Thursday, January 15, 2009

Catching Flies

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks, as I've been writing the story of what happened in March 2004, when life took such a dive. I've been wanting to get it down for awhile now, just so that I don't have to tell the story anymore. If someone wants to know what happened, I want to be able to simply direct them to the blog posting, which will liberate me from having to tell such a weighty story over and over. I suppose it's a way of putting it in the past, even though it continues to play out in such painful ways.

In writing it, though, there are so many details to the story that I begin to even bore myself with it. While there's plenty of action, blood and guts, literally, it tires me to write it, so I've been carefully editing and shortening, as at the end of the day, I'm an entertainer at heart. If I'm gonna spin a tale with that much real-life drama, I've got to lighten the verbiage to capture the essence of how rapidly things declined, and how close I came to meeting my maker, with all of the harrowing details intact.

Who knows if anyone will ever read it, and who cares. I just gotta get it on the page so that I can leave it somewhere. As the World Wide Web is a fairly large place, I suspect it can handle the load.

As for how things have been the past few weeks, comparing life to a rollercoaster is an understatement. I'm working with a new chiropractor who's doing trigger point therapy--working out the knots in my face, jaw and neck that have taken years to develop.

On about two occasions, I had a couple of hours where I was completely, absolutely pain-free. There was one night that I caught myself with my mouth open in astonishment, the old "catching-flies" gape, as I felt so completely myself again. When physical pain lifts, the speed with which it becomes a memory is nothing short of shocking. Immediately, my thoughts raced towards all of the things I want to do, goals I want to accomplish, paintings I want to start. I even continued work on a song I began last year.

I was so heartened by this new turn of events that I also signed up for a one-month intensive workshop of flamenco study, where I go to class in New York every other day. The exercise has boosted my endorphins, and I've had short periods of such hope and happiness.

But in the last few days, the pain in my face lapsed back into being as bad as it ever was, and I've been popping Vicodin like candy in an effort to get the level down, not just because I don't want to suffer, but because I'm going out to dinner this weekend with my family to celebrate my 50th birthday.

Fifty. When the hell did that happen? In some, if not most, ways, I'm thrilled to say I'm younger than I've ever been. But time is marching on, and each day has a new value that hasn't existed before. Twenty years ago I was 30; in another 20, I'll be 70.

As Carly Simon once said, "I haven't got time for the pain," but it seems that pain has time for me.

Well, I can't do anything about it except accept it, hard as that is. When they say we "practice" acceptance, that's exactly what it is--like practicing the piano.

I need to get better at it.


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