Monday, August 3, 2009

Climbing, Not Riding

August is wonderful, not least of which is because the email traffic is dramatically reduced, except from friends, which is always welcome. August is a wonderful time to return to work, when everyone else is gone on vacation. It leaves a quiet space for regrouping, resettling, and re-starting.

How did I spend my summer vacation? Some writing, though less than I’d hoped. Some reading, ditto. There are more days when I can follow a sustained narrative, so that’s progress in the right direction, but still frustrating when it blinks out again. Lots of soaking up sunshine and relaxing. We found two extraordinary restaurants via total serendipity, the best way of all. We have had three wonderful meals, returning to one of them for an encore, and will probably go to the other one more time before we leave. We saw parts of the countryside we’d never seen before, visited friends, fixed this and that, and otherwise just luxuriated in the quiet. I’ve been working to assimilate all the changes of the last year and to gear up for the changes coming in the months ahead. I suppose the years when we added babies were as eventful as this one has been, and probably also the other years when we had major deaths. But otherwise, this has been a humdinger. I’d like to try to figure out if I can make any of this blog more cohesive into a memoir anyone would want to read, and still don’t quite have a handle on that or if it’s just a narcissistic fantasy.

Early on, this adventure had the sensation of having stepped onto a conveyor belt that was going where it wanted, at the speed it wanted, and we had little control over it. In recent months, that feeling has subsided, to be replaced with the feeling that we’re on an uphill climb. The good news is, we under our own steam and setting our own direction. The bad news is our direction is still uphill. The timing of the transition isn’t totally clear to me, but probably coincides about with the time that I started dreaming vividly again, maybe two or three months ago. Maybe a little more than that, somewhere in five-six-seven month mark. The end of the swelling in the fifth and sixth months, revealing the new shape of my skull was the gateway to the new era, I think, though it took a bit more time after that to settle down.

I hate climbing. I could walk forever on the flat, but find uphill difficult. It always sets me to huffing and puffing, while Michael strolls along seemingly unaffected. When I remarked upon this, he, in his ever-precise and thoroughly honest fashion, pointed out how much weight I have to haul which undoubtedly adds to the cardiac load. Thanks, Michael. I gather the boules players laud him for his honesty in calling scoring, even when it goes against him; they refer to him as “the noble one.” It works better for me in boules than on our walks.

We’re way above the low points and continue to make progress in our climbs, both in our daily walks and in this unknown path we’re on with this medical adventure. There’s still a distance to go, and our retreat from reality has been restorative and soul-refilling. Onwards and upwards.

1 comment:

  1. " I’d like to try to figure out if I can make any of this blog more cohesive into a memoir anyone would want to read, and still don’t quite have a handle on that..."

    A possible approach is to think of the blog as a "lode" from which perhaps several useful things can be extracted. One I'd especially like to see is a pamphlet-length with a theme like "Observations on how to be a successful hospital patient" or "Thoughts on how to survive in a hospital".