Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Of all my cooking, the thing Dara likes most is when I grind fresh chai masala, so she can add it to her tea. So simple.

& I’ve spent the past few weeks arranging a reaction paper to Spicer via Calvin, 3 pages. My brain still moves slow—better than when I first fell ill (2000) when, for example, I would struggle to find the right word and then say “cupboard” for tea cup; this among other impediments to clear thinking and communication. As I get better (a little each day adds up, thanks to the meditation and my family’s love) I can gradually do more, but it still takes an effort of its own, to write even exposition. Floyd Skloot has written eloquently regarding this.

In one sense it (falling so ill so long) disrupted my life—I had just started in the program at Utah, where I was very happy to be. But, I see now that this is my life, or was and I didn’t know it. Looking back, I believe my body was fated (genetic, dispositional, early Lyme’s? I don’t know) to hit a wall and break down. I’d always been a reader by disposition—slow to physical exercise, sensorally removed, home from school sick a lot—and I think this was not just disposition but coping with a physical tendency which, as I became more responsible each day, and even each moment (married, a father, working), eventually came to a head. And the stress (good stress, but stress) of being a poet—the constant perceptual awakeness to oneself and one’s aroundness—eventually a gasket blew. Or something. I mean, there were infectious agents involved, but those a regularly-functional immune system would handle no problem. The real illness is my inability to maintain both a normal-functioning metabolism and a normal-functioning immune system. So it really was a matter of lifestyle. Why I chose to live a lifestyle which did not fit my body is a topic for later, maybe. That I found the qigong that I did is a miracle (That I am recovering, not only coping, due to the power of this meditation, is seriously just so happy, so rejuvenating-beyond-merely-the-illness, so cool). That it is enabling me to attend to my incompletes and even contemplate returning to school is the joy Scrooge felt back in his life, after the ghosts.

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