Thursday, April 15, 2010

Apples a Day

It concerns me that in these last few weeks I feel so much less compelled to write essays for this blog. Having made such an open declaration that I am changing my life to become a more serious writer, it does not bode well that inspiration should so quickly leave me.

Consistent with the multi-tasking distractions of my entire life, I simultaneously announced my commitment to playing music much more seriously, inviting back into my life the creative energies so silenced by the stresses of failing business and marriage. That I am “in the studio” and “on the road” feels like no compensation for the few words posted to date this spring.

In fact, my health provides a great excuse, and a new part-time job doubles the distraction. All week, I have been pre-occupied with the approaching appointment that should translate the results of an MRI into a plan for the coming months to repair my urethra and remove this friggin tube affecting my every step forward, sideways and backwards.

While we’ve been waiting for the damaged tissue to not only heal but become healthy and thriving enough to withstand the trauma of another surgery and reconnection of vital cells to vital cells, I have lived in a sort of cocoon of introspection, a limbo of optimistic dreams and rotten moods of self-pity. Lives have raced on around me, but I have settled onto my couch and often into a stupor.

Medications, pain, healing wisdom and supporting friends and family have enabled me to nurse myself into a deep meditation. Most often alone, regularly embattled with exhaustion, constantly amazed to see a rubber tube coming out of my belly and running to a bag strapped to my leg, never before have I experienced such a dis-association from life and a more convenient excuse to lounge around and do nothing.

The approach of today’s doctor appointment I treated casually, holding it in my mind as a mid-week event to be checked off as quickly as the co-pay check could be written. I failed to notify my doctor best friend, thinking he has suspended his patients enough times to accompany me; I did not want to impose on him again. Nor, when she offered, could I accept the same from another dear friend, thinking precious time together would be better spent on a walk or over dinner, not holding my shaking hand in the waiting room.

As it turned out, in the hours creeping towards the appointment, my hand did begin to tremble, my eyes, so dryly determined, grew blurry with tears. Not wanting to give any energy to the fear of a negative outcome, still I wondered if he might say too much scar tissue prohibits any kind of fix; I am doomed to be bagged and blocked for the rest of my life.

Alone and afraid, my couch provided no comfort, but was prickly with spurts of ugly possibilities. Too late, I now wished I had asked and accepted the help that had been available to me. Stoically foregoing it had seemed the right manly path I have always taken. How different it feels to literally cry with anguish and call for help.

Survival of this appointment has never been in question. The discomfort of replacing the tube is easily assuaged by a few vicodin. The dullness in the brain from the drugs is not enough to impede my hearing the information, taking notes and asking questions. I have the stamina to go it on my own.

Accepting the comfort of a companion, the support of a good friend, receiving a gift of love, so incredibly powerful, is, however, virtually new to me. On the phone from 3000 miles away, my sister Lane suggested it may be that learning this seemingly simple revelation is the sweet soul purpose of this whole ordeal.

I have lived my life relentlessly available to help others (whether they wanted and needed it or not), but am very unskilled at accepting the gift in kind. It is easier, safer, to extend myself outwards, to contribute, donate and volunteer; far more difficult to be vulnerable, helpless, needy and asking for something some one may or may not be able or willing to give. It is far easier to sing a song, stand on a stage, hide behind a guitar, than to put real words, exact definitions and characterizations of personal emotions on this paper in plain sight, for everyone to see, consider and judge.

Too late this morning, I recognized I needed the help. I understood at last the comfort of the embrace I might receive. Prepared, willing and able, I wiped away my tears, swallowed the vicodin and went off to hear the verdict, only to discover I had confused the date, over anticipated, and was given the chance ironically to make different choices tomorrow.

Please share with your friends


Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

Beautifully and compellingly written!! And so real as I am sure it is!

Kent said...

Ask when you're ready, my friend...