Pen and Moon

musings, life lessons & poetry from Theresa Jarosz Alberti

Let’s Talk About “Size”

One evening last week, I went on a walk with my husband Bob. Halfway through, we sat on a parkway bench, talking. We were startled by a voice shouting out of a car going by, a middle-school-aged boy with his head stuck out of the open window, looking at us. We turned to each other, puzzled. “I think he said, ‘Fat Positivity.'” That’s what we both heard. But… why?

Bob went on with what he had been talking about, and I found myself unable to listen. I felt the familiar warm flush of shame on my face, and my mind started spinning on the incident. “Fat Positivity” sounded, well, Positive, but was it taunting? Was it solidarity of some kind (a lot to expect from a young boy)? Even if it was well-intended, it was still someone seeing me in all my fatness, noticing it, calling it out. I felt seen in a way I didn’t want to be, attention being called to an aspect of my body that is unacceptable by society’s standards, not to mention being judged as unattractive, undesirable, and a personal failing. Continue reading

This iLand Is Your Land, This iLand Is My Land

Recently a poem that my son Leo wrote 10 years ago resurfaced in my Facebook Memories. He was a senior in high school and students were asked to write poetry about the islands of trash accumulating in the Pacific Ocean. I was blown away by his poem when he first showed it to us, and still impressed to reread it 10 years later. He uses potent language and imagery to call attention to this important and often-ignored issue.  And I love the term “iLand,” as if Apple has taken over the world. Continue reading

No Shame at the Pool Party

 

This weekend I went to my first Fat Splash — a private pool party for fat people. The event was sponsored by Cake Plus-Size Resale, a new-ish consignment shop in Minneapolis with a fabulous selection of clothes and a safe, body-positive space for shoppers. My daughter Gennie eagerly snatched up two tickets for us when they went on sale, which was smart because the party sold out in 12 hours, and an additional party sold out quickly too.

Over the years, I’ve heard about fat pool parties in various books, articles, blogs, Facebook groups in other states, and more recently, saw one on the recent fat-positive Hulu show “Shrill” (which is based on the wonderful book by Lindy West). These parties looked fun and freeing, but also far-away, unreachable. I didn’t think I’d ever get to go to one… Continue reading

The Sometimes Slow Process of Recovery, and Why That’s Important

Hello there… it’s been awhile. The last I blogged it was February and I was hibernating that whole month post-Knee Surgery #2, while it was wickedly wintry outside. I feel like I’ve been hibernating in other ways since then too — unable to write much, feeling a bit lost in my life, flicking in and out of some depression, and focusing on other physical and emotional recovery. 

The great news it that my surgeries went really well. I don’t have knee pain anymore! After a few years of excruciating pain, it’s a freakin’ miracle to have that go away. Unfortunately, I developed hyper lordosis, a back condition that makes my back hurt after walking short distances or standing too long. I’m working with my physical therapist to stretch my back and build up strength and stamina. I want to go on longer walks and be fully functional, and my back has been slowing that down. 

After two major surgeries a few months apart, I’m learning that recovery is a slower process than I think it will be. Of course I knew there’d be a hard period on strong pain meds and using a walker, needing lots of help and doing mega physical therapy… but after two or three months, I’d be good to go, right? Even though I got off the pain meds, switched to a cane and had a lot less pain, there was still plenty of healing to do.  Continue reading

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