Slowly emerging to the surface of consciousness after a head cold, I notice that my personal world seems slightly altered. I fought this cold off since the first week in July and finally it caught me up. Colds, at least in my experience are about much more than an annoying virus. Last night I recognized that I was depressed and chalked it up to the cold. This morning I began journalizing about how a physical lapse can change one’s mood. Then, I also noticed that the depression was much like the cold itself. I had been fighting it off all summer with hopeful fantasies and pep talks along with the vitamin C.
|Cottonwood Sentinel Above the Horseshoe|
A number of dreams merged with dreary cold symptoms of blurred vision and cloudy consciousness. These were dreams about my childhood home, parents, and long dead pets that merged their identity seamlessly with my life now as if homogenized in a psychic blender. I got up yesterday AM and started reciting to my journal my childhood house address in Denver, old phone number, pet’s names, then mom’s and dad’s birthdays lest they disappear forever. Everything becomes transparent dust, as I grow older. The Great Pyramid at Giza, and the Great Wall of China still exist though a bit weathered, but most forms are like autumn leaves in the wind and that includes us. Am I trying to put continuity into my life or create some relationship between experiences by merging them? Time moves faster as we grow older and vision blurs as speed increases. They don’t tell you that when you’re young, or perhaps they do and it blows over the immortal head of youth.
I started a new painting last week, reached an impasse and then got sick. That makes sense, though I’m not sure I can explain the logic. I know there is an obstruction to cross and even though I can’t consciously identify it, the cold brought it nearer. I go about daily chores cooking meals, cleaning house, the post office, grocery shopping, surfing the net, checking Facebook, and for the most part I enjoy it but still my existence is like an iceberg with 90 percent beneath the line of visibility. Ours has become a small world. It reminds me of what life on a tiny island must be like. Then in keeping with the mood, our neighbor cut down the beautiful glob willow that occupied 80 percent of our Northeastern view. I have an intense connection with trees, and although I’ve tried to talk myself out of outrage with facts, it was, after all her tree to do with as she pleased, it still feels like the murder of a dear friend. This shock increased my moldering desire to move out of Taos immediately. I often feel left behind like the one horse tied in the stable while the others went out on a hunt--jerking against my rope, stomping and neighing, “remember me, don’t leave me behind,” but it’s mostly internal and I’ve been resisting the urge to break free. Where would I go, what would I have to give up forever?
At this point in life, I don’t feel connected to any tradition, culture, tribe, occupation or religion. There is PQ, his kids and grand kids, the garden around this house, two cats, and memories that jump about like a dust devil. My entire life seems defined by an attempt to uncover a hidden design by carefully uncovering features and background, noting details, whisking dirt from the treasured objects much as an archeologist works with a fossil. Yet, what happens when that object disintegrates to fine dust faster than you can record its discovery. Am I moving into that stage of life when everything on this dimension is truly ephemeral and transparent? I suspect this is the truth behind seemingly important business. We are born, we struggle to learn the rules of the game, gain some skill and then before we know it, we are going home after the game. Unlike the games we invent, it’s sometimes hard to know if we were on the winning or losing team.
I’m right on the edge of unsolicited enlightenment. All the struggles were unnecessary, the great things (by my standards) I once hoped to accomplish now require too much future and resources, my particular talents are fading as the physical instrument ages but the overview is expanding in all directions. The dividing lines between realities have become optional. It’s time to observe the next game from the sidelines. My habitual MO doesn’t work here anymore.
PQ’s doctor informed us yesterday after studying papers from tests done at National Jewish Hospital, University of Colorado and University of New Mexico hospitals, (over a hundred pages, he informed us) and last week’s tests in Espanola that we need to go to Denver soon and either get on this new drug (he thinks it may be too late for that to be effective) or preferably get on the transplant list immediately. Of course, we would rather be going to Cottonwood Arizona than Denver, but my nostalgic reviews of life in Denver in my dreams, may have more validity than I would wish. Is it time to go full circle? Where would we stay? How long would it take? Do I have to think of finding a job there and if so would I be able to handle it while dealing with the running around that goes with this kind of long term medical procedure. We barely make the monthly stretch in energy and money. Where will even more demands put us?
I suppose news like the Dr. gave us yesterday brings out a flurry of what if's. It appears that there is a big hill to climb ahead of us, and I'm feeling burnt out right now, so perhaps It won't be as complicated as I expect, but nothing has been very easy for some time. Part of my personal style has been coping with crisis and yet I sure would like to coast for awhile.
Although we are often blessed with the kindness of friends and serendipitous events, yet it seems a precarious requirement for survival. Never being able to see beyond the current month is where you end up when you live on the edge today. I’m slowly learning that it’s impossible to live partly on faith, partly on past expectations, and that practical reality is an illusion. The adventure goes on and the story will continue.