Saturday, December 15, 2007


This cold has been threatening to overtake me for months. I have felt it hovering, near or far, since summer at least. I was anxious, in the week or two before my boards; I desperately wanted not to be sick, then, and I stopped riding my bicycle or doing anything strenuous, so as not to give it any opportunity.

"Let me be as sick as anything, after my boards," I said -- to myself? -- "but let me get through them first." I felt a bit under the weather on the day of the exams, but not so much so that I couldn't conceal it.

After that, I threw caution to the winds. I almost wanted to be sick. I felt I had to be really sick, to stop the hovering.

Now, whether this has to do with physical reality, I couldn't say. It's not entirely implausible. But it's as a shadow-play that it's important, of course, and for that purpose it really doesn't matter how true.

I knew it was unwise to bike to Tosi's in the cold, last Tuesday. And to go ahead and do the massage Thursday night (I did warn my client, and offer to reschedule, but she wanted to go ahead.) So in a sense I brought this on myself. But I wanted to get sick and be done with it. Until my body understood this virus intimately, it might hover indefinitely. So I rode my bike and did my massage.

Now it's settled down into my chest. But my body is gradually getting the better of it. I feel marginally better than I did yesterday. It's learning to recognize the virus and coming to grips with it. When I get well, I will be really well.

There are times when prudence is my greatest enemy. It's better to fall and get up again, than to walk too carefully. I can't say even now, as the full suffering implicit in this year becomes plain to me, that I wish it had been different. I don't wish it had been different.

A silver light comes through the windows. A high, white overcast, and a faint luminous mist; light that comes from everywhere and nowhere. My diaphragm, the muscles between my ribs, and the serrati that bind them to the spine are sore from coughing, and my head throbs slightly.

I am intensely grateful for all of it, for this living, breathing, suffering body, for the love beyond imagination or desert.

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