Wednesday, December 01, 2004

What have i ever lost?

Yep, I got it. Spent the last two days in bed with fever, bodyache, eyestrain-thing-what-feels-like-needles-being-
driven-straight-through-yer-greymush. The body wasn't meant to lie for so long upon such a firm futon as I have, so doing so creates other echo aches that exacerbate the inner ache, which turns it all into an ache amplification loop I'd rather not find myself spinning in.

So my fever broke at 4am this morning and I was suddenly awash in sweat and hot salt, lying on my bed naked and burning until the chill prodded me to cover up and fall back to sleep. Small thing, the flu. Upon waking and rising like a Lazarus from my prone sepulchre, I checked my e-mail to find a letter from my friend Richard.

It wasn't good news. His wife, the beautiful Marina, is slowly succumbing to pancreatic cancer and he is in terror trying to hold himself together for himself, his 3 year-old daughter Tiana, and for Marina. The pain has become worse, more prolonged. His overriding fear and feelings of impotence are peaking as the time draws nearer toward that time the body says enough and the spirit bids adieu. I don't know how they do it. I just don't know.

My dear 17 year-old nephew, J. D., has leukemia. Cancer of the blood. He is quite fragile and cannot have regular visitors and usually no visitors at all. I think of him often. And I think of Marina. I am ashamed to offer this and this only. Is it love or denial? Both, I think.

I send you both my love and light and whatever might pass down to you in the form of angels or healing from places invisible and beyond all understanding. I wish for you that there be no pain. I wish for there to be only love present in the room, in your homes, in your hearts. I wish for strength to be conferred upon those who care for you, those whose daily caregiving brings them to sacrifice themselves for your comfort.

I sent this poem, written by Rumi, to my dear friend Richard. It was all I could think to do:

For millions & millions of years I lived as a mineral.
Then I died and became a plant.

For millions & millions of years I lived as a plant.
Then I died and became an animal.

For millions & millions of years I lived as an animal.
Then I died and became a man.

Now what have I ever lost by dying?


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