I realize this afternoon that I've become accustomed to illness. What does this mean?
It means that I live from day to day within an altered framework of ability and activity ... that a 'new normal' has taken hold, and kept a hold, for a long time ... that every day requires me to prod the borders of what is possible, and to learn -- constantly -- what is possible in a moment.
What I goofily call 'brain farts' are glitches in cognition ... impairments in my brain's executive functions. I love to think; I'm a scholar and philosopher, a reader and writer, at heart. Lately, thoughts come and go ... and stay gone. Often, I smile at this going ... and I mourn, too. Are the impairments permanent? I don't know.
To live in a state of love with an animal (in my case, with two cats who share my home, and with other cats and dogs who share the homes of my human friends) is to live free in the relational moment from the overlays and complications of human thought ... free of the corrosive dross of judgment ... free in the limbic realm of pure sensation, touch, and warmth ... free in the spacious realm of simple, mammalian relation ...
From the film What Dreams May Come: "Hell is where people go when they can't forgive themselves." I need to forgive myself for being ill every day. I recognize both the merciful and predatory aspects of my own makeup ... and those of other people. In some people, mercy reigns; in others, predation. Those in whom predation reigns do not forgive my weakness; those who tend to mercy and compassion do not judge in a manner that requires forgiveness ... They forge understanding in their own minds ... and often, they are people who live in mindful awareness of their own fragility, and are merciful to some degree towards themselves ...
The ordinary becomes overwhelming. The mere becomes sheer. This experience is a consequence of trauma. Sartre wrote, "Hell is other people." Hell for me is the stimulation that can overwhelm my sensory and perceptual capacities when I am with other people. I need quietude like we all need air to breathe.
You know when someone says, "My blood is boiling"? That, in a word, is inflammation. Put another way, it's autoimmune disease.
Welcome, reader ... This blog is where faith, love and wise mind tussle with despair, shame, and confusion ... and with the best humour I can rustle up. I write here as a person who lives in the aftermath of severe developmental traumas; much of my life's work, both personal and professional, has been in the service of healing existential injury and volitional paralysis, and evolving through the grace of relation ...
~~ Mercy has no boundaries ~~ (Leonard Cohen, Book of Mercy)
Take a boo at the blog; you'll find me there, in one of three guises: Pushing Fifty Gently... is where I sass, opine, and worship my cats. The Quoteable I Ching is here to honour a wisdom tradition that I follow and revere ... and A Post-Cynical Seer chronicles one soul's deeper currents and journeys. Otherwise, I'm likely to be upending my home in search of my glasses, tripping over cats as I go, and spilling my tea. I'm no longer pushing fifty ... Fifty's pushing me!