Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Warning Signs

This week I've been confronted time and time again with these incredible moments that jar me out of my ordinary conciousness into a kind of stunned amazement. I was watching a television program about this man who suffers from elephantiasis, and his bravery and spirit just cut into me like a knife. He has suffered terribly his whole life with a disease that causes him blinding headaches and has disfigured his face and body into something terrifying to look at, but he maintains a good attitude and tries to make the best of his situation. I saw him and felt this overwhelming sense of the unfairness of his situation. Why do I get to be so lucky and he has to live with that?

Then I ran into a woman that I haven't seen in three years. She had a new baby and looked radiant. We chatted for a while and I mentioned the big changes in her life. She said "Yeah, it's been really challenging. I would never have asked for all of it, but after losing the first baby, then having the brain tumor and the brain surgery, gettting pregnant again with her....it all worked out as it should have, I guess." She had been through hell and come out on the other side with a wonderful gift, and she was grateful for it. I was stunned by the ordeals that people have thrust upon them, time and time again, and how beautiful it is when they come through them with grace and gratitude.

After talking with her, I saw an old friend who'd been stationed in Iraq for the past year and a half. He'd been going along in his regular life as a cop, putting in time with the National Guard, then this war...he was jerked out of the comfortable trajectory he was used to and thrust into an alien life. His wife and children had to be without him, worried sick...then here he is, back like he'd just taken a long walk around the block. Back, but with the specter of additional deployments ahead of him...

Then last night a guy I work with got shot. He's not a cop, he works at the garage. Took a round in the face, one in the shoulder, one in the hand, in the stomach, in the back...He survived, but barely. The shooter left him lying in the dirt and went to another house, where he shot and killed another person. The guy who survived the shooting is the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. At the scene they found roses and candy he was bringing to his girlfriend.

You think you're going to have a nice little Valentines Day celebration, the next thing you know you're fighting for your life.


I dunno.


It feels like some kind of serious heads-up.


I guess that I am so happy with my life, with the abundant blessings that have been heaped on me by a benevolent universe, that I kind of feel like I'm maxing out my last credit card, and any moment the thing is gonna melt down. The lady behind the counter's gonna get on the phone and not let me have it back.

"I'm sorry, sir. Your card's been declined."


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Did anybody watch Nova last night? Those bugs trapped in amber from twenty million years ago? A fly with a lifespan of two days gets stuck in some resin, and twenty million years later we can count every little hair on his head.

Fuck me.


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Last night's Yoga class was a lifesaver. I always dread going and try to come up with excuses, but once I'm there I feel like I want to do it forever, every day, all day long. I'm good at putting up resistance to what I need. I'm a tricky bastard that way.


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I love this life. I truly do. I want so much to do it right, to have a great fucking time and not waste it, not waste any of it.



*


I still want that lens.



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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, but does the lens want you?

Your post reminded me of a remarkable, truly unforgettable documentary I saw recently on TLC called The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off.

I know I don't possess that kind of grace. I think you do.

Your post also reminded me of a lyric I heard today:

"It's only life. Kill yourself or get over it."
--Black Box Recorder

I think that should be my next tattoo.

Oh, and hey, for what it's worth?

I think you are the lens.

6:00 PM  
Blogger jitney said...

i had that tattoo yesterday, or one kinda like it: said: it's only life don't let it kill you.
i think that's what it is with suicides; it's life that gives them the freedom to die. me, i got larger worries: i'm running out of my stick-on tattoos.

you might not think i'm here, scott, but i am, every moment. jim

8:19 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

I watched Nova, I fall in love with anyone who is obsessed, I understand that so completely. The husband and wife scientists really rang my bell. I wanted to send them both poems and flowers.

After that, I watched the woman who was flying in one of Da Vinci's flying machines. I fell in love with her, too. She wanted to go higher and higher. She had Icarus printed on her helmet. I am comfortable with obsession and its twin, passion, and the circle of obsession and passion we walk and sometimes step outside of, outside the circumference into something measureless, that's obsession, I think. The circle of obsession. One minute you're walking the passion line practicing 3 hours a day and everything is cool and the next minute you've stepped off the line into obsession and you realized you haven't brushed your hair in a week.

I haven't explained my theory to my shrink yet. HAHAHAHA.

xor

9:15 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

Hurry and read the above post. I fear it doesn't make much sense. Or won't for long. I may have to politely remove it.
xor

p.s. If I could draw you a picture of it, the circle, I mean, and draw me walking that line, show it to you that way, show you how thin the line really is, like a hair, and how hard to sty on it, stay passionate and not fall in, then it might make sense. Maybe. Probably not.

p.p.s.I will be thinking about the garage guy for a long time. I will be sending goodness and energy his way. I hope he recovers. I will shine my little light for him.

9:20 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Thank you, thank you.

It means the world to me that you are out there. Little satellites in the cold of deep space, pinging out messages that make it seem not quite so cold. Not so lonely.


Anonymous- That boy is exactly it. I keep telling myself there is some reason for that kind of hard life that I can accept even if I don't understand it completely. But I have to say that based upon my own reaction to them, they do have a strong, incredibly powerful presence. They make me reexamine my own life, and they make me grateful for all of my blessings- and I've never met them. I'm far outside what they would imagine their sphere of influence to be, yet I am profoundly moved by them.

It is only life, but my god. What a gift. What a terror.



Jitney-

I know yr here. You look terrible, by the way. Go git yrself some grits or something.

When are we going fishing.



Rebecca-

My wife would say that I spend the vast majority of my time inside the circle. Off the thin line. She'd say the only time I'm on that thin line is when I'm crossing over it, going from one extreme to the other.

She has no idea how well balanced I really am.


You are a constant source of wonder. You throw off heat and light like a glorious, glorious sun.

You madwoman.


yrs-


Scott

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awfully damned good to see your work up in lights where it ought to be, sir. Just perused the death issue of Melic and saw you everywhere.

Nodding and smiling,
lk

6:52 AM  
Blogger vicci said...

I thought for sure you had that LENS by now!! Go Get It!!!!
I learned not to "put things off"...I HAD a brain tumor ...survived surgery...and here I am 5 years later!!! So...(IF at all possible) I try to get the things I REALLY want! (without upsetting the apple-cart too much).I just want you to have that lens for some darn reason!

7:31 AM  

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