Getting through the tight squeeze

The kidney stone

This is not your usual Views from the Edge commentary. I’ve found myself unable to write anything that might be worth passing on to others. But inspiration arrives from the most unlikely sources, like last Sunday’s painful visit to the Emergency Room. The CT scan revealed the kidney stone that became the inspiration for this quirkier-than-usual Views from the Edge piece. The doctor assured me the stone was small. It would pass with time. The nurse gave me a little bottle to save the stone when it passes.

Who cares if you pass a kidney stone?

Let’s say you’re a writer. Okay, a blogger. You’ve struggled for weeks to write a piece on the daily assault of propaganda coming into our living rooms every weekday afternoon, but it hasn’t come. It just sits there, like a kidney stone that doesn’t pass. You’re sure it will never get out, and that, even if it does, no one will care. Why should they? What you want to say is not unique. A kidney stone’s a kidney stone. You’re also bored.

You don’t believe in horoscopes, but they’re a way to pass the time. You’re a Leo.

It’s like you’re trying to move a couch into a room with a small door. Once inside, everything will work out nicely. But getting through this tight squeeze will take some doing. What needs to be released in order to move forward?

Horoscope by Holiday Mathis, StarTribune, April 17, 2020.

You’re excited! Permission has to write has been granted. What needs to be released is your fear. Squeeze your ego through that small door! Just take it outside. Forget who cares. Just do it! Put it out there! You sit down to write. Returning to the newspaper for the exact quote, you realize you had read the wrong horoscope, the one for a Libra. Your reading disability has tricked you again. You saw the ‘L’ and assumed it was for you. It wasn’t. it was for a Libra.

You go back to the paper to read the right horoscope — the one for you, the Leo.

“There was a time when you didn’t believe you could actually change your circumstances by merely observing them differently. Now you believe it, and you do it on a daily basis. Today brings proof.”

You wonder whether the people who write this stuff know something you don’t. Don’t they know that not even a Leo can change some circumstances by observing them differently?

When you pass a kidney stone, you put it in a little bottle and take it to your doctor who sends it to the lab. You never see your kidney stone again. But there are exceptions. Some folks keep their kidney stones next to the computer keyboard. What’s the use of passing a kidney stone if you can’t be proud of passing it or experience the joy of sharing it virtually?

You’re curious what else is in the Horoscope section. If you’re a Taurus, “you are mysterious, and all the more attractive for your secrets.” You like that. But by the end, you wonder whether you’re really a Pisces.

OriginalPisces illustration -- Symbole du signe astrologique des poissons.

Just because something goes unspoken doesn’t mean it’s unspeakable . . . .

Who knows? The piece you can’t pass today may pass tomorrow. If it turns out to be unspeakable, put it in the bottle, send it to the lab, or throw it away. If what has gone unspoken seems speakable, ask yourself, “Who else cares if you pass a kidney stone?”

Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, April 17, 2020.

P.S. Last night the stone did pass.

9 thoughts on “Getting through the tight squeeze

  1. Great story based on a painful experience. You survived it, creatively capturing it. One of our sons said passing a kidney stone was more painful than his kidney transplant!


  2. Ouch.



    James B Haugh

    On Sat, Apr 18, 2020, 6:22 AM Views from the Edge wrote:

    > Gordon C. Stewart posted: ” The kidney stone This is not your usual Views > from the Edge commentary. I’ve found myself unable to write anything that > might be worth passing on to others. But inspiration arrives from the most > unlikely sources, like last Sunday’s painful visit to th” >


  3. Bummer. And if Covid 19 were not enough, a kidney stone as well. God just never stops with the “what else can I help you with??”. You know, I never understood the comfort of, it is just a small stone. How does that doctor know? A small stone may hurt just as much as Mt Rushmore passing through my ureter?? It really is the spasm of the smooth muscle in the ureter that causes the cramping intermittent, yes colicky, pain and a small stone can kick off some really good spasms. Oh, well too much.
    Have fun with your stone when you pass it. How about a door stop???
    Bob Reed


    • Hi, Bob. It’s past. It passed two days later. It’s keeping the door open in memory of having passed the test. Actually, I was lucky. God said, “Okay, you’re a jerk and not very bright. You never drink water. You’re fat. You sit around all day writing stuff nobody want to read. But I’m good. I DO discriminate in favor of old white retired white guys who messed up big time but once in a while said nice things about me. So I’ll make the stone small and keep the pain to a minimum.”


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