I write to you wonderful people from Columbia County, NY tonight, in the tail end of an old farmhouse, a paradise of air conditioning in a night of tropical swelter. Frankly, it has been hard to follow up on the last blog, because it put quite fine a point on it, leaving me very little wiggle room for a while.
However, life is for the living; one of our defense mechanisms is that we gradually forget the dead. So if I plan on being remembered a bit longer, I have to scoop myself off the thrumming ground and put myself in the way of things happening again.
Commenter SWF said something striking on the last entry: “I dare say that for most of us reading this, had we gone through the same harrowing experience, would not have found literally hundreds – if not thousands – of souls reaching out to lift us up.”
First off, I hope that isn’t true, and that any one of you going through the same thing would have a similar experience. You can bet I’ll be one of them from now on; one of the first things I told Tessa when I regained sanity was that I wanted (or really, required) to be of service to anyone else who came close to the same darkness I had.
Secondly, I’ve used SWF’s comment to be a rallying cry for my own bones, to get the fuck out of bed, and to believe there is a community greater than the one any of us see every day. It’s awfully easy to complain about Facebook, and god knows I’ve done it for years, but that ends now -the brother-sister-hood we’ve got is to be cherished regardless of source.
I’ve talked about the price you pay for skirting mortality, but there are benefits. Like Michelle H’s fingernails, there are things I find I just don’t worry about anymore. But the greatest gift was receiving the achingly beautiful words from strangers and partial-acquaintances who would never have written if it weren’t serious. We act on nightmares, not daydreams, but when we do act, it’s truly amazing.
Before I kickstart my heart again, I’ll just mention how things are going. Right now, the pneumonia – however it came into me – reminds me of the Hale-Bopp comet in late April 1997. Long past its peak, one could still see it in the early evening, retreating into its oblivion, now wispy and powerless.
Likewise, it’s the nights that still leave me a little plagued, and I cop to a low-level ZZZQuil (Benadryl) addiction so I don’t wake up every 90 minutes not knowing where I am. Staircases are hard, grabbing something off the floor is bizarrely exhausting, and I occasionally feel like I fall through emotional trap doors I never see coming.
So it’s like being young and full of big ideas, then suddenly turning 93 every few hours. I can live with that for now. But enough about me, ladies and gents, how are YOU doing?