Wednesday, July 29, 2015

21. Energy spent now preparing for tomorrow is sure to bear tasty fruit.

And I've been doing like Jeb says, working more hours, me and many others - overwhelmed, over worked, and heavily policed. I'll have to take the tasty fruit part on faith, because what if I don't? Here among those living on the second hand sweet of rinds and cores, pits and peels. Left-over-well-used tiny pleasures. This is the good time prescribed by the greater to the lesser. Content yourself with this or burn unabated forever.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Everything's all messed up and wrong now...

Thanks to the artist, Craig Miner, for introducing me to this song.

20. Jewels are the gift of fortune while character comes from within.

Her dispatch comes in after a period of silence. The prognosis is not good. She's got things to sort out. You stiffen a little but really you've known for weeks. Still, the pronouncement of the sentence.

You happen to be standing in front of the kitchen window. It's dusk, and in front of you is a ruby throated hummingbird at the feeder she stuck on there and, a few feet beyond, a male cardinal perched on the platform feeder. Like motherless children in my care now. We'll manage, you say, we'll go on. But you don't want to. Not at all.

On the ride home they talked about depression and denial among climate scientists on the radio and how what they know and what they say to others is not the same sometimes. Howling Cassandra covering her mouth with her hand. Not mad, just clear, so clear we cannot hear.

It's been a heavy week, beginning with the young man you assessed in the Emergency Department. He came to you after having the eight lacerations of his inner arm stitched up. Earlier he called an ambulance, waited a little while, then started cutting with a razor blade. Calculus. He wasn't trying to die.

Last month, he did something similar, and wound up with 40 stitches in his lower leg. This happens after he smokes crack cocaine - feels helpless, hopeless, broke and ashamed - so he cuts himself, he says, to feel something else. He's spent nearly the entire last two months in psychiatric hospitals over four admissions. He doesn't feel safe with himself, he says, and he wants to go back. This has been happening for two years.

I challenge him on that - illustrate the small circle of his life - as though he is unaware of it. Then I back off a little because his helplessness is frustrating me and I feel it rising.

"Hospitalization doesn't seem to have been much help before, why will it be this time? "
No answer.

"What's it going to take to get you off of this wheel?"
He stares back, flat and steady.

Another car radio tidbit revealed this week: the suicide rate of white men in Bristol County increased 72% from the year before. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

19. You will be fortunate in the opportunities presented to you.

Empty platitudes. I'm losing faith. Then this morning coming out the front door I noticed a wild turkey on the roof of my car. Find significance or absurdity where you like.

In other news, I've been keeping a tighter leash on my runaway thoughts. It helps.

That is until today...

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

18. A judgment will rule in your favor.

Imagine the worst and then consider every possible variation. You do this well. Don't sleep much for a week and replay those variations in a continuous loop. Live with it in darkness and silence. Visit with madness nightly. See the end clearly. Recite the litany of doom yet again but write a new verse this time. Press on a little further than ever before.

Use this scorched Earth vision to get back to your self. Your shell. It's nearly uninhabitable now, but start shoveling out the muck because there is nowhere else to go. This is where you live. Face it. Fix it.

After a few days of that kind of thinking, you are able to hear the birds and take care to feed them. A mating pair of cardinals, a pair of hummingbirds. You watch one of the later perched on a branch for a long time. Sometimes even they are still.

You cook food for yourself, washing the pans slowly and mindfully after eating. The quiet isn't death-like now, could it be peaceful? You sit in the chair looking out at the trees, without suffering, thinking you just have to get leaner, quiet this thing, stay grounded, avoid poison. You think you should take better care of your love.

Inside, the tone has changed again. Your love is your own. You are the source and the agent of its transmission. You send the message out - a simple statement.

If found, please return. Someone cares. 

She receives it, responds, and within hours your are looking into her eyes again. You are not necessary here, but she has invited you anyway. There isn't much time left. Don't waste it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

17. A new venture will be a success

That night she treated him to dinner. It was his birthday. She was annoyed with him despite her best efforts at proper observance. He tried humor once or twice but to no effect. She wanted him to be lighter than he was, wanted him to be other than he was. He would have liked to be that way too. He struggled to not get any heavier.

There was a full moon shining that night, a Blue Moon - hazy yellow -which refused to let him sleep until nearly dawn. It forced him to survey the space between them. He couldn't calculate an exact measure, but the gap was vast, and the feeling of great distance caused him pain. Just days ago there had been none. He felt so close. Now, he could not feel her at all.

He waited all night for the feeling to shift, but it didn't.

He wanted to dress and leave. He didn't want to dress and leave. He wanted to tell her he could feel the death of it, the sudden absence of life where it had been so vivid before. He didn't want to say it aloud for fear of suggesting it into reality. He tried to resist the full formation of the thought for the same reason. He only wanted to find his way back to her, to keep it breathing.

In her sleep, she moved toward him. Her foot came into contact with his leg.

He held his breath and waited for the relief that would come with the catalyst that would turn the whole thing around and get them back to where they should be. From there it would become a funny story about how you can really twist things up in your head. Don't trip, she'd say. They'd laugh, he'd pull her in close, she'd tell him he's a little bit crazy, and they'd be okay.

As soon as her foot came into contact with him, she drew it back. In a few minutes, the alarm on his phone will sound and a different day will begin still in darkness.