Katrina Scheuren – Spoons and Stripes


Spoons mean two different things to me symbolically.

They represent the amount of energy I can carry in one, and how many spoons Narcolepsy and N24 dictates that I will be allowed to use in any given day. It is based on the widely known Spoon Theory.

A spoon’s handle generally is flat and broad at the end of it’s handle. It then gradually gets narrower and slopes upward until it dips down to meet the final resting place for food.

Too often, I find myself gauging distances and obstacles…..how many steps will I have to take until I can leave this store? How long of a path will it be until I can once again lay down. How many hurdles will I have to overcome before my eyes will close without my consent?

These are very in tune with the design of a spoon. There is a solid flat platform to stand on to start out on any given task. I can view the starting line all the way to the finish line where I will finally be able to curl up and rest. I know I will face a ‘narrow balance beam’ along the way and realize that there will be the uphill battles to conquer. I try to keep my eye on that precious prize at the end the whole way through any journey. My life is full of “When will I be able to rest once again”. It is also full of thoughts in my brain telling myself, “Don’t rest yet, Don’t rest yet, Don’t rest yet”. It is hard to stop and smell the roses along the way because they are too enticing for Narcolepsy and N24 to take control over me and end my journey before I need it to.

The second thing that a spoon reminds me of is that of a pendulum in a grandfather clock. A Pendulum sways back and forth in a steady rhythm in order to keep correct time. My life has replaced this pendulum with a spoon. It hangs the same as a pendulum but its weight is not evenly distributed. This spoon sways very similar to the normal pendulum however it warps time by increasing the amount of minutes in every hour. Imagine living your life to the time of this one clock. You will get to work later and later each day, you will eat later and later each day, you will miss more and more of your favorite tv shows each day, you will be late for and start to miss social events and you will go to bed later and later each day. About 2 weeks later you realize you are once again at work on time, you can plan things accordingly to a normal day. Your ‘Spoon Clock’ is in sync with any other clock for just that one day before falling into another cyclical process of unbalanced time.

This all brings me to stripes. Stripes of a Zebra. When you hear the tick tock of a clock you expect it to be keeping the proper time. You pay no attention to the color or difference in appearance of the pendulum, only the face of the clock. We don’t often question time. If it sounds like a clock and changes time like a clock, then it must be a clock keeping the correct time. This compares to what Doctors are told, “If it has hooves, it is probably a Horse and not a Zebra”. If there is inconsistency in the time of that one clock, we would rather make sure that the hands of that clock aren’t bent, try to wind the clock, grease the gears, possibly change the batteries to fix the inconsistencies or in some instances, buy a whole new clock. We are attempting to fix “the horse” before ever realizing that the pendulum is a black and white striped spoon. It is not a horse at all. It is a zebra with different markings, characteristics and problems all together. People with N24 are stuck with this clock. They must live their life according to this clock. For a Zebra with N24, time dictates what we can do and when we can do it. For a Zebra with both N24 and Narcolepsy, time becomes our nemesis.


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