Wait, what’s the plan?
Today started well enough, early. I had a shower last night, which relaxed my body, which then gave way to a larger and longer than normal bowel movement. (Read: discomfort.) With that, I was later than usual in lights out, though still hours ahead of the previous recent norm.
So sleep came, and later went, and came again. I did not sleep deeply and long, but I do think I rested well. I noticed a few various times going by through the night, I can’t remember exactly which, but three or perhaps four of them caught my eye.
Eleña (https://gardensong.home.blog/2020/01/14/starting-somewhere/) would come in the morning around 8 AM which would give me plenty of time for good meditation without stirring in the dark hours. Don’t get me wrong, by far my favorite time to meditate is in the dark hours, particularly those of the early morning, between 3 and 5 AM. Some days however, like today, it’s nice just to rest and through, knowing that I won’t be rushed with a sense of impending day. The later arrival of my friend would give just such a space.
As it turns out perhaps, this quality of – just a little more space – would actually describe many aspects of the day to come.
For an 8 o’clock arrival, making it to my desk by 9:30 AM always feels like a good accomplishment. That was the case today. I arrived to my calendar, to do list, and inbox with a good sense of room to settle in before the anticipated 1130 to noon arrival of the automobile dent repair specialist, and the noon arrival of my friend Andrew, coming to take me through the routine of a weekly workout.
Andrew would announce later the unexpected free space I would have between noon and 2 PM when, at 11:15 on the nose his text rang through to indicate a wife going into labor and his attentions, quite understandably, elsewhere than here.
It would be 1 PM before I wondered enough about the dent repair appointment to find out by text that the dear fellow had had to call it a day early for pressing health reasons which, for his own privacy I won’t go into here, except to say that I feel his pain and wish him a well and speedy recovery.
And with that, a busy midday had opened up into a long and “easy” cruise into late afternoon when I would go to visit my friend, osteopath, and primary care physician, Mike for the first tuneup and formal check-in since my hospitalization last month.
Today would, it seems, and did, consist, after just a little bit of clerical business, almost entirely of writing.
Given my situation, with many practical and concrete matters in distinct states of uncertainty (housing, care, transportation, finance) and flux, in the moments when I have nothing to do to act on those specific details, I turn to storytelling. This storytelling is not an act of luxury, nor is it one of retreat or escape. This is crucial storytelling.
We all live our lives inside of stories – stories of our identities, stories of our dreams, stories of our fears, our past, our capacities and obstacles, stories of those around us, stories of what is true and unbending, stories of what is false and stupid. We create these stories together, and we create them alone, stories of the stories we have created with others…
I live in the story, for example, that we create stories, and in writing this here, I live in the story that it is useful to do so, and that these words will be read by you dear reader, at some point in the future.
So in the absence of useful practical action, I turn to the useful practical action of telling some relevant stories, both to myself out loud, and for others who may connect to these stories and find an interest in engaging with me in some useful practical actions.
So that is what I did today. I told stories, hopefully they will find their way in some fashion to you, either in the written word as they have landed on the page, or perhaps in some successive artifact like a video, a PowerPoint, a project, or some service. You may not even realize, encountering that artifact that it is one of the stories that has brought it to be, brought it to you and to the world.
I told stories of an accident 17 years ago last November. I told stories of how the moments of that event were reflected in seemingly innocuous incidents in the last 24 hours. I told stories of what I might do with that and what might come next. I told stories in reply to the invitations of others (https://vimeo.com/384914309/4e87c689f7), and I tell this story to you.
I had a lovely visit with Mike this afternoon. Eleña took me to the car and said goodbye, Cassandra stepped behind the wheel and said hello. We made our way to the clinic and said hello to Frank, and then Sarah, the medical student from Seattle, and then Mike, and then Frank again, and then Mary and Terri, and then we left. On the way home, we said hello to Tommy, and then when we arrived home, Tommy said hello to us.
The afternoon found me quite overwhelmed with spasticity for reason we may never know. Mike’s osteopathic adjustment confirmed supported my good health. Now to close these words, these little story, and turn to dinner and silliness and stillness and night.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…