“How did you feel weird?” Mary asked me yesterday about Monday.
How to explain? But after blathering for a few minutes, I lit upon that feeling of singleness and solitude that is the result of hours of intense work. The mad scientist. The solitary writer. The researcher. Wonky and feet not touch the ground at all. I’ve been this way many, many times before. A day researching on West law or studying for law school exams or working on a theater design or writing, but shopping? Never expected it all. I think of my friend, Lisa T, who is a real shopper and imagine her having a good laugh at this. Sometimes it takes an unusual triggering of a known experience to point out the importance of that experience. I have not indulged in wonkiness for a long time. Even during my LEND studies, my feet were too close to the ground to wander off. Grief will do that to you.
And another thing, whenever I’ve been wonky, I usually come back into my skin and set those feet on the ground when I got home and started relating to David -- nothing special about it being David. He has just been my roomie for such a long, long time. Juila doesn’t bring me back to the real. I am not sure why. But towards the ends of adult companionship, Mary called yesterday and we talked, and later in the day, Amy and I went out for a few minutes at the end of the day. My for a glass of wine, her for a steamy hot cocoa. We have a new coffee shop within walking distance that serves both. What utter bliss. Thanks, dear friends. Yes, my feet found the ground again. And I am ready to take off.
“Beyond this place there will be dragons.” The last chapter of The Mindful Child bears this title. And yes, I usually read the last few pages at the start of reading a book. Learned the practice from many science fictions stories that had very disappointing endings. I can spot a disappointing ending a mile away. Always in the last few pages. And i am not a reveal all at the very end reader. So, if the last few pages are wise and well written, then I read the book.
But this is different. The Mindful Child is an assignment for a lecture at church I want to go to. Already in the first few pages, I find out that the author, Susan Greenland, is an ex-lawyer (why does this make me feel good?) and sits facing a child meditating (so, this is not my invention. Yay!). I am hooked.
But back to “Beyond this place . . . .”, Greenland says that it was a saying put on maps centuries ago. I think I’ve heard this before. And it marked the place where the known world ended. Yesterday, as I was walking the dog before the school bus came to drop Julia off, I felt that kind of marking. There are circumstances -- late fall always stirs my soul, I’ve started reading again, regular meditation and exercise, the exercise of intentional writing here, intentional moving forwards. I cannot be completely articulate about the change, but there is a move from square one to square two. And I could fall on virtual knees and thank the universe. It is true that beyond this place there may be dragons, dragons unknown and very frightening, but behind this place there has been pain. It will take the unknown challenges over the much too well known pain.
I need to do a bandaid run today. I am still putting them on every night, and although the number is getting less, I go through a few boxes of 100 bandaids a week. The ground seems littered with fallen bandaids and they show up in the washer and dryer despite my efforts to check dirty clothes. The message of taking care of a healthy body and healing a sick body may be sinking in. The doctor was probably correct about the healing taking 4-6 weeks.
When we saw Julia’s gastro-doc yesterday -- a meeting which by the way went very well because Julia did not need a blood draw. He had the results of the blood draw that her regular doc did in the beginning of the month to make sure her skin problems did not have a physical cause. And this doc had access to the results because all of Julia’s records are on a computer file. Yay for computers! But back to the gastro guy. Our conversation evolved to talking about Julia’s picking and her itchy skin. He asked the regular questions that I’ve answered from docs and from my friends, acquaintances, and professional team. I started to answer with a very annoyed spirit. Then stopped myself, explained myself, and offered a recap of all that I’ve done over the past few weeks, and then asked if he had any further advice for me. I was laughing by the end of it which was very good. And he said, “no.” i had covered all the possibly and easy bases, but to see an allergist and/or a nutritionist if her skin didn’t clear up in the next month.
There was a small chalk board in the examining room and Julia wrote her morning schedule on it. “Arm squeeze. Blood draw.” She was over joyed when she understood that there would be no blood draw. The doc felt her tummy and her glands, examined the numbers and said he would see us next year. Her liver is in good shape and the virus is not stressing her body in any way.
“Beyond this place . . . “