Who the hell is A Fish Named Karen you ask? Well, I’m not a fish 🙄 (duh) and I’m not Karen. Actually, the name Karen has always made me chuckle. A peculiar name for a Fish. Random, plain-Jane, Fish-next-door-type of title. Yep, that’s me. Flopping around life, silent, completely random, imperfect, colorful, delicious, breathing under water, deceitful, interesting, slippery, elusive – yup, THAT kind of Karen. THAT kind of Fish 👀
Actually A Fish Named Karen got its name about 20 years ago to be exact. My son was excited about the idea of owning a pet. He wanted a Fish and would bring it up often at the dinner table. I was so curious, “So, what would you name your fish?” His reply, of course, “Karen, Mom, A Fish Named Karen.” Can’t make this shit up. So, when I considered starting a blog, it came to me right away. What a brilliant title, born from childhood innocence, to help introduce and express the not so innocent tragedies of my childhood. What a perfect name, in a perfect WordPress fishbowl. Swimming with many, many fish in the waters of the human condition.
My anonymity purposeful. As truth and vulnerability have a way of finding like-minded fish in a sea of untruths and fake smiles.
I will reveal that, although Karen is not my name – this is the ONLY piece of fabrication you will come upon in my writing.
It snowed last night. Surprise! After two weeks of solid Spring 50’s and 60’s. I immediately made the connection.
Remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy, Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man run through the field of Poppies on the way to the Castle of the Great Wizard? And in and around the poppies, the Wicked Witch of the West casts a spell (Covid19) which slows them all down from their goal/life…. But Glinda, the Good Witch/Fairy Godmother, makes it SNOW, covering the poppies and reversing the spell/Covid19. They are all well and set out once again on their journey with renewed faith in an excellent outcome.
Hoping for this for all of us🤞we need a Fairy Godmother right about now.
Coming off the heels of my first migraine ever. I feel alive, new, refreshed. Eyes clear, feeling a little drunk still. I really have nothing to complain about. I did vomit 4 times yesterday, once at work but I’m fine now. I never had a serious migraine in my life. Serious. So this was a complete surprise. They say there are warnings you may get in the days before it happens. I am beginning to put the pieces together.
2 days before the pain arrived I was in the bath. My hearing was incredibly obvious. I could hear my body gurgling and could “hear” myself move as if each muscle and ligament had a tone. Still in the bathtub, my hearing, in the quiet still of my home, was deafening. A silence so loud that I am sure I’d lose my mind had it continued. At first I was intrigued but this quickly moved to TERRIFIED. What if I had lost the ability to hear? Felt like noise in the absence of noise. Surely that makes sense to …no one. LOL I was fine. Strange but fine.
I had forgotten all about this strange event until today. Sensory experiences like this, turns out, are to be expected prior to and following a migraine. I am sure there are prob more odd things but everyday weird shit happens to me LOL consequently, my weird meter is a little squirrely. Ok, way out of whack but no worries, it’s not contagious.
Today I feel very sensitive. I’m noticing the rawness of life. Feeling the pure love from my cats, the look of peace and gratitude in their eyes, makes me tear up. A bird chirping, wind blowing leaves around, sitting in my warm sunroom with the golden warmth on my back as I sit here and transcribe my thoughts onto this device – all good, all welcome, all enriching my earthly experience. I thank the pain. It’s self love message, received. Purposeful. Within my darkest, pain-ridden moments and even as I reflect on my most physically trying times, there is a depth and richness that enhances who I am, amidst the strife.
Today I am aware and awake. Today I notice the fragility of life. The miracle of a healthy body. The brilliance in letting go of control. The beauty in knowing we are not in control. The ease at which a simple word can touch my heart. The realization that I am enough. The knowing that I don’t have to “get rid” of pain. Pain has a purpose. Pain has a voice. When we allow pain to speak, it’s training emerges. Ask pain what it wants. Ask it why it’s here.
When I inquire within, sometimes emotion comes in the form of inconsolable tears. Sometimes rage. Pain has a way of delivering previously denied packages to the front steps of your mind. Sign for that shit. Maybe we just sign for it and make a space in the corner or in the closet or in the basement. It’s a start. It can be terrifying to see what that package holds. There may be many packages. Take it slow. Unpack at your leisure. Or let the packages gather dust.
Ask for help, call in an image of unconditional love and safety to be with you as you soften into your pain. Although I do not search for physical pain – I expect it to surface when it’s time for me to look at the deep shit I’ve been running from. This is how we remain as healthy as we can. Taking the cues from our bodies. Listening. When we absolutely cannot deal with physical pain and just want it to go away, notice and acknowledge that it is trying to get your attention. I say something like, thank-you for showing up, I will try my best to listen, please go slow with me. I am trying my best. We’re all just trying our best.
Thus, the title of this blog – Sensitivity Training. We’re all in training. Right now. Tomorrow. Next week, Next year. Training to sensitize our beings to the messages of these bodies we live in. This is how our physicality talks to us. It is no accident that pain shows up in one part of our body or another. There are many resources today which give us some plausible information regarding the spiritual meaning behind physical ailments. That’s exactly what I google: Spiritual meaning behind ____________. Or use your intuition and listen to the “why” it’s happening.
I know, pain sucks. Know what sucks more? not listening to pain’s message – In most cases, PAIN holds the remedy to issues we never knew we had or thought we had succeeded in moving past. HELLO MY DARLING PAIN.
As unfortunate things happen to us – and they will – it’s easy to forget all the good in our lives and sit in self pity. Trust that there is often a plan, people you wouldn’t have met, places you wouldn’t have gone inside yourself, feelings you might not have expressed – if the “unfortunate” thing never happened. Shitty things will happen and many times, we will close down from the weight of it all. Pain and tragedy are catalysts for growth too. We can do this! The human condition.