The Funny Thing About Exacerbation and Relief

Exacerbated Bas Relief by Maria L. Berg 2022

Contradictory Abstract Nouns (Photography Challenge)

Yesterday, a wind storm knocked out the power. In a way it was a nice reprieve. I read for a while and enjoyed the strange contrast of the sun shining, and the power outage. Today I’m looking at finding the relief in exacerbation and exacerbation in relief. I’ve been dealing with some sharp lower-back pain the last few days, so I’m rather focused on the relief and exacerbation of physical pain. It’s amazing how sudden mysterious physical pain can steal all one’s joy, fun, concentration, and motivation. But relief and exacerbation are about so much more than only physical pain: we also seek relief from emotional distress, and the ache of need, and exacerbation—that which makes a problem worse—can constantly change through our perceptions.

One thing I found in my search through definitions this morning was a Botanical definition of exasperate: rough; covered with hard, projecting points, as a leaf. Those projecting points made me think of a visual for my back pain. For a visual for relief, I thought of bas-relief art, or sculpture of low relief from a surface. I started imagining how I could create the impression of bas-relief in today’s images.

For today’s images, I used a fabric backdrop and the net-lights on the opposite end of the closet from the main mirror and saw some interesting effects with different flash techniques. The irony is, while taking today’s photos I exacerbated my irritating back twinge to full on I can barely move and the pain is making me want to throw up.

Relief from Exacerbated Pain by Maria L. Berg 2022

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today’s prompt is to write a funny poem. While looking through the definitions of relief today, the final definition was comic relief, which I thought was kind of a funny coincidence that it lined up with today’s poetry prompt, especially since comedy doesn’t appear to be bringing much relief these days.

Comic Relief for Back Pain

Isn’t it comical when life throws curves
and every hit flies foul
It’s kinda funny we act like it’s the first time
Relief has a kind of forgetfulness

Isn’t it peculiar when pain comes from nowhere
apparently some fault or punishment for something we can’t remember
It’s kinda funny how we think we have to push through only to make it worse
Exacerbation has a modulation

Don’t you find it humorous that we like to sit by stagnant ponds and complain about the mosquitoes
when we know they breed in stagnant water
It’s kinda funny how we always forget the bug spray until after they’ve quenched their thirsts
Relief has a kind of forgetfulness

Do you find it bizarre that when we get into trouble we can’t help but try to lie our way out
once you have a shovel and start digging, it’s nature to dig deeper
It’s kinda funny how we jump in the hole and dig and dig
Exacerbation is cruel punishment for trying to avoid pain

I always find it absurd that when something is finally finished
like my newly painted sewing room, the ceiling falls in on my head
It’s kinda funny that we never had mouse troubles before
Relief has a kind of forgetfulness

I always find it curious when I’ve finally reached a goal that I then no longer like the work
thinking I’ve reached perfection, I can only find fault in it
It’s kinda funny how at the highest peek the view is a peek that is higher
Exacerbation is a kind of cruelty

I don’t find it amusing that sitting still can irritate my back which irritates me if I don’t sit still
It will threaten pain, then scream when I move never in the same way twice
It’s kinda funny how everything is painful because of one little part, now everything
is horrible, suddenly everything I do is terrible
Relief has a kind of forgetfulness

I don’t find it perplexing when
It’s kinda funny

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