day 96: winter leanings

We had big plans to spend another day outdoors but spring decided to lean back to winter, so our excursions were limited to brisk walks. Still, we enjoyed the sun room and the blocks and boomer’s protests at the people walking by our windows.

It was an ordinary day. Nothing of note; except that on those kinds of days, everything is: the way the sun patterns ‘cross the dusty floor, bean’s gaze of concentration, a tiny paw peaking out from a blanket strewn over a napping pup. That feeling of relief and love as the door opens to welcome home the man who makes this life possible.

It is from these perfectly ordinary days that poetry is born. The question is: will I find it? Or do I yearn only for those cheap adventure novels?

No, no. I am content in my verse.

day 81: saint

“Whenever you feel guilty, even if it is because you have consciously committed a sin, a serious sin, something you have kept doing many, many times, never let the devil deceive you by allowing him to discourage you. Whenever you feel guilty, offer all your guilt to the Immaculate, without analyzing it or examining it, as something that belongs to her…
My beloved, may every fall, even if it is serious and habitual sin, always become for us a small step toward a higher degree of perfection.
In fact, the only reason why the Immaculate permits us to fall is to cure us from our self-conceit, from our pride, to make us humble and thus make us docile to the divine graces.
The devil, instead, tries to inject in us discouragement and internal depression in those circumstances, which is, in fact, nothing else than our pride surfacing again.
If we knew the depth of our poverty, we would not be at all surprised by our falls, but rather astonished, and we would thank God, after sinning, for not allowing us to fall even deeper and still more frequently.”
— St. Maximillian Kolbe

day 71: shallow

My words, my worries, lack depth. No longer do I ruminate on the philosophies of shadows and light and personhood. It’s evident as you read back, back, backwards into the vaults of this record, into the journals hidden behind my paperbacks and novels and the volumes of poetry that now hides its beauty from my crass heart. I am alright with being less, so long as I have substance, but I’ve lost this as well. Neither gravity nor wings, I float in an ether neither beautiful nor grotesque, not even this or that. Why? Because I consume, I gorge, I choke on the poisonous foam of Internet fluff.

day 59: something to do

I’d had enough. My sweet boy didn’t seem to be himself any longer and I wanted to (I want to) get him back. So I began to search and sift and distill and came up with a cock-eyed plan to get him better.

But I realized in mass today that without God, it’s all pride, vanity, sloth: those three sins that led me here today, wondering whether the information I found is the right information, knowing my son was compromised by my own hand, paralyzed in analysis. And those three sins will continue to harp me unless I follow the Lord. The Word, after all, is He, and He is the way and the truth and the life. Those I’d rather have than my small sins, even though they are mine and mine alone.

My political libertarianism battles the preachings of my faith. So there, reader, whoever you are, I’ve said it loud for it in silence it shatters me: now you know I am a despiséd radical. Hide yo kids hide yo wife. I do not care. Just leave me free to follow Him. God, being God, is always the path I ought to take.

Prayer
Over a dock railing, I watch the minnows, thousands, swirl
themselves, each a minuscule muscle, but also, without the
way to create current, making of their unison (turning, re-
                                                                      infolding,
entering and exiting their own unison in unison) making of themselves a
visual current, one that cannot freight or sway by
minutest fractions the water’s downdrafts and upswirls, the
dockside cycles of finally-arriving boat-wakes, there where
they hit deeper resistance, water that seems to burst into
itself (it has those layers), a real current though mostly
invisible sending into the visible (minnows) arrowing
                                    motion that forces change—
this is freedom. This is the force of faith. Nobody gets
what they want. Never again are you the same. The longing
is to be pure. What you get is to be changed. More and more by
each glistening minute, through which infinity threads itself,
also oblivion, of course, the aftershocks of something
at sea. Here, hands full of sand, letting it sift through
in the wind, I look in and say take this, this is
what I have saved, take this, hurry. And if I listen
now? Listen, I was not saying anything. It was only
something I did. I could not choose words. I am free to go.
I cannot of course come back. Not to this. Never.
It is a ghost posed on my lips. Here: never.
–Jorie Graham

day 52: reading with bean

As I’ve been at the gym more frequently, A has commandeered bedtime. He’s given bean a bath all by himself, where “all by himself” refers to both A and bean. Bean sat in the bath all alone like a really big boy, and A got everything ready and then soaped up bean and then dried him off and then rubbed him down with coconut oil and got him all bundled up in PJs and snuggles. No easy task, that, and one I only did out of necessity, when A would have to work, much preferring his helping hands when they were around. But A has it all figured out, and they have a guy-time routine, and I am left with an hour to myself which I inevitably spend watching them (surreptitiously) if I’m not away at the gym.

You see, bean has a habit of crying when he sees me once I’ve been out of sight for a bit. I think he just wants some cuddles and it’s his way of asking for them. We’re working on signs but none have stuck yet, so crying is really all he has. Thus I hide, but sometimes it is hard because I love seeing his sweet face! Yesterday I used my ears instead of my eyes, hiding in the other room as A read bean his bedtime story.

A approaches reading in an entirely different manner than I do. He maintains his individuality, whereas I surrender myself completely to the author. He has some thought for the aspects in his own life in which the story may have bearing, where I change my life, myself, to mimic those characters which I particularly admire. What does this mean for The Very Hungry Caterpillar?

A’s hungry caterpillar is hilarious. He probably won’t get to eat all four strawberries on Thursday because momma will swoop in and eat every single one of them, down to the sticky sweet juice. And the cupcake on Saturday wouldn’t stand a chance in poppa’s world. Also, the plums look a whole lot more like big purple grapes than any plum you’d find at the farmer’s market (incidentally, that’s exactly what I think plums look like but I think A has better eyes than I do.) I could not stop laughing at his anecdotes and personal injections.

Bean, boom ,and I sure are blessed to have a person like him.

day 39: a hint of spring

Sunday brought with it 70 degrees, sweet sunshine, and grins that couldn’t be stopped. We had the best sort of day: sleeping in, napping, and adventuring in between. Bean multitasked and adventured while he napped! I slung him up on my back and we wandered through the woods and to the dog park and back through the woods again.

day 36: second opinion

As luck would have it, one of the surgeons on my surgeon list was one of those I researched two years ago, when I first began my search for relief. Try to write a more convoluted sentence. In any case, I didn’t go to him because my appointment was cancelled due to another’s emergency and I figured I would be alright with the innovator of TMJ treatment, Dr. Stack himself. Oh how wrong I was.

I went in thinking Dr. Stack was the best (the BEST!) After all, he held the patent on the TMJ appliance. He cured turrets. He dismissed Parkinson’s. He was the person who began the whole TMJ revolution. Why not go to the expert?

Well, he was handing his practice over. Now, it’s not Dr. Stack’s, it’s Dr. Brown’s. And Dr. Brown doesn’t know very much. Dr. Brown pushed surgery six months into treatment, without looking at imaging, only hearing that fact that I was still suffering chronic, awful pain. Dr. Stack said “no,” but he didn’t really do anything about it. So on I went, going in for treatment and escaping with appliances that would break a week later and huge bills that seemed a waste. Now, I spend 2 grand on a brand new appliance, and I find out from this new surgeon that it’s worse than trash. It just messes me up even more than I already am.

My blood is boiling. But, guess what, I found a surgeon who won’t do surgery, who can do it if he needs to, who is convinced it’s not necessary. He did a CT-scan and it turns out I have a deviated septum. That along with my narrowed trachea from my jaw displacement means I have to work twice as hard to get oxygen. He says if we repair my septum and reposition my jaw, I won’t need to clench and my discs have a chance of falling back into place themselves. And he’ll even be able to encourage them, with the right appliances. He showed where my nerves were pinched; these caused no pain but I was completely unable to steady myself against pressure, but he fixed it all with a couple of popsicle sticks. I won’t have to fear the chance of paralysis or paresthesia of my face. And guess what? After he has me in the right place, I get to work out again. I get to lift. I get to play. I get to live. 8 weeks.

Despite all the money and time wasted, despite the utter shame of not being able to pay for my treatment myself (thank you mom and dad and A), despite the fact that still nothing is guaranteed, I can’t help but bubbling over with joy. It’s a very strange feeling, to have the blood boiling and the joy bubbling, but I’ll take it.