POW! Right in the Cranium!

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.


10 thoughts on “POW! Right in the Cranium!

  1. Yow. My Annie gets migraines, too, but your description is much prettier than hers (sorry hon!). She does get bursts of pure white brilliance through her pain, though, so maybe there’s something to that concept. Inspiration never claimed to be kind.

    1. LOL! Well, we can romanticize anything, I guess, and migraines are pretty spectacular events. Inspiration can definitely be cruel. May Annie receive hers pain free; I know I hope to. 🙂

  2. Ouch! I have gotten “visual migraines” but never the true pain type. But the familiar experience of recognizing the onset symptoms and racing to offset or reduce them – familiar ground indeed. May you get a great poem from your pain!

    1. My really nasty ones often start with electric blue auras around objects, then color bleeding out to purples and oranges. Thankfully, that happens rarely now. I once had one that I truly thought was a stroke. And no poem from that one, either, lol.

  3. I have had migraines for years, I recognise the pain: and the link with our psychological selves. I’ve never had one which produced something wonderful as yours did: rather, they stopped me for days on end, crawling up one side and down the other. I went to the docs and they gave me a miracle tablet, and I don’t have them now. I don’t mourn their passing: but if they did for me what they do for you, I might.

    1. They don’t always leave a gift, Kate, but sometimes… I find it interesting how many of “us” in our little blogging community suffer them. I did read once that they, and bi-polar disorder, were theorized to be linked with creative impulse, especially the literary outlet. I wonder. I’m glad you are migraine free now!

  4. I used to have these incapacitating terrors often, but since I’ve begun to pay attention to my nutrition (and avoid trigger foods and practice yoga), they have become only sporadic visitors. The poem is indeed very rough, but a whole concept, so I hope it turns out well. Don’t know if the migraine had anythng to with jogging it loose, but I’ll take it, however it got here!

  5. Your pain is intimately familiar. I am plagued with this beast, too. They zap me of the will to do anything. Teach me how they can inspire me. I am looking forward to your poem.

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