Monday, July 30, 2012

Something I Ate

“Must have been something I ate,” we say, or possibly it was everything I ate: a couple days of high stress, a couple days of reckless eating. It came on yesterday, as I was finishing up the weekly reports for work: a sluicing diarrhea, and the strange intense pains that can go along with that. You would think that it would be a nice break for the bowels, dealing in fluids for a change; but it seems not – sharp, griping pains, and faint efflorescences of panic.

I made it home without accident, and spent a disturbed night, back and forth from the bed to the bathroom, pain enough to make me gasp and think of death one moment, and mere faint discomfort the next. I remembered a retreat I was on once, with Lama Michael, and Michael in the grips of a horrid flu. Pale and sweaty but good-humored. “Sometimes,” he remarked, “impermanence is on our side.”

And now I'm fine, and already it becomes dreamlike, the distress difficult to recollect. Now the fact that I took the day off work already is larger to me than the digestive episode, the fact that I disturbed the even, two-stroke motor of my life across the pond. It's nice to do something different. I cooked my own eggs – eggs from the neighbor behind us, the ones with the Yeats-and-Richard-Wilbur poetry board, or rather from their murmurous, mellifluous chickens – and ate a wedge of extraordinarily sweet cantaloupe, and shared Martha's grounds to make my coffee. And then I made a salad, and washed up, taking time out to lie down from time to time. It was very domestic and nice.

Maybe, I thought, maybe I could learn to stay home in the morning, make breakfast, not be so restless. I knew there was not a chance of that, though, not while I'm healthy. When the sun is out and about, I have to be too.

And now – it's about time for a nap, I think. My eyes are closing themselves. Later!

11 comments:

Zhoen said...

Once in a while, our guts remind us of the vanity of perfection.

Kathleen said...

Oooh, sorry you had to go through that. Sounds all good now.

Anonymous said...

Maybe your body just needed a bit of a cleanse.

Sabine said...

Hope all is well again! We should give our bodies (intestines) some credit, imagine the mess if it would not do such a perfect job. Read somewhere that our second brain sits deep in our belly.

Dale said...

All better, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dale: I've just read OPENING THE WORLD and like it very much. The poetry and the sensibility. The spirituality. I'm a poet, too, and one of the poets of Airlie Press (www.airliepress.org), a poetry collaborative in the Willamette Valley. We are accepting new manuscripts in September. If you have a new book, we'd be glad to look at it. Much to say about the press--the work of it and the spirit of it. I'd be glad to answer any questions. Email me at anderson7715@msn.com. Chris Anderson

Peter said...

“Sometimes,” he remarked, “impermanence is on our side.”

I love it!

Anonymous said...

The thoughts of death might have been part of a vasovagal attack. I've experienced them twice, both times after eating something that didn't agree with me. Breaking out in a cold sweat, eyesight blurring, sound becoming muffled, and an overwhelming feeling that I was about to die. Lying down helped the discomfort pass fairly quickly.

Dale said...

Oh, interesting! I was wondering what the mechanism of the distress was: that sounds very plausible.

Dallas Massage said...

This is a great topic because usually it is just something we ate.

marly youmans said...

How fun--an invitation on your blog! Always lovely when things like that happen.

What Wilbur/Yeats board? Tell! Yeats, Wilbur, and chickens--that sounds satisfying.