Alexander Pope and JFK and me. And millions of others. We share a secret. Our spines are made of arrows. And from time to time all that is slung comes to a point and you fall to your knees. The load too heavy, the pain too great; legs unable to shuffle along. The body ventures so many places, the soul only one. You bow down, you pray and recover. The paroxyms keep you canting.
For me it’s all in the facets where bone and nerve intersect. There when bone hits nerve and everything screams across the sky, arises my Achilles’ hinge and it brings me down every time. Chronic and manageable. Sometimes incapacitating. Yet like Ishmael proclaims in Moby-Dick: “I rejoice in my spine, as in the firm audacious staff of that flag which I fling half out to the world.”