Where has the story gone? 2
“Arc” you asked. Where’s the tension? In this stream of thought narrative, where’s the impending catastrophe?
As we spoke yesterday, one construct came to mind – that for nearly the entire length of this journal exercise (nearly 7 weeks running), I’ve really been sailing along the top of the story arc.
The months, and years really, leading up to late December of last year where the crisis confrontation came to a head might be seen through the lens of the hero’s journey as the first half of the story. Since leaving the hospital on the eve of the winter solstice (could it be more poetic) to enter the period of crisis, I’ve really just been resting in that part of the story.
The calm of the approach, obliterated, the chaos of questions, money, time, care, where can they be found, is there enough, what do they look like, how best employed? How to find the treasure in the crisis?
I have not known, and therefore have not been able to speak to, what comes next, what is destroyed, what is the nature of the rebirth? There has been no arc at the top of the arc, this is the deepest part of what Campbell calls the Special World.
Of course another reason for the absence of an arc, might just be that I am plummeting straight down into oblivion, eyes filled with imaginary things, and failing to see the ground rushing up to meet me.
This very morning, I tasted a bit of that despair that creeps in when my mind tries to grasp a sense of certainty for a future not yet fully formed. It’s a nauseating feeling. I’ve described it as being drug under a truck, drug over rocks, hitting the windshield, as well as other often violent and distinctly unpleasant metaphors. Whatever it might be likened to, one thing is certain – it is only marginally good for my health, at best, to entertain the thoughts that lead to that feeling.
Of course I don’t mean to be impractical. If I do need to move to some assisted living, to sell the house, and begin the arrangements to meet the challenges of being a high cost individual with low financial resources, that is where my attention and focus will go. In that eventuality I would of course endeavor to keep some resource on this journal. Undoubtedly the story would have more arc at that time.
In the meantime, I direct my thoughts to stillness and relaxation, cultivating a readiness to grasp what Don Juan called “the warrior’s square centimeter of chance” which appears only briefly and must be captured immediately. Or when I have the opportunity to be occupied with more, my attention moves to some acute problem-solving, like completing my business tax organizer today, or creative endeavor, like refining an invitation to initiate MettaCare into its next wave of refinement.
I seem to be losing less sleep these days over the ambiguity of my situation. I even found the breath to simply relax today, devoting the generally most productive hours of the afternoon to attending a small community gathering to remember a dear friend who has recently passed on.
Tomorrow I will go for my annual bone scan to collect the third data point in a three year journey exploring the trajectory of my osteoporotic concerns. I was diagnosed years ago with osteoporosis, a common concern for quadriplegic individuals, the last two bone scans suggested good news on that front, and tomorrow’s results (probably not available for a few weeks) will indicate whether there has been a sustainable trajectory of improvement, or something else…
This task does nothing to prepare me for the worst, in fact it assumes I’ll have some standing in the future to make use of the efforts required. The whole of tomorrow indeed is dedicated (per my scheduling) to focus on advancing creative efforts rather counter to preparations for the worst. Tomorrow I’ll be earning income which would create difficulties for the social services that would eventually be necessary to cover my costs in assisted living. I will also be working on the MettaCare project, something that will be taken over by others should I fail to avert having to seek my treasure in less friendly halls.
Always the optimist it seems, I’m just working with what I have. Some quality of emptiness, not quite ennui, but perhaps it’s more cheerful cousin occupies my mind when I am not either still, creative, or lost in fear.
Tomorrow the rain.
I am once removed in at least three places from those who have recently died or are dying today in my life. One of those, a parent losing a child. On another front, a marriage of many years is crumbling. Still another friend feeling the pangs of separation from their beloved. I could go on, circling out from myself counting the “misfortunes” immediately visible to me. Sadness and loss, incapacity, and human beings standing strong in each of those circumstances of despair.
All that is without leaving my Rolodex. Pandemic disease, mass murders, economic and technological warfare’s, lawlessness and systems and ideas eating the vital lives within them, all easily within view.
Still at times I think I’m behaving with a bit too much drama in my own situation. Better I think if I can take each moment as it comes, strive to bring my best intelligence and most gracious heart in each instant, and bring some sense of peace to these pages, as that is what I really value. Peace and love, good fortune for all, may I and you, all of us, walk a beauty way.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…