In the small dark hours of the morning, it seized me. It seemed to creep up my spine, perhaps along the energy threads that tether me to the earth, from some subterranean blackness where pain is monarch. It settled in the fine vessels and neurons of my brain and clamped them down tight. Thoughts jammed and sizzled in mid-synaptic voyage. The mind became disconnected from the body. Migraine.
The pale glint of the first tentative sunlight on a pair of silver earrings lying on the nightstand was a hot blade of agony. The aroma of brewing coffee, usually so homey and delicious, was the smell of poison. My stomach knotted into a fist and refused to participate in the symphony of physicality that is my waking ritual: stretch, yawn, pad to the window and see how morning looks coming up behind the cold trees, rumble with hunger, greet the cats. Not today.
I dragged to the kitchen and dosed myself with migraine medication and a large cup of the offensive coffee. Caffeine can break the cycle if I get enough right away. I lay on the couch with a blanket over my head to keep out the light until I felt my tormentor subside. When the light was no longer impossible to behold, and the world had shrunk back to normal size (even if it did have a shimmery, underwater aspect), my body was under my command again. It felt loose and clumsy at the joints.
In the clean, white area of my mind scoured by the blast of the migraine was a poem. Or, at least, the rough-hewn blank of a poem ready to be turned on the lathe of craftsmanship, the words all there in the coarse oak, still wearing the bark. Did the poem cause the pain as it crackled and burst into this dimension? Was the migraine a signal of dire power, a homing beacon for errant inspiration? Or did I simply have too much salt in my diet yesterday? Well, whatever the cause or the correlation, the migraine is gone and the poem is here, to be worked on, and chiseled, and smoothed. With luck, it will be worth the pain.