build tables for the next look for the greeting page of this daily journal. Aiee...

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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