25 January 2019

permission to unravel

Once again I wake in the early hours without any bearings, the small shaft of light coming through the blinds spinning. In my left ear, the hatefully familiar deep hammering noise. I shout out a string of curses, the worst that come to mind, while I stumble and crawl to the bathroom along the walls and on the floor, before the contents of my stomach rush up. I wash my face, blow my nose and as instructed, take note the blood clots shooting out from my sinuses. My knees buckle and I let myself fall.
Hours later, tamed by dramamine and the resignation provided by too many years of chronic illness, I am watching my GP's receptionist print out another sick cert.

It is my understanding of things in general that we all carry at least one demon around with us. They are tricky, demons, never showing their real face. And no, they are not obvious and have nothing to do with fear or loss or something that happened long ago.
The demon I carry around occasionally taps out secret messages, knocking inside my sinuses and inner ears, my brain. I have long given up deciphering. It's all code, acts of pure self defence, reminding me that he's still around, that he'll never leave. But then again, he'd be lost without me. So there. And for now, my demon comes with a sick cert. 

This year's first. 

Tuesday went in a blur.

On Wednesday, I had what my daughter would call a small massive melt down. I usually have one by day three anyway. By now, we are pretty blase about it. This time, I extended my repertoire in that I shouted and called R names. He shrugged it off and made tea. Secretly, I was hoping for him to at least lose some of his cool. But he never does.

By Thursday, I was back to coping mechanisms and managed to persuade a hotel manager to forgo the cancellation fees because, bullshit. Also, we are not going to attend my father's 90th birthday party this weekend, which is a relief in more ways I can express. 

Today, Friday, I am fed up and scared and I wish for - oh I forget, nothing, everything, whatever.

A few days into the new year, I cut the big toe of my right leg walking on this glorious, sunny beach after a swim in the Pacific ocean.  I had run into the waves holding my daughter's hand. We were giddy like teenagers on the run. Her baby, a few weeks old, was well out of sight and earshot behind the dunes, looked after by the men. And briefly, she was my little girl again as we were diving through the surf,  laughing, shouting with happiness.
The next day I had to show the red toe and my by then throbbing leg to a doctor, and I started a 5-day course of antibiotics. The toe got better, I forgot about it. 

What's this?, my GP said on Monday. This antibiotic is not authorized for use in Europe. Could be the cause of this flare up, tsk tsk etc. (But do I care?)

22 January 2019

Watch Greta

Please make sure the setting is for English subtitles - unless you understand Swedish and Norwegian.

18 January 2019

11 January 2019

In the early, very early morning hours I look out the kitchen window into the grey and wet garden. Desolate is a word I could use to describe the view but of course it's really just January - and jet lag.

A bit more than one day ago, I stood in the shade of frangipani and breadfruit trees by a small beach, watching plastic bottles drifting on the currents of the deep blue South China sea, gently landing and resting on the golden sand for a short moment before being whisked off by a uniformed young man. I tried polite conversation about the number of bottles he picks up in a morning and whether they come from ships or Indonesia or Malaysia. But he just smiled, his teeth very white, and bowed reassuringly. All clean now madam, and off he ran after the next bottle. My shirt was sticking to my back by the time the taxi driver offered me a cool cool bottle madam, and later on the plane, the supply was once again seemingly endless. Flying for three days includes a lot of plastic bottles.

Through my kitchen window I watch rain turn to sleet. I can faintly remember the birdcalls that now form the soundtrack to my grandchild's days. My garden in winter is silent.

Earlier, I calculated my life expectancy online. The Swiss offer me a stunning 30 years, the US is less enthusiastic with a mere 21 and Germany cuts it to 17 more years but only with a 50% probability and I had to click my way through three disclaimers before I got the result. 
(Obviously, I left out the bit about my shitty disease.) 

A week ago, I stood in front of the sign above, stunned and suddenly too much aware of what is ahead of us.

"The French philosopher Henri Bergson (. . .) developed a so-called process ontology, which claims that nothing in the universe is ever fixed. In fact everything that exists is an ongoing and evolutionary process (élan vital) without a fixed goal. And since—according to Bergson—our rational mind is solely capable of understanding and therefore predicting rigid entities but not processes, any belief in the complete predictability of the universe must be abandoned. Instead, we should focus on the possibilities of an open, spontaneous and creative future, which we will only then be able to understand, if we get more in touch with our so-called intuitive faculty, which is able to fathom a process in its processual state."

More here.

picture credit: educatingthedragon.blogspot.com

10 January 2019

new year's resolutions

Start to consciously breathe again, maybe twice on the first day.
Feel my connection with the food that I eat today.
With the path that I take today.
Become aware of the sky above me. The ground beneath me.
And myself in between.
And to find it all ok.