Thursday, February 5, 2015

Migraine 3: Mary-Anne:1

Although it doesn't happen nearly as often as it used to I was hit with a Migraine on Tuesday afternoon. Despite strong coffee, Imitrex, and Tylenol with codeine I am on day three of this headache.

I have been a migraine sufferer since I was 25. The first time I got a migraine I was at work, and I thought I was having a stroke. My migraines are always preceded by a visual aura, and when that happens I lose vision in my right eye. Fortunately for me I was working somewhere where there was a doctor on site and he was able to calm me down and diagnose my issue and (somewhat) allay my fears.

When I was teaching I learned that Hildegard de Bingen, a mystic nun of the 12th century, was likely a sufferer of migraines. Her experiences of religious enlightenment were likely preceded by migraine auras.

Often before a migraine I have amazing feelings of euphoria - (unfortunately Tuesday was not one of those days).

I soldier on when I have a migraine, because lying in bed in the dark just makes me feel worse. I do believe, like Hildegard, that my migraines do have some sort of spiritual or intuitive significance, and that leads me to today's story.

As I have posted before, my sister and I have a very intuitive connection. Even when we are far apart, and haven't been speaking (at least not on the physical plane) we will intuit the other's life situations.

Yesterday, she sent my daughter and I a beautiful poem about mothers and daughters and their connection even though they are far away.

Before I received that poem, via email, I had sent my daughter a long email because I had been thinking about her, (read fretting about her), and I had awoken from an unsettling dream where she had stated I wasn't there for her.

In the car yesterday afternoon my husband asked if we had heard from our daughter because he felt a disturbance in the force. He is connected to our daughter intuitively that way.

Last night, on the phone, I discovered that indeed something was up, she had been experiencing an unsettling and unsettle-able situation at her workplace which had led to her resignation.

And yes, there she is 4000 miles away.

My husband wanted to get in the truck and start driving.

I re-read my sister's poem.

It all made sense.

Even the migraine.

Here is the poem by P.K. Page. She uses Marilyn Bowering's poem as a jumping off point.

On a Far Shore
The night unravels its blue wool:
you stand on a far shore
about to set sail
where are you going?

- Love Poem for my Daughter, Marilyn Bowering

It is summer, early evening
stars beginning
no dogs barking.
The Morning Star
promises daylight,
and the moon is full.
Yet darkness fights for itself.
It has its methods,
is infinitely resourceful.

The night unravels its blue wool

from an endless supply
of old blue sweaters
fronts, backs and sleeves
right, left, the collar –
another sweater,
just one more
and then another
for insatiable night.
And you, obscure.
You stand on a far shore.

I try to see you through a glass.
You are almost invisible
a tottering spindle
alone and fearless
solitary, frail,
in some nameless country.
The next ship is yours.
You board with no luggage.
You lean on the rail
About to set sail

for who knows where?
Some unknown harbour?
I would travel with you
but you won’t ask me.
Nor will you tell me.
The wind is blowing
and you are a leaf
in a springtime gale.
There is no knowing.
Where are you going?

P.K. Page

NB: if you are interested in the form of this poem by sister included the following description -

Glosa: def. the glosa form opens with a quatrain, borrowed from another poet, that is then followed by four ten-line stanzas terminating with the lines of the initial passage in consecutive order. The sixth and ninth lines rhyme with the borrowed tenth. Glosas were popular in the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries among poets attached to the Spanish court.


  1. ...magic poem... love the knitting images... tactile...

    I hope you're soon at full strength, Mary-Anne... My migraines begin with the aura and lack of vision... then the puking begins. Never anything euphoric. But I understand how exhausting and draining they are. Take care.

    1. I hope so too...My sister and I are both knitters so the poem was very appropo!

  2. I enjoyed the poem; how wonderful that you and your sister have such a deep connection. I hope that this migraine leaves you alone now. Three days is more than enough!

    1. it certainly is, and yet here it is day 4, and no relief. I am blaming the weather - major rain storm and the barometric pressure is very very low.


Add your thoughts....join the conversation.