most people have dreams of flying. i don't know why, but when i have dreams of flying, i am always flying in a very practical way, sculling just over the ground, sometimes with the ability to carry gear. i am never swooping over the landscape the way other people report that they do. my flying dreams enable me to negotiate crowded hallways, or to catch the elevator before it closes, or to get to camp without my feet hurting so much.
seemingly unrelated, i know i have mentioned to you that i had at some point taken up playing disc golf and that i keep threatening to tell you about it but never do. let's just say that at some point i will have pictures and graphs and maybe evens some happy little stories and some videos btu for now let's just take it as a given that i am playing disc golf, ok?
and that during the Indeterminate Time it is not just my soul that howls with pain for being isolated from my people, my community, my church, my home, but my body howls with being cut off from all the things it would do, which is mostly GO OUT AND PLAY. it's how i cope with emotional pain. it is my primary distractor. when i don't know anything else to do, i GO. OUT. AND. PLAY.
now, i KNOW biking is not going to be made available to me. there are no bikes for me to ride. and there's nothing on the ward to do, really, except yoga, and i'm trying to do that, but i can't concentrate and i can't remember how, even though i try a little, and it's more frustrating than anything.
but in my dreams i keep feeling my body throwing my discs. in my dreams i feel free. in my dreams i feel as if i can withstand anything if i can throw my discs, and the dreams are so real and then i wake to find i am still in that room, the one with the bars on the windows and i don't know how i'll find the energy to get dressed even.
when i first got to the retreat, or rather, when i stopped howling enough to go to groups, there was this guy named gary working and i had my doubts about him from the way he used the phrase "praise the Lord" from time to time. sometimes doing that pegs my bullshit meter way over. sometimes not. and he was kind of too cheerful. and a little weird.
but i watched him work. and i developed a respect for him. and if this seems unrelated to anything i was saying, it's only because i want to establish that my respect for gary and his work developed before gary and his work had any real benefit to me. probably it was knowing whom to ask and how to ask that brought about the best result, and that was largely gary's help.
it was right about the time of the order to get the pants from my car. and since i knew what it was taking to go there, on the day before while out at lawton hall i asked: is there any rule against the throwing of frisbees?
no, there is no rule against the throwing of frisbees. but we do not provide frisbees.
so if while i was at my car getting my pants, i might theoretically pick up my frisbees and place them in contaband? (contraband is where items are kept that we are not allowed to have on the floor that may or may not be accessed)
theoretically, yes. but that doesn't mean you'd be allowed to throw them.
but that would make them available later in case the decision is made later that such a thing is permissible?
theoretically, yes. theoretically.
so the discs were brought out and put in contraband.
and in the morning before the morning walk i went to the charge nurse and very politely had the whole conversation about the theoretical rules about frisbees and asked if it might be all right for me to be allowed to throw my discs on a trial basis while supervised on the morning walk.
the charge nurse looked dubious but said it was all right with her if it was all right with gary, who was going to have to take responsibility for it.
gary, bless, his heart, with whom i had already spoken. gary, who knew what i was on about, gary, whose attitude was "let's see if it works and if it doesn't we won't do it again" instead of "that might not work so let's not try it".
so we signed out my discs and a couple of us patients went for a chilly walk and we threw a few discs and i shared nicely with anyone who wanted and the walk went great and gary was able to report back that it went just fine and so when other people took us out, their attitude about the discs was "well, if gary says it's ok, then it must be ok", so nobody ever told us "no", and except for that one really nasty cold wet day i got to go out and throw a few throws every day and it's nothing like real exercise, but it's something at least to move your muscles and loosen you up and it set the tone for the rest of my day and it was as close to flying as i needed to come.
God bless you, gary. and praise the Lord.