Out of bed again, this time since Saturday midday I’ve been mostly reclined, nursing the mystery discomfort that sent me from my chair to the more manageable workspace of bed.
The recent inconsistencies in caregiving (and likely other factors) have manifested skin breakdown in three distinct areas on my backside which have served the defective scapegoat for the discomfort.
I’m happy to report these three areas are well on the mend as we speak, Alice, Betty, and Charlie we’ve named them, following the tropical storm protocol. Charlie has for all practical purposes left the building, Betty is well on the mend, and Alice who was faring the worst has made the most dramatic improvements.
I had hoped to make the “embodiment conversation” with my friends at San Diego Integral on Saturday, but found myself otherwise engaged in the process of reorientation. Sunday’s clerical weekly review has also fallen temporarily to the side of the healing process, but I was sure to make the engagement with the extended community of GTC as we endeavor to drop further into questions of how to respond to the deep pains of systemic racism throughout the world.
Sweet Patience was due on Sunday morning, this would be her first encounter with skin breakdown and the commensurate vulnerability. I knew she would do well, and yet was delighted by the serendipity when my brother Tomás called from the road.
Family business was bringing him briefly to town from his home on the central coast and he was just ringing in to discover if we might enjoy a short visit before he turned around. As would be the case on any day, I invited and encouraged him to rest the evening before driving back five hours and steep in a little more conversation as our telecommunications remain sacred but rare, and face-to-face interactions drift from months to years apart.
Lying in bed that Saturday afternoon, I hadn’t quite fully noticed the loneliness I was feeling, but when a friendly voice on the phone said “I look forward to seeing you.” I found my eyes quickly wet and heart broken by joy.
Of course the dressing on the cake was simply that Tomás also happens to be a highly skilled and well accomplished RN and a consummate teacher whose presence would make the introduction of these conditions to Patience point every bit as graceful as possible, let alone hoped.
The grace and kindness of friends, the deep conversations late into the evening with Tomás the quiet of my bedroom, the resting, and the healing conspired, manifesting a warm sense of beauty and goodness in spite of delays in what feels like a critical period of time and work.
“Murder Hornets!?” Said Patience this morning as we arrived in the kitchen. The house is shut up right now, today, less against the summer heat which has been scorching for the duration of my bed riddeness, and more against the… Well let me put it this way, this is how the newscast I was listing to yesterday evening finished:
“Who knows what kind of witches brew of chemicals could be going up into the air?“
This of course was in reference to the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier that spontaneously burst into flames yesterday morning in the San Diego harbor.
Shut up in the air conditioning yesterday I was oblivious to this event until late evening when the lady A called to ask if she call my nephew and the dog could come and stay the night as the air at her place had become unbreathable.
Apparently I was due a spontaneous stream of visitors, and welcome.
Of course 2020 has become a running joke, Batman villains being set free by the occupant of the Oval Office, record-breaking dust storms, toxic smoke plumes, and I’m only teasing the surface, as you will likely know. So when my friend and I arrived in the kitchen this morning to find a nearly 2 inch insect buzzing from the inside of the glass, we naturally knew we were hosts to one of the hits.
I’ve eaten now, been up for nearly an hour, still feeling days behind, but grateful for the kind and loving supportive words from friends, opportunities to connect and be of service, and raw sense of determination to keep building towards the beauty we know is possible on this invaluable little blue planet in our own obscure corner of everywhere.
Time is short, the stakes are high, and the conditions we create have consequences. Right now my own experience is one of tremendous struggle, surrendering to what will be, while maintaining to the best of my skill, a focused determination to cut through the ignorance, greed and aversions snarling at the corners of that vision to keep us on track.
With breath in my body, I will write again tomorrow and between now and then, with luck, I will offer some small token more…
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…