Thursday, June 29, 2006

i remember you

i woke up this morning feeling sad, bad, and a little like suicide. but i wasn't going to do it. i'm stronger than that. it felt very much like just a reminder from something darker that whether or not i have strength and courage to endure, whether or not i have the will to survive, i am not ever fully out of danger, i must always be vigilant because i can get stupid in a second and there will be no taking it back.

so i did some of my packing today, but otherwise i sat and played cards online, figuring that my one job for the day was simply to survive. i even won a couple games; i had a granny hand in the tenth and went alone, and in the other game a guy who otherwise had the game sewed up went on a bad pick and got taken for everything.

if you are from wisconsin you already know that i was playing sheepshead.

anyway, i got suited up and went to my race, only i couldn't remember how to get there. except i actually got there, but i didn't see evidence of the race happening; maybe the storm came through there and they cancelled? but i didn't know i was there while i was there (looked it up when i got home) so i drove around a while looking.

but then i figured i'd have time to go to staples and get the thing i was supposed to get today but didn't, and as long as i was up there i took my bike down and i rode from the strip mall into downtown swanton and back, just to have gotten a ride.

i love my road bike.

so then i went back into staples to use their rest room and change into clean-ish clothes and i got on the interstate to go home thereby avoiding traffic in st. albans, which has the third stupidest traffic pattern in the world and i was going to just stay on the interstate all the way down to exit 11, but i know full well that the trip is much shorter if you get off at exit 19 and go by route 104 through fairfax.

i work in fairfax. and i have not been in fairfax since 21 december, so that was a little hard. but i am insisting lately on taking my life back. i have a limited amount of time in which to regain my strength and be fit to work again. and parenthetically, i want to lose about sixty pounds.

anyway, st. lukes's cemetery is on the way out of fairfax. sometimes i go to visit the graves of people i know who are buried there and tonight i needed to go, really bad. it wasn't even like a choice.

a long time ago i was on my way to work in the morning and traffic was all tied up with emergency vehicles; a man i knew had thrown himself off of the dam at the falls. i didn't know him very well, but i knew his wife and children. i am fond of the wife and i love the children. i was standing just behind the boy when they came to tell him. i will never forget it.

the man had what i have; he did what i was going to do. he died of of it, and i wanted to go and kneel at his grave and pray. and i wanted to ask him to talk to me; to tell me in retrospect what a terrible mistake it had been. i wanted him to come and tell me something important, something i can take and use to make myself strong, to help me survive.

near where he's buried are graves of other people i knew: a boy who died young; he had the cynicism of a child who knows he is dying and has no time for the silly pretenses we go through with children.

and i don't know if you remember that plane that went down in an iowa cornfield in july 1989, but i lost two children i cared about and their parents in that crash. that was a hard, hard funeral to be at. four matching coffins are wheeled in and a visible wave of visceral pain washes across the room.

but i was kneeling at that one grave, hoping for something to hold on to.

tell me it was a mistake. tell me to keep going.

and then i was crying and i couldn't stop. i called rumblestrip, but i had to get on the road. and you know, i'm not such a good driver when i'm crying. and every fifteen minutes or so i had to pull over and call rumblestrip to tell her i was all right.

and somewhere on the road, i found myself shouting: "you cannot have me. i do not belong to you. i belong with the living. i am going to live."

and i made it home. put my bike away. i didn't really feel like talking to rumblestrip, but i had to call and tell her i was in. i didn't call her right away, but instead came right upstairs to light a candle and beg:

bob, please make me yours and yours alone. if i did not belong wholly to you before, take me up now. let me be yours and yours only. please.

Monday, June 26, 2006

the dimming of the day

this evening i just laid and watched a red sunset play across the sky; it reminded me of a day long ago when we were camping on mt. abe and we went up to the summit to watch the red sunset before making our way down in the darkness to our camp.

it was a beautiful night and everything was perfect and i was excruciatingly sad. i could not understand it. now, of course, i understand when it happens, although i still am not protected from it.

last night i was with the crashcos in bethlehem NH and we were going to do just one more cache on our way to the last cache of the day; it turned out we did them in the opposite order and we were walking up the trail (an old closed, gated road) in the last of the crepuscular light. being sick has taken a lot out of me. i get winded more easily. i can't keep up on the trail. i can't manage as many hills as i used to.

later on the way home we see a sign that proclaims bethlehem the poetry capital of NH. huh? i'm ot sure i even want that explained.


but we're almost to the top and i hear this huge and persistent noise and i cannot figure out what it is. it is loud and it is definately machine in nature. and mrs. crashco points it out to me and all the hair on the back of my neck stands to.

we have been walking up the outside boundary of a landfill and we are very close to the huge jet where they are burning off the methane. i have a great phobia of pipes and such and it extends to landfill flares.

it casts a light of its own. this makes the hunting of the ammo can extra exciting for me. we finish off the day far from home, but we have found ten caches and hunted some others. crashco says it would take a lot of the sport out of it if you knew you were going to find every one.

i came home just after midnight, but for most of the day i got to live the way i used to, before i was sick. it was like being me again.

lately i'm starting to feel as if the key to recovery is to simply start living the way i used to when i was well. maybe i can take my life back and not spend so much time waiting for treatments to work.

and then i had to get up early to meet rumblestrip at the church to practice a little thing we'd put together. rumblestrip is an excellent collaborator. i am usually not good about sharing; i'm fussy about word stress and i'm too much of a perfectionist with my own material to be able to share creative work. but it's good with rumblestrip.

and the thing goes over really well. people like it and they get rumblestrip's jokes a lot quicker than i did when we were working on it.

skipper wasn't in church this morning, so i missed her. and i had to offload her loaf of bread.

we're coming up on the first week of july, which would be a year from when i first had the courtesy to notice the presence of God in the universe. and the second week of july would be the anniversary of my last breakup. and the anniversary of some other, older breakups. what is it about july?

nevermind the breakups, though. they make good stories to tell, but i'm better off and the important thing is that the Creator Of All Things took a moment to tell me to call Him bob.

"might as well call me something you're comfortable with."

it's evidence that God is a comedian: up until that moment "bob" had been my generic name for anything about which i did not care or did not feel i needed.

if you're looking to read the whole story of how that happened, you can find the beginning of it here.

so i'm going back to that same campground next week, for the third year in a row, which will be interesting especially since that's where i was at the time. it will be a good time to practice gratitude.

there's been a lot in the last week that hasn't been pretty. and d, i'm sorry you were having a bad week as well. i kept checking back in the middle of everything to see if you'd written anything anywhere and then i started to worry about you and yes, there was a candle for you as well.

me, i've been struggling. or i had been struggling until wednesday. it's hard to tell you the story without impinging on parts of the story that aren't mine to tell, but i tink i can quote you just a little from what i wrote to rumblestrip:

"i cried all the way around that course tonight. and i prayed:

i have not been your best or smartest or most obedient child, but if ever i did love you, if ever i did honor you, if ever my work was acceptable to you, let me go. let my suffering come to an end. let me say goodbye and let me go."

what happened eventually was that i did not go. i will not tell you how it came about.

i'm going to toss in here a bit of information only because you had something to say about the unavailability of Barbara and Flyingfisher; dr. n and my mom were both on vacation as well, although probably not together.

so rumblestrip and the crashcos got extra duty.

a thing happened in me wednesday night, difficult to comprehend and even more difficult to explain, but i may have turned a corner. that's a scary thing to say. it is frightening to allow myself to rely on a thing like that. you know.

but bob sez: "have faith."

thursday i had a pretty good day. but thursday night i had a hard time sleeping. i'm not allowed benzos the night before a treatment, so that's already working against me, but i kept hearing a noise. and i started to realize: that noise is here, in my room.

so it was about 0300 and finally i got it figured out; there was a mouse in my wastebasket. crashco came at 0600 to wake me up and take me to treatment, and because treatments are wrecking my memory and because i'd been having a hard time, they increased the amount of caffeine they put in the IV to 500 mg.

one day very long ago i drank fourteen cups of coffee in one day. this wasn't that bad, but i was WIDE AWAKE. i was supposed to sleep for a while and then rumblestrip was going to come over so we could work on our project, but the best i could do was lie quietly in bed and let the maelstrom of suddenly un-forgotten things wash over me.

i sent this to rumblestrip:

here's an idea: why don't you decide when you'd like to arrive and just go for it? if for some reason i have managed to fall asleep, just wake me. otherwise, i'll just be resting quietly, but sleep is looking kind of doubtful.

when rumblestrip arrived, i was not only awake, but i was baking bread. i love to bake bread. it is a lovely, life-affirming activity.

lately i have only been having treatment on fridays. we are now thinking of moving to once every other week. we are not sure the treatments help at all, but by the same token, we are not sure that they're not helping. here's a horrible thought: maybe things would be a lot worse without the treatments.

so, to recap my week:

monday: not so good.
tuesday: bad. ran my race anyway.
wednesday: very bad. rode my race, begged God to be allowed to die.
thursday: reasonably good, but only three hours of sleep.
friday: treatment, way too much caffeine, still no sleep. bellyache at night, don't get much sleep.
saturday: meet the crashcos at 0830 (way too early) stay out until midnight. almost like being my old self again. still not enough sleep.
sunday: meet rumblestrip at church at 0915 (still too early) come home after church and sleep until 1530. had bad dreams. feel sad.

tomorrow i'm going to try to catch up on more of my geocaching logs. tonight i hope to sleep. during the week i hope to organize and pack my gear the way i used to. i'm trying to remember how to be me.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

run - bike - run

that's the way they do it in the duathlon, only they do it all at once, or at least in the same day. i ran a duathlon once; i was the last finisher, and not by a small margin, either. i'm not sure i remember correctly, but i think i was forty minutes behind the last finisher. it was a local event and they knew me, so they knew what a struggle it had been for me. the ovation was terrific.

most weeks i run on tuesday, ride on wednesday, and ride on thursday.

run - bike - bike.

works for me.

this year i'm slower than death drinking molasses on a january morning on account of being sick and all that, but i am not a stranger in these places and people don't seem to mind. we figure i'm doing pretty well by just taking a place on the start line, nevermind the finish.

i fell in love with columbines when i was very young and my family went with some others to walker island campground- we had one of those fabulous old VW pop-top campers which my dad outfitted with a corvair engine and that thing could really book. i'm not sure, but i think that up until a few months ago it was sitting in the driveway of gaye symington; sometimes you see your old cars after you sell them. it was extremely old, so i shudder to think of where it's gone now.

anyway, our campsite had a rock ledge at the back of it, which was magic to me: the rocks broke apart in interesting ways and i still have some of them. and there were columbines, both red and blue.

not that any of this matters or relates in any way to what i have to say tonight, other than that i'm a stream of consciousness kind of person and i don't think i was quite finished with columbines in my stream of consciousness.

so this week i did the usual run and bike on tuesday and wednesday, but thursday's timetrial was the mount philo course, which for some reason i habitually do not ride, even though it does not actually go up mount philo.

if your reasoning isn't all bunched and twisted up, you're probably going to have a real hard time with what follows next. i'm not trying to make sense of it nor am i trying to justify it; i'm just going to tell you what happened.

i felt pretty good on thursday. if you've been following the story you know that this is a fairly significant thing. and i remember thinking: now would be a good time to make an exit, before it comes back.

i had an appointment with dr. n. in the morning and then i went to visit my mom at her office, and she took me over to the café, where gino made me a sandwich. i can never decide what i really want, so i always just ask gino to make me whatever's good today. he always hits it right on. so he made me this really excellent turkey club on a good hearty italian bread, grilled up perfectly. gino is on my list of People Who Can Make Sandwiches. plus i just love gino besides, and it's always really great to see him.

but then i have some time to kill before my next appointment and all of a sudden i'm so tired i can barely sit up. there's an empty office and i crawl down onto the floor for a nap. first i check my email, 'coz i'm like that. it's only an important detail because while i sleep, i happen to be logged on.

and it's while i'm asleep that the idea comes to me that now i should get out and be done with it, while i still feel pretty good, so i don't have to face the pain again. because i know that pain will be coming back, maybe soon. and i want to be gone before it comes.

but still sleeping, i crawl up from the floor and i write a one-line message and send it to rumblestrip: make me tell you the truth.

and i wake up and go to my next appointment. i still feel pretty good, but nothing really matters. i come home and start putting things in order. i sit on the couch, happily tying the knot, making sure it will slide, that it will fit well. i'm in no hurry. there are beams in the basement and there are beams in the garage.

and the phone rings.

it's crashco. he wants to know if i want to go run the 5k trail run out at morse farm. sure. what the heck?

my body notices the difference. i cannot just sneak run - bike - run into the week and escape notice. "hey! that's an extra run! that honkin' hurts!" and i remember thinking: yeah, but it beats dying.

oh, bob. i have been ignoring you all day. i have not remembered to listen for your great voice and if you spoke to me at all i took care not to hear you. no wonder i am so warped. just this sunday pastor debbie was talking about asking you for what we need. and i sure wasn't asking. or listening.

and i finished that run. last, of course. but even though i am a stranger at that venue, there was an ovation. and i won a pair of very nice socks in the raffle. and then the crashcos and i went up to the shop and got some very fine maple creemees. you have to check at the shop, what's made with pure morse maple and what's made with maple blended from other producers.

but there was still that rope to deal with when i got home. i walk around a lot of the time in a fragile state. and i wasn't done with it.

and the phone rings.

it's rumblestrip. how did my day go? she wants to know. i tell her about this and that and the other and finally she demands the truth. the WHOLE truth. and i tell her. i don't trust myself to be done with it. rumblestrip has a few things to say about it and she stays on the phone with me for a while.

i have a wish to allow her to get off the phone and get some sleep, to be able not to worry about me, and i promise her that there will be nothing tonight. sometimes i send her a late email even though i know she is already asleep; here is an excerpt of what i wrote her:

i did promise God several months ago that there will be no suicide. i did not promise a trouble-free arrival at that. i want to promise you, as well, and much like my promise to God, i'm going to need your help. i really hope you won't get sick of me and my illness; i'm better now than i used to be, but not all better. i don't ever remember not being sick.

(...) you have the right to demand some things of me. because of all that i am, sometimes you will have to make demands and not suggestions. with your help there is much of value that i can do. (...)

someday, and soon, i hope, i will need you less and less.(...) the steamer trunks bit by bit become valises.

i am off to my shower now. i have been carefully ignoring God all day. maybe later i can tell you what happened to me out on the racecourse. but i will ask God to wash All This off of me, and i will sit down to prayer. then i will put that coin in my left hand and i will sleep. pretty late, probably.

i will ask bob especially for you to sleep deeply and to wake refreshed.

i woke late, several times, each time a phone call came in. then i was up for a while, and then crashco called to ask if i wanted to go geocaching. it was like being the old me again. one of the caches was in hubbard park and one was in the greenmount cemetery. the greenmount cemetery is a big favorite of mine and i'm including here a link to some of my photographs of it. they're part of a very old site that i no longer maintain, so i'm making no apologies for the state of the links.

we went to another cache off of some trails i didn't recognize and then we went into barre and had some really marvelous pizzas, neither of which involved any tomato sauce. mushrooms and mushroom sauce, yes. prosciutto and carmelized onions, yes. tomato sauce, no.

and we sat and watched the red sox doing well against the braves; i'd say we were watching them win, but i have followed the red sox for enough years to know it ain't over 'til it's over.

you know the old joke about bill buckner attempting suicide? yeah, he stepped out in front of a bus but it rolled between his legs...

yeah, anyway. it was weird, because i was facing the board where they list the specials and the schedule for acoustic night, which is every thursday and i had a little stroll down memory lane because on july 6 el hombre sin nombre is playing, and if i were telling you the whole story you would know why we weren't allowed to use his name in the house. at least as far as i could understand it, which wasn't very far.

if i were telling you the whole story, you would get to laugh a lot at the point where i have to insist "i am not responsible for my behavior in your dreams"

anyway, tomorrow a group of my friends are going to visit this geocache. i won't be with them, but i hope they have a good time and i'm looking forward to reading their logs.

me, i have to bake that bread i've been threatening to bake. then maybe i'll look for some caches myself. or call the happy party and meet up with them later.

there's a lot to do.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

red columbine and marsh bellflower

today i slept until eleven, had a little breakfast and went back to bed. i slept through my alarm and had to call bert and tell him i was coming in late. then i caught every traffic light the wrong way, got caught behind the train, and for some reason all the traffic was moving at about ten miles an hour below the speed limit.

go figure.

and then i was going to do a little grocery shopping, but on the way i stopped at the essex overlook park where there is a very old and venerable cache. not to visit the cache, although i might have done if i could have remembered where to look, but just because i wanted to go stand near the water. the rocks and sand are beautiful and there are lots and lots of flowers. red columbines are a favorite of mine.

so anyway. i got my groceries and i went home and packed up all the bikes and gear so i could go to the race venue, and meet rumblestrip and the crashcos. especially rumblestrip, since i was functioning today as the bike valet; there is much gear she is borrowing from me. including my blue rocky, a bike i love but don't ride much anymore. there was this thing about needing a full suspension bike because i'm not getting any younger so now i ride the red rocky.

but it's been a while since i last wrote; stuff keeps piling up.

i didn't get around to baking bread, but crashco and i did go to my dad's birthday party. of course we had to stop along the way to find a geocache, but we did get there. my stepsister made this really awesome oreo cake and i ate a lot of it. we had to stop to cache one the way home, too.

sunday morning i actually got to church AT THE RICHMOND CONGO! i met the interim pastor, who is very nice. i think i could get to like her. of course i had nothing for the plate and not enough gas to get home on, so i owe skipper twenty dollars.

at about six o'clock in the afternoon on monday the sun came out. it is beautiful here where i live. and all of a sudden the depression came crashing down on me for no apparent reason. sometimes it just does that.

it is a pain like nothing else; it has no parallel, no frame of reference. it is very hard to face a thing like that without a suicide wish. i felt all of a sudden as if the thing i needed most was to go down to the church, but who would i call to let me in? who would sit with me?

so instead i went out to the driveway to work on the bikes. they need to be cleaned and tuned and polished, of course.

there was one thing that saved me; one thing that made me willing to continue to bear that prodigious pain. i was past obedience and out of my head. i will not tell you what it was.

i will tell you that i had some terse words with bob. why is it i have to be made this way? what good does this serve? i'd rather it were not that, i told bob. but if it has to be that, it has to be that. teach me to be obedient. teach me to love as You love. Instruct me; place Your strength in my hands.

i couldn't sleep monday night. there is a particular dread of laying awake for hours and then rolling over to see the clock show a quarter to four. no matter. i don't have to be especially awake to have them pump me full of sedation.

but then tuesday afternoon i couldn't sleep either. and i got up in the early evening as is my habit and went to run my weekly 5k with the crashcos. this week i ran with my ipod, and from the top of goose hill down to the garden i heard eight minutes of the road goes on forever and the party never ends and i actually came in faster than last week.

and then i slept until eleven, which is i believe where you came in on the story.

but tonight at the race they announced that sunday's race is being postponed on account of bad trail conditions, so it turns out i can go to church at the regular venue, which means i'll be available to sing in the choir, which i love and where i am useful, and on saturday i'll make time to make that bread, probably orange apricot and it will be a lovely surprise for the pastor to learn that the job comes with fresh bread. there will be loaves for whoever bought them at the auction, and there'll be an orphan loaf if you know where to look.

i have to go. for some reason i made a 09:30 appointment with dr. novas; don't ask me what i was thinking. but then in the afternoon i have to go have a physical so they can judge me to be in good enough shape to keep frying me.

so. i hope you sleep well, and i hope you wake refreshed.

Friday, June 09, 2006

the rain it raineth every day

i'm a big shakespeare fan. have been since i was a little slip of a thing. so that's where i'm taking today's title from. one night when i was a kid i sat up all night and read all of shakespeare's histories, listening to the saint-saens requiem, over and over.

well, not actually all of the histories; i didn't read king john or henry VIII, because they're not part of the same narrative as the others, but to really follow them (as i explained to my father, who "suggested" i should go to bed) you have to read them all at once, and it helps if you have a few maps and charts handy.

it has nothing to do with anything, really, except that it just never seems to be not raining here anymore. it's starting to get on my nerves.

last night i went out and rode the huntington course. i remembered it as being much steeper, but i was slow anyway; about 503 seconds slower than last time. the important thing to remember is to stay rubber side down n the return trip. the pavement can be kind of bumpy and you want to stay all the way out on the bars. so. no brakes.

it was the first outing in the new uniform, so that was kind of fun, but as i think i mentioned already, it was raining. ordinarily i'd just change clothes in the parking lot, but it was cold and rumblestrip doesn't live too far away, so i went over there and changed indoors which was a nice change of pace and i also got to hang out with rumblestrip for a while, so that was nice.

especially since rumblestrip's out of town for a few days. the Flyingfishers are gone to the world cup. i'll miss 'em.

i always say that if you're going to be gone, it's good to be missed, and rumblestrip and Flyingfisher should be happy to know that they were missed tonigt at the party.

it was kind of bittersweet for me, because people, especially newer people, treat me like the "famous flask"; you know, the flask who used to have the really big cache adventures. the flask who used to be the first finder, or solve the big puzzles, or stay out for a week at a time, or find a dozen in a day.

but now i'm the flask that barely finds anything, who stays home most days and sleeps. i am not even caught up in my logging; i'm still working on st. patrick's day, when i was out with DJ and CAL. before things turned really bad.

so people treat me like i'm still a big hitter, but i feel like a fraud.

it's nice to get out and see people, though, even though i have some brain damage and some memory loss and there are a lot of places and people that ought to be familiar and that i ought to remember, so i spend a lot of time kind of standing around smiling politely, trying to remember who people are.

there are a few folks i can remember on my own, people who really understand and do everything they can to help me cover for the memory lapses. and some people just understand and don't mind having to reintroduce themselves.

i made a quick bread this afternoon; it was supposed to be banana bread and heaven knows there were enough bananas in it, but i don't think it came off all that well. still, a couple of people at the party (people i know to have trustworthy taste) liked it just fine and took all they could get.

you know what they say: there's no tasting accountants.

so. tomorrow i have to make some bread (orange apricot, i think) and go to my dad's birthday party. i think crashco will come with me for company, which means we'll stop at a geocache or two. now i have to take a truckload of meds and supplements and go to bed. oddly enough, i'm sleepy, even though i woke up this morning, had some luckies, went back to bed and slept until two. then i lay inert for another hour.

but when i woke up, the depression had lifted. sometimes you get what you need.

i hope you get what you need. i hope you sleep soundly and wake refreshed. i hope you travel safely. i hope your team wins.

je vous souhaite de bonnheur et de bonne chance.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

up and down

do you remember that song? up and down? cookie monster and herry monster used to sing it. i wish i could find a downlod for you, but all i could get was the lyrics. probably more than you need anyway.


sunday night i was crashing and by monday i was crashed. couldn't stop crying. didn't care. good time to die, as far as i was concerned. spent a long time on the phone with my mom. nothing helped. but i made it through. didn't sleep so well monday night.

went staggering in for ECT on tuesday. Betsy got the IV started right away, almost. the meds weren't too painful going in. but i woke up with the most horrible cramps. YES, that's twice in two weeks. the good news is that i could possibly be the age for it.

that would be nice. it would also be nice to blame all of monday (or even some of it ) on PMS.

when i got homw tuesday i crawled right into bed and slept while my mom hung out and did a lot of the household chores. it is good to wake up and find the laundry done and the patio weeded. except i still wish she could just get the knack of throwing the underwear into the drawer all bunched up, the way i like it.

and when i woke up the depression had lifted. the crashcos came and picked me up and we went for our weekly run. i was very slow and it was very painful. it's kind of like a metaphor for my life: i keep going and i keep going and it hurts so much i can hardly stand up but people stand and cheer for me as i go by and i have to keep going until i cross the finish line.

so i do.

and i don't know for sure, but i'll bet i am the only runner on that course who spent any part of the day under general anesthesia.

at any rate, by back is crampier than last week, but in general i have less soreness in my legs and feet, and i'm also ten minutes faster than last week.

rumblestrip took me home afterward, so i fed her some dinner and we were able to have some words with bob.

i crave sugars after the treatment. i eaat mor luckies than maybe i should. and i like to drink horchata and i like to eat freezer waffles because they make an excellent vehicle for grade B maple syrup. it's hard to get grade B, unless you know people. i know some people.

which brings us to wednesday. i've pretty much written off choir for the season, because i have races on the remaining choir days. but i miss them so. and the choir kind of needs rumblestrip, so the challenge was to get rumblestrip through the race and off to choir practice. precision bike valet.

only tricky bit was all the rain. took me forever to wrestle my way in and out of wet sports bras. and the mud!

but i got cleaned up and dresed up and mounted my bike and was mostly ready to take care of rumblestrip's gear. fed her a banana, a granola bar, and some gatorade (flavor: blue) on the way to practice.

i was so happy to see skipper and everybody i was afraid my face was going to break, with all that grinning.

it was a blast. probably too much of one, 'coz there's always a down side. knowing about it is usually the best protection from it, though.

so in a little while i'll get suited up and go race the huntington course and try not to get run over.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

there's more?

the disturbing thing about it is how unfamiliar everything looked. i almost couldn't find the Flyingfisher's house, even though i practically lived there over the summer.

well, not really, but i was there a lot over the summer and into the fall.

in july i made this pen-and-ink-and-colored-pencil sketch of the Flyingfishers' front door. the text reads:

let blessings fall upon this house

and all within it dwell;

please give to them good fortune

keep them happy, whole, and well.

in the morning i went to church at the west lebanon congo, where they were very nice and i was shy about it, but i told them that i have been sick for a long time and that i could use their prayers. they were very generous.

and i meant to go do some light geocaching in the afternoon, but when i got back to the Flyingfishers, it was all i could do to change back into my pjs and get in bed. i think i slept until about three-thirty, and then i meant to do some caching on the way home, but i just couldn't get it all together.

and i felt prettty good, really, almost like a habit and then it hit me like, well, i don't know. it's kind of like the same death-dealing depression and i'm sick of fighting it, sick of having every action, every move i make be a purposeful thing i do to stay out of it and i realize that i'm tired.

i'm tired of, well, i'm just tired. and now i'm crying. i'll probably hold it together long enough to get to bed. that's what i'm doing now: holding it together.

everything sucks.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

nimoy as lincoln


it's raining. it's been raining. i wanted to go geocaching. i wanted to go geocaching in some way similar to the way i used to.

i'm not stupid; i know i can't have it the way it used to be. i've been sick for a long time and treatment takes a lot out of me. i used to pack up my car for days and just go.

used to be i was the first finder most of the time; not anymore.

but i was going to go this weekend. of course i couldn't drive after treatment on friday. of course the IV nurse couldn't get the IV started and it took the anesthesiologist for-honkin'-ever.

and i was SO sick afterward. it took me a long time to wake up and then i was nauseated and since they had already taken out my IV, the anti-nauseal came in suppository form.

but i was going to come down here to the Flyingfishers and i ran my PQs and once i was all packed i needed a nap.

so about five hours later i was ready to go, but i kept having this dream about abraham lincoln, only he was being played by leonard nimoy. and i kept dreaming about maple syrup. and horchata. treatments make me crave sugars.

so i didn't get on the road right away, but Flyingfisher doesn't mind. whenever i get here is whenever i get here.

and the revs were playing, so we all got to watch it together on the big TV, which was nice, even though they couldn't pull out a win.

and then Flyingfisher and i took a little field trip so i could learn where to find the church. i have not skipped church since the first time i went. sometimes i have to fall in with another congregation, but the idea is simply to be among people who are gathered for worship.

that, and i also needed change of a twenty, so we stopped at a place that was still open and i got a cream cheese brownie. i am a sucker for cream cheese brownies.

Flyingfisher laughs and wants to know: what else am i a sucker for?

she is full of mischief. there is much to love about Flyingfisher. tomorrow maybe she will come caching with me a little even though she's busy packing to go to germany.

you know, even these days, when i say or hear "germany" i hear it the way renee used to say it way back when and we all made fun of her for it.

d'ya remember? super-diva? captain tritone?

anyway, maybe she'll come out with me; something easy because my knees hurt.

gah. i've been up now for almost seven hours and it's time to go to bed.

this seems like so long ago now. maybe i should have known better. maybe not.

see you in church.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

three sisters

i live at the edge of a large flat wetland. on one side of my road it's flat for about four miles; there are natural swamps and beaver ponds and such. on the other side of the road rises up a ridgeline. not oxbow ridge; the one before it. but it is the spine of the beautiful green mountains.

there are three trees at the top of the ridge, larger than the others. i keep thinking htat someday i will go up there and find them, just to be with them. i went once; it's much easier to see the three of them from down here. up there, it's hard to see the trees for the forest.

anyway, the clouds are hanging low, right down to the top of the ridge, and therre's that fantastic sunset wherein the sun is wedged between the land and the low cloud ceiling. it is a green you could fall in love with and the sky just behind and above ranges from lowering grey to that beautiful transitory red that you can't quite name or identify. you can't get it to sit still.

i went up there a long time ago to look for the sisters but instead (and this is rather complicated) i came down on the verge of falling in love.

"i know you are out there", i said, or at least this is a pretty close paraphrase of what i actually said.

"i know you are out there, and i know you are nearby." soon after that there were two of us here. and very soon after that every argument in my house ended with "and when do i get to have a dog?" and some time passed. more time passed, and there was isabella and there was bob, and if you're listening at all, DJC, i have no idea how i could have brought you along on this part of the trip. and i was talking with bob the other night and maybe i'm wrong, but i don't see any way i could bring along anyone who doesn't get bob, so i'm preparing to be single for a loooooong time.

and i know, i know, you thought there was someone else, but it wasn't who you thought it was, not by a long shot.

so i'm just killing time, a little. what i'm doing is NOT telling you exactly what's on my mind because (and i know this will surprise some of you) there are some things even i won't write here.

tuesday evening the craschos and i went to run our usual 5k, even though i'd had treatment in the morning. it took me over an hour to run a 5k. and we ran into the qseekers there; turns out they always go, but we'd never known them.

but anyway, i was slow. and it was painful. i got a lot of muscle cramping. but i kept on going, which i kind of took as a metaphor for my life in general. you can take a thing like that, though, and offer it up to bob. you can ask for the strength and courage to keep going. i have that coin in my pocket to remind me.

please strengthen my hands and steel my soul. give me your work to do. inform and instruct me; let me be your agent.

i rode wednesday and so did the crashcos and rumblestrip. i have no earthly idea what moved rumblestrip to take up racing mountain bikes, but i'm thankful for it. rumblestrip sees me so often when i'm in bad shape and sometimes the worst shape that it is a great blessing to let her see me in that venue. mountain bike racing is what changed me, made me worth saving, so it's good to have her see me that way for a little while.

the Flyingfishers are leaving very soon to go to germany for the world cup; it is a moment i have dreaded. what will i do without Flyingfisher for that long? i have no earthly idea. it's a concept i have been carefully avoiding since i found out about it. i'm really not equipped to think about it.

and d: go ahead, you have earned it.


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