29 September 2016

I have news for you—
there are people who get up in the morning and cross a room
and open a window to let the sweet breeze in
and let it touch them all over their faces and bodies
from a longer poem (I have news for you) by Tony Hoagland

You know what made me a tiny bit mad today, when this young smart healthy person in a moment of feel-good-compassion got all serious and put her hand on my arm, looked into my eyes and felt the need to tell me this was all wrong, that I was letting the disease take over, that I was losing myself being ill, that - oh no - I was becoming this disease and that she for one could not watch it any longer, because I am on my way to hell and depression and so on. And it hurts her to see how I have changed, worse, that I have allowed myself to be changed.
WTF, I almost replied, you don't even know how to spell  'this disease'. You have no idea of its symptoms and risks, you are too healthy to even dream of being ill beyond a sore throat. There are parts of our universes that do not overlap.
Anyway, said nothing. I smiled and thanked her for her concern before she was off on her merry way.
And do you know something else? I once was just like her.

Anyway, this autumn is like summer. The plumeria is about to flower, probably on the first October weekend. It feels wrong, there is no other way to describe this feeling in my gut.


  1. Exactly, the parts that don't overlap, and yet
    yes, in that way, once I was just like her.
    Ah, luxurious ignorance.

  2. Amazing how someone wanting to show their love, compassion, and insight can get it so unbelievably wrong. The worst part of me would have wanted to scream expletives on the top of my lungs, and the best part would have said thank you, and then deleted her contact from every device I have. Some people just don't get it.

    About our environment: I was having a conversation with my older brother about how generations are named. I'm a baby-boomer 60s generation. There are millenials and Generation X, Generation Z, etc. We were wondering what to call the children born in the 2010s and beyond. I suggested "The Last Generation" -- he said, "The Goners." I liked that one. Sad. Really sad times on our beautiful earth.

  3. What that young healthy person told you was painful to read. Your response was kind and generous and multiplies the good in our world. In this, you blessed that girl.

  4. You get the Tolerance of the Year Award because you didn't slap that girl across the face. Or at least verbally take her down. It might have been a "teachable moment" for her.
    As to the CO2- fuck us. We are fucked.

  5. There is one blossom on my flowering quince. Bittersweet.

  6. I think it is understandably very hard for a healthy person to understand what a chronically ill person is going through. You recognized that she meant well, as furious as her comments made you, and that shows a largeness of spirit on your part.

  7. During the five years of chronic pain I endured, I don't think I could have endured such blind chipperness with grace.

    Yeah, chronic conditions take over, leaves marks. Like age. Ah, well.

  8. Ouch ouch ouch.
    Silence is golden, speaking your mind without proper thinking it thru, is often so horribly wrong.
    You hurt her because of what you've 'become'...?
    I'm in awe you didn't lash out. And please, yes, practice self compassion in never allowing this person to come near you.
    I'm 25 years in this 'chronic illness lark'. And you know, I'm finding myself back more and more. Realising my illness is not my fault, acknowledging I have always danced as fast as I could, and finally finding some ease in being just as I am.
    (on a good day :-) )