Saturday, October 5, 2013

Brother ass

The sight of the loaded dishwasher has never been so pleasant.

I've been down with mastitis these past two days. I was really, really sick. Two things that I accomplished yesterday: nursed Khesed, laid across the living room floor. My head throbbed. My body shivered. I mumbled short instructions to the boys. They lent me their blankets and pillows, and covered me over and over again, which was really sweet. They had pasta, cereal, and bread -- for two days straight. They were quite happy.

When I was laying there, delirious, I thought of women in famine, women in refugee camps. What do they feed their children when they are down with mastitis and their pantry is not stocked up with ready-to-eat dried goods? I kept thinking of my mother, coming into the room and asking me to eat some porridge. I remember that though I did not have an appetite, sticky rice and soy sauce was comforting. I miss my mom. I wonder whether the boys will think of me when they are all grown up, and sick. (There I go again, being all morbid.)

I turned the corner this evening, elated when I was able to stand for more than a minute or two. Praise be to God. Tonight, I am a free woman.

In some of his correspondences, C.S. Lewis signed off as "Brother Ass." This was what he called his body.
Ass is exquisitely right because no one in his senses can either revere or hate a donkey. It is a useful, sturdy, lazy, obstinate, patient, lovable and infuriating beast; deserving now the stick and now a carrot; both pathetically and absurdly beautiful. So the body.
I often take my Brother Ass for granted. Pain reminds me that it is there, and how I am to be grateful for it. My body is a working donkey. I'd like to imagine it is happiest when I use it for the sake of others. My body is a tool, not some art display in a museum. So, by the time I die, if this body is a little dinged and dented, I will consider them my marks of honor.


Serenely said...

Ooooooohhh... I definitely can feel how you must be feeling. Glad to hear you've turned the corner. And yes indeed we take our body so much for granted when it is working fine... it takes illness to make us crave and long for our ordinary working bodies again. How challenging it must have been for your 4 boys with mummy down... or did they have a blast eating whatever and whenever??? ^_^

E! said...

sounds sooo painful. hope you are on your feet and rid of infection soon. christ's dents and piercings and scars and... body... his honor and our gain i think. we are quite loved. holding on to "happiest when I use it for the sake of others" this week. need to.

Jean Tsen said...

13Lol...if you scroll down quickly from the last picture above the one posted here, you so see the same face smiling at you! Same eyes, same smile, same nose, same eyebrows *heheh*, same charm..Crazy! AWwwwWww..u charming baby too jieji???

Jean Tsen said...

Thank you, I love you, and I love this post more and more. I shared this with a friend tonight. I am still indebted to the Lewis insight you shared here. I always remember this post when I am tempted to dwell on the dents on my face, God's graces to me because I would not as easily think of eternal things without them. And I thought the same thing again about your charming-eye smile in baby picture.