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.


skipper said...

Hello dear Flask, You looked like you were bearing a heavy load yesterday and now I know you really are. How can I help?? I'll write an e-mail too following this I'm writing at 1 pm. The comments always are posted 3 hours earlier than actually written. The apricot bread is so tasty with just a hint of sweetness and I like apricots anyway. Many thanks for all your work to make this light and fluffy bread. I hope you've cut that rope up into tiny pieces or at least untied it. Please talk with Pastor! I'm begging you to do this!! She's in on Mondays now from 4:30-6 just the time you had trouble last Monday. Do you tell Dr. n about what you've just bared your soul to those who will read your trials and triumphs?? If you don't, you're wasting the good Dr.'s time! Why are you not calling on Bob and asking for guidance and to listen to you and direct you to good resources. Listen to that still voice sometimes insistant. I told BP about insistant thoughts that kept coming to me about doing something good even though I couldn't afford. She said that is indeed God talking to me. When I tell my husband, he doesn't understand. Check out Romans8:25-27 paraphrased it is "Friends are God's way of taking care of us." Also Psalm 55:22 may be the same thing. I am proud you finished the race/walk and wone the socks. These activities leave you energized and release the endorphines that make us feel top of the world. Can you do a little something each day like ride your bike or take a smaller hike?? God bless rumblestrip! I knew she was a special person the first day she came to church and we sat together in back. I asked her to meet the music folks since she has such a lovely voice. They gathered around her after church like bees to a honey pot and the rest is history. So you see God had a plan when he led her to RCC. He knew you would eventually join us in worship/praise/song and she was already in place with her sweet gentle ways and quiet strength!
Enough from me for now.
Love Skipper

deanne said...

Hey friend,
First off, thanks for the link to the Greenmount site. I have always loved to visit cemeteries, the older the better. This one is absolutely lovely. Thank you for pointing me toward some more pics!

I think if the world were the way God intended it to be, columbines would hold some kind of magical power. (I suspect the world has lost a great deal of its magic by now.) They look to me like a fairy had something to do with them, or would if it lived nearby. Columbines don't grow wild, as far as I know, in Michigan or in Illinois where I grew up. But ever since God healed my black thumb a few years ago (black as in Not Green; once I killed a cactus), they have been among my favorite things to try to grow. Did you know they don't flower their first year? Only after they die and rejuvenate do they flower. Last week I saw some violet ones with creamy centers. Maybe that offends you since your love of columbines is for those growing wild, and maybe the violet ones came about by human hand. But they were beautiful just the same.

I submit for your consideration:
It seems to me that when one of his children makes him a vow that is in alignment with his purpose for that individual, God sets them up optimally henceforth to keep their vow. Not that he makes it easy, of course.But in my life he has put things in place to help me remember & maintain such vows just at the times when I was trying hardest to ignored them.

I never made him a vow not to suicide. I just gave up trying because he made it clear he wasn't going to let it happen. But the end result is similar. We are both still here.

What if he is not going to let you forget your promise? What if suicide is simply no longer an option for you now that he's claimed you and elicited from you your promise to stick around until he's done with you?

After I figured out suicide was never going to work for me, I threw a tantrum that lasted years. I told God that if he wasn't going to let me duck out, he was getting the full force of all my rage at what he had already allowed in my life (various types of child abuse, some violent, others more subtly destructive) and whatever happened next. It was a liberating thing to then discover that God was bigger than all my pain in all its manifestations. It was also initially more excruciating to go through the darkest times and not be able to comfort myself by toying with suicidalism. (I figure you know what I mean.) Of course, I knew God was bigger than my pain, but I had not really been trusting him to be bigger when I was clinging to suicide as an option. When I gave up on that, I had nothing to cling to but him (and, as stated, my rage).

So...what if God has eliminated suicide from the Flask List of Options?

I rather suspect he has.
I hope he has.
I trust he has.

Just for the record, I am coming off a terribly dark week, but every day I kept the faith in praying for you. I am unsuitably proud of myself for this, since it was all his doing and not mine. But instead of ignoring his reminders to pray for you, I was a good friend to him and to you and prayed anyway.

Sometime if you feel like writing about it...I feel so confused about your treatment schedule. Clearly it is changing. I thought they were on Tuesdays and Fridays. But then not some Tuesdays, and now no Tuesdays? It doesn't really matter because he knows what you need whether I do or not. Thinking it through now, I guess it's my delusion that I can pray for you more effectively if I know what's going on for you from day to day. OK, I'm over that. Anyway, I'm glad the frequency is diminishing.

Is it not an accomplishment for you to continue to seek balance & stay healthily active when your Barbara and your Flyingfisher are unavailable? It seems to me to be a great thing when you are accustomed to more support than what's currently available. I'm proud of you.

My final thought for you today in this ridiculously long "comment" - I derived some comfort this past week from the first few verses of Romans 5 and their discussion of how hope develops during suffering. Not that we rejoice because we are suffering, but there is always a pathway to joy offered within and in spite of suffering. In previous readings I have felt angry with God for setting things up thus, but this time around I was able to take it as a promise.

grace & peace--

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