Quotation Insipiration

"Your name is sung and tattooed now on my heart,
Here I will carry, carry, carry you,
Carry by Tori Amos

This quote is from a song written by Tori Amos called "Carry".  It's the last song in her 21st-century song cycle "Night of Hunters" and recounts ending of the story which details a tumultuous relationship between a husband and wife in modern times.   When I first heard the song, I didn't like it at all.  But of course, I love everything Tori writes, pretty much, so I kept listening but I would often skip this particular song when playing the CD.  I think it was because I saw the video first before I owned the album with the whole song cycle, and I hated the video because she is clearly lip-syncing (oh, Tori, how COULD you?  Not my Tori!).

Once I started listening to the words, I still don't like the song much except for that one line I quoted above, and I'll tell you why:  This album, CD, download, whatever-you-call-it-nowadays was released in the fall of 2011.  Our beloved dog, Hector, a hound-dog extraordinaire, a one-of-a-kind dog, died very suddenly on August 28, 2011 right before Labor Day.  He'd been having seizures all summer long, we don't know why.  There was speculation that it was a brain tumor, late-developing epilepsy, or something he was ingesting -- we never quite figured it out.  He was on phenobarbital and even with that was still having seizures.  But the day he died, he didn't have a seizure, he just got lethargic and died.  It was a real shock.  Still as I write this today, I haven't gotten over it, even though for some crazy reason we adopted a new puppy two months ago (what was I thinking?!).  Seriously, I love the pup, but wow I had forgotten what it was like to be a "new mom" and now that I'm over 50 it's really challenging dealing with all the puppy "stuff".

So, every time I heard the song "Carry" throughout the fall of 2011 (and still) I would wait for the chorus (can you call it a chorus when just one lady is singing?  I guess.) and I'd turn up the volume, and I'd actually feel Hector in my heart when Tori sang those words (and I sang along):  "Your name is sung and tattooed now on my heart, Here I will carry, carry, carry you; Forever."

This exercise has little to do with fibromyalgia, the thing I'm supposed to be writing about, but I guess that's ok, since the assignment was to find a quotation that inspires you and free-write about it for 15 minutes.  I suppose the attachment to fibromyalgia or chronic pain is this:  not only is fibromyalgia (and other chronic pain syndromes) a physical ailment but there are emotional and mental issues that go along with the whole package.

The loss of Hector was the most recent in a series of deaths I'd dealt with since 2007 -- there was my cat, Maggie, who started the cascade of dying beings July 4th weekend of 2007; then my pen-pal Laura, 76, who died suddenly of a heart attack exactly a year later in 2008; almost exactly a year after that was my brother Frank who never woke up from a coma and left us on June 28, 2009; my mother who died 5 months later in December of 2009; my childhood friend Mary who developed lung cancer even though she didn't smoke -- she died just this past July; and then Hector a month later.  There could be a reason I'm depressed, do you think?

But my chronic pain started years and years before that.  The depression and uncertainty, the memories, the holding all of these people "tattooed now on my heart" is something that "carries" me through every day.  I know my brother and my mom are guiding me all the time.  Mom will plop a slow driver down in front of me when I'm driving too fast, for instance.  Frank will pop up in my thoughts as I'm trying to figure out whether or not to include a sensitive factoid in re-telling my father's WWII story.  A song will come on the radio, and instantly remind me of Mary, and I know that's her way of saying hello.  I'll be scrolling through photos on my computer and will come across a picture of Maggie the cat.  When I do my writing prep in the morning on the sofa, I will look up and see the watercolor of Nauset Lighthouse that Laura's granddaughter painted, framed, and gave to me.  But most often, I will feel Hector -- he's everywhere.  If I look into the puppy's eyes, sometimes I swear Hector stares back at me, and he (Charlie) definitely has Hector's tail, there's no doubt about that.  Hector is with me all the time, he has never left even though his body is no longer here.  Some people may think that's crazy.  His name is sung and tattooed now on my heart, and here I will carry him, forever.