Posts Tagged ‘ skating past death ’

What I Really Want For My Birthday

2011.03.21
By

ANOTHER BIRTHDAY.

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

I Never Metaphysician I Didn’t Like

2010.12.03
By

HOLDING A PLANET IN YOUR belly may not sound easy — or perhaps even possible — but it is also supremely satisfying in ways that are still becoming evident.

Put another way, it occurs to me that, following Wednesday’s decloseting, I should drop at least a note about the spiritual/wholistic aspects referenced therein. Today’s bit: Contemplation.
Read more »

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

Metaphysician, Heal Thyself

2010.12.01
By

THE TECHNICAL DIAGNOSIS IS “NON-ACUTE bipolar disorder with hypomania,” but — despite the mollifying modifiers — it feels from the inside like a rainbow rollercoaster circuit through hell and paradise.

This objective assessment, this iron collar which chafes, this ongoing test of self-transcendence is mine by genetic inheritance, but was first revealed to me by a psychiatrist in 2003 following the death of, and my subsequent unstoppable grieving for, a 25-year-longtime friend whose fractured passage brought the disorder rather vividly and inescapably to the foreground of my life.

As you may imagine, these are not easy words to write. (And yes, I’m “on meds.”) But I write them a-purpose: not to join the modern bandwagon of professional breastbeaters, but to lend credibility to my accounts of some fairly remarkable experiences with what may “be” “the Divine” and which may be interesting and perhaps instructive. (Or at least entertaining.)

To wit: When I tell you certain things that may sound crazy, I want you to know why I know the difference. I feel compelled to write them not to convince you of their veracity, but because I’ve learned that when a story wants to write itself the wise man sits back and lets it.

That’s not to say my disorder isn’t filtering what I see and say — but it isn’t the only filter, even if it’s taken me a while to see that. As part of my immediate experience, bipolarity has tripped me up, held me back, isolated and deferred me from much of what I live and love. It has given me an almost preternatural cockiness and despair, a mix of intense thrill-seeking and extreme insecurity; it has also taught me brutal self-honesty, finely honed introspection, close observation of myself and others, a distrust of the psychotherapeutic process and authority in general, stronger skepticism (suspended judgment) in general, an acceptance of the transience of mental states, a solid understanding of the biochemical nature of consciousness/awareness, non-attachment to dogmatic thought, and compassion for the confused.

Except for the days spent watching the minute hand spin, it’s not a bad trade. “Depression” is a misleading word; a better term would be “leadening.” Your arms and legs and torso and head feel like separate, unresponsive entities; as a whole, like being trapped in amber. My mania, on the other hand, is of the mild variety: no mad spending or driving sprees, just an intense feeling of enthusiastic urgency, that anything’s possible and all in the next five minutes. (That’s certainly true and handy for starting projects, not so much for completing them — and it sometimes hampers my face-to-face communications.)

But as Ron White would say, “I told you that story so I can tell you this one.” It doesn’t concern extraterrestrial contact, elevation by angels or appointment by God to the elect: just a series of weirdly unifying visions(1) and overwhelming ecstasies, utterly unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced, and in whose wake I find a calm and enwholing clarity of a type scarcely communicable. I can’t explain them, except to say that they fit several models: epiphany, theophany, quasi-epilepsy, right-hemisphere awakening. From the inside, they feel like missing pieces being put back together after a long absence; experiential evidence that I am surrounded by and of a piece with Something transcendentally whole. I hope to write more about this in the coming days.

As my disorder is all-encompassing, so too is my “spirituality,” or “sense of God in the world.” I imagine that it’s had to become that, in that “the spiritual” might also be termed “the unifying.” That’s how it manifests to me, anyway — and it’s how I know, or convince myself, that it’s different from the disorder; even while the disorder itself is spiritually instructive. (I sometimes feel as though everything I see has attached to it a “LEARN ME” tag a la Alice in Wonderland. But this hall of mirrors leads into clarity and out of isolation toward a deep and satisfying happiness.)

I spoke earlier of brutal self-honesty and close observation. I’ve come to believe that without these qualities, the earnest “seeker after God” is likely in for self-delusion of some dangerous sort or another. Even with these qualities, self-delusion is possible; but who knows? Only the arrogant will claim that a glimpse equals a grasp, or that the grasp is firm.

In any case, I hope you find this useful. It has been to me; as though I’ve thrown open a door and let sunshine into a place where there was only must and dust and shadows. I hope that light flows both ways.

_____
(1) I call them that because their main aspect is visual. If they were aural, I’d call them … I don’t know what. “Aurons?” “Audions?” Sounds like something out of Dr. Who.

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

Pithyism #+1

2010.08.06
By

THANK GOD, OR THE GODS, or Fate, or Luck or Fortune or Purpose, or just feel grateful, that you still have one more thing to do.

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

Eats: Unbelievable Smoothie

2010.07.29
By

SMOOTHIES ARE A DAILY FEATURE of life at Beit Attinson, not least as a reliable way to keep calories and nutrients flowing despite a lack of appetite. I also like them on a philosophical level: a mystical soup of primordial elements, each ingredient partaking of the other’s essence, all ego-distinctions and identities lost amid the mad swirling chaos at the center; and though I’ve developed something of a basic repertoire over the past two years (bouncing among bananas, orange juice, yogurt, egg, peanut butter, mango, spirulina tablets, milk) I like to alternate with whatever’s in reach. Here’s what that was today:

Unbelievable Smoothie

Banana-and-a-half[1], chunked
1-1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
Six or seven frozen cherries, defrosted (nuke for 30 seconds)

Blend for about a minute or so. Sit down before drinking, lest thy knees buckle and chin divot. (I like to use a straw.)

[1] The wife eats the other half with her cereal. We’re a team.
[2] We unsolicitedly endorse the Magic Bullet blender; it’s inexpensive, durable, versatile and clean up really is a breeze.

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

Prayer

2010.07.19
By

O One; Distant One, Dear One,

Let me not be blind to the beauty and ugliness and truth that my eyes don’t see,

and are as present as the scent among fields of lavender

and the warm summer air on my grateful back.

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

Days I Could Do Without

2010.05.11
By

THIS BLOG’S DEMOGRAPHICS TEND TOWARD a loose collection of friends, family and acquaintances, some of whom request occasional updates on my still-undiagnosed awfulness. Since one of the most debilitating aspects of chronic pain is Grey Sameness, I don’t like to talk much about it. So if you’ll forgive me for taking the simple way out I’ll forgive you for wanting to read something else:

Briefly: I remain on disability, my days varying between pretty good and very bad, averaging somewhere on the low side of okay. Nausea and pain are still constant companions, for which I take a handful of assorted medicines (some of which make me very sleepy, and necessitate walking with a cane betimes; other betimes it keeps me from getting too sore). It’s difficult to sit for long periods, and sometimes my “companions” still get the better of me. (Like Sunday, when not even the anti-nausea meds would stay down, and Monday, when I recovered from Sunday. Still recovering today; things have actually been getting a bit worse during the past two weeks, pain-and-nausea-wise.) Since March 31 I no longer have medical insurance but have applied for county assistance; once that’s in place I hope to continue seeking diagnosis. At this point, I do not know how long I’ll remain on disability.

Meanwhile, and on the other hand, on my birthday (March 22) I walked four miles around southwest Sonoma. I was sore the next two days, but happy. I’ve begun a new novel and am still cranking out Prosatio Silban adventures (though more slowly due to the novel). I managed to teach more than 90% of the past year’s b’nai mitzvah class dates, although I had to miss a couple of synagogue events. More regretful are the worries I’ve added to Ann’s plate. It is harder to caretake than to suffer, and with no end yet in sight, harder still. (She blogs about it, though, which I hope helps. It sometimes helps me.)

But still: we laugh more than we cry, and have more happiness than regret, even if now more bittersweet, and we enjoy each day and each other as well as we can.

And so it goes. I have always felt uncomfortable, like discomfort-in-my-skin-uncomfortable, posting about my health, but I know that the people who love me appreciate it, just as I worry about and pray for them, and I appreciate that more than even I can express. Since I don’t know what else to say other than “I’m not giving up” I’ll stop here.

No wait. One more thing: Thank you for asking. And reading.

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

Rainy Day Equation

2010.01.21
By

SEMI-FERAL CAT, PLUS FORCED CONFINEMENT, divided by ping-pong ball, equals nothing else.

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

Three Hard Things

2010.01.15
By

Kicking a whale up a beach
Braiding grape jelly
Comforting the chronically afflicted.

(1/22/09 P.S. to RW: who asked “Why would you kick a whale?” The only reason I can think of is that 1) he’s down, and 2) you’re that sort of fellow.)

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

Between Unravelings

2009.04.28
By

After further conversation, it seems my employer has rescinded my termination — which is good news for a May 19 diagnostic. As the company’s health insurance is now guarded by a fierce COBRA, however, the financial effect is the same, and my suggestion that I be re-fired in order to qualify Ann & I for the 65% discount having met with indignation only one of us is now insured.

But the California towhees are in full urgent voice, and through across-the-creek windows the skyclutching oak is shafted with slantwise gold spilling cloudlike through the cypress behind.

Today, at least, is good.

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

A Tip of the Yarmulke to Lou Gehrig

2009.04.15
By

In the entire time I covered the Sonoma City Council, I only took the podium thrice: once to ask for clarification, once to offer my then-employer‘s help with disseminating something of civic importance, and once when the mayor declared 1/17/01 as “Neal Ross Day” when I first left the Index-Tribune. (Geeez.) Tonight will be the fourth:

—–

Mr. Mayor, members of the City Council and of the public, thank you. I’m Neal Ross Attinson, 21 France St. #1, perpetual part-time rabbinical student and former full-time reporter.

It’s a busy night, so I won’t take up too much time, and anyway I?m more comfortable sitting over there writing than standing up here talking. But I was told that a few people wanted to know where I’ve been for the past few months, and since most of those people are integral to the city in some way it seemed appropriate to address you tonight.

Many of you know I was covering the city and public-safety beats for the Sonoma Valley Sun until incapacitating abdominal pain took me off the job in December. Without going into details (which are available at my blog, metaphorager.net — for the record, m-e-t-a-p-h-o-r-a-g-e-r), suffice to say that after five months, 40 pounds, two surgeries and six hospitalizations there’s no relief and no clear diagnosis yet. But we haven’t given up.

Last Wednesday, my pharmacist informed me that my health insurance had been canceled, and two days later I learned that I was no longer employed by the Sonoma Valley Sun. That being the case, I wanted to thank some people without whom I wouldn’t be here now.

A Yiddish proverb says, “Life is with people.” A reporter has to be (or pretend to be) the dumbest guy in the room in order to learn as much as he can. If he’s not dumb, he soon learns that everyone he meets is his teacher. I was going to read a list of my teachers during the past eleven years … but instead: If I ever wrote anything with any degree of accuracy, compassion or insight — or if, while talking with you, my eyes (or yours) lit up with an “Ahhh…HA!” gleam — I owe you the shiniest of apples. To those people whose tragedy and privacy I invaded in order to tell the public their stories, I offer my apologies, as well as my gratitude for your trust.

Most of all, I thank Ann, my wife and best friend of 20 years, for not giving up — and for not letting me give up. The Talmud says that a man only lives through the merit of his wife; if that’s true, I should live forever.

Thank you, Sonoma Valley, for letting me write about you — and thank you, Mr. Mayor, for letting me speak. Good night.

———-

I must say that feels very weird to do this. Since a reporter has to know “everyone in town” (as Mark Twain points out to great tragicomic effect near the aft end of Roughing It), it makes sense that people might wonder where he went and why he isn’t coming back. But I don’t usually think in terms of “everyone in town” (rather, the 100 to 200 people who are engaged with it) knowing me. One never knows where the teacher will be next…

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

Slow Motion Slide, with Incredulity

2009.04.14
By

SO LAST WEDNESDAY IS 4/8/9. I go to pick up my medication. The pharmacist tells me I have no insurance. The insurance company tells me my employer terminated it 3/31/9. My employer answered the phone two days later to say that 3/31/9 was also when I was terminated.

It would have been nice not to learn it from the pharmacist.

  • email
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Tumblr
  • PDF

Recent Tales

Not Like It Used To Was

Mom in the drug store Called out to her son: “Brooklyn!” Am I getting old?

Read more »

Prosatio Silban and the Starving Survivor

A BUOPOTH IS A STRANGE beast: some say it is half-composed of men’s dreams, others prefer not to speculate. But of the little that...

Read more »

Prosatio Silban and the Visitor From The Sands

PROSATIO SILBAN WAS NOT KNOWN for nothing as “The Cook For Any Price.” He had long ago foresworn the Sacreanthood and serving people’s souls...

Read more »

The Poet

HE COULDN’T TELL WHETHER HE loved beauty or women more until the day he called his mom and said “Guess what? I’m marrying a...

Read more »

Storyteller’s Knot

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF any story is the point at which it’s attached to the reader.

Read more »

Recently

December 2017
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Rewind

Wine Country Weather


Click for Forecast

Ritual Hat Pass

G'bless'ye, sir or madam.

You Can't Stop The Signal:
Celebrating the remaining days:hours:etc until Apophis II. Live it up, Earthlings.

Favicon Plugin created by Jake Ruston's Wordpress Plugins - Powered by Briefcases and r4 ds card.