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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

blue days and runaways

blue ridge mountains at dusk

photo by the author

Do you ever want to run away from your life? Your ‘precious, human life,’ as the Dalai Lama reminds us…? Leave the whiney dogs that will NOT go outside when it rains, the cats that throw up in front of your chair, the laundry that needs washing then folding, the dishwasher — new as it is — that needs filling then putting away… All the things (and even people) you normally find wonderful?

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I’m dreaming of a small flat. Some whereI know the city, and wouldn’t even need my beloved roadster. Somewhere I could go out to eat every day, including breakfast, and always know the coffee would be great.

Because today is a deep blue day — as blue as the Blue Ridge mountains when I took this picture. No reason, other than vestiges of flu, and a day my grandmother would assure you was ‘dreary.’ Usually that doesn’t bother me. But today?

It does. And I have no solution other than to breathe deep and come through the other side. Although sometimes homemade chicken noodle soup helps, too…

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working back in

glass with meds

photo by the author

The problem with living in the moment is when the moment kind of…well, let’s just say some moments are better neighbourhoods than others.

Right now, mine is pestilent. As in, still flu-y. So in the spirit of beginner’s heart, I’ve been making a list of things the flu gives you (besides a virus, I mean). And number one is a new perspective.

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When you’re sick for an extended period of time, and your day parses into awake/ asleep/ eating/ dull consciousness, it’s easy to just trudge from one moment to the next. But sometimes, either the Tylenol  AM kicks in, or my brain remembers better days, and it’s like I’m an observer. Where life is slower, calmer, and more immediate. And I can catch moments like leaves floating.

Ache/ not-ache, of course. But also the kindness of others — tearing up because a nice person at work makes you a cup of tea (and no, I’m NOT contagious, or I wouldn’t go to work!). Or the joy of cool sheets when the Tylenol has worn off, and you wake up to go get another dose.

The round almost honeyed taste of yellow tea — milder than black or green, stronger than white.

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Do I notice these things the same way when I’m not sick? No, although I try to live moment by moment. Still, there’s something about being sick that means everything is both duller — the aches & pains! — and clearer (the way moonlight pours through the window mid-night).

So here’s to working back in to my everyday life,  moment by moment.

 

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on flu break

imageThis message is brought to you by the miracle of modern medicine, and the unfortunate strain of flu NOT covered in the flu shot. And yes, I’ll still get the flu shot. The doc swears it would be lots worse if I hadn’t taken the shot.

How, I’m not sure. Last night my fever was high enough I hallucinated. I vaguely recall polar bears… And they weren’t the cute ones in the Coke commerical.

So I’ll be off the grid for a few days. Wish me luck.

 

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modern medicine and everyday miracles

imageSo remember the scratchy throat I was fighting? The beautiful grandson who was spewing germs as he laughed and climbed me like a mountain? Flu. Yup, flu.

Thank the universe (and modern medicine) for Tamiflu. Not only do I have grandson duty: I also have a pretty important date in D.C. next week. What I don’t have is time to be sick. Hence, I got my sick self to the clinic today, not even 24 hours after beginning to feel pretty punk.

I fully expect to be better before I have to fly to D.C. Although I may be a teeeeensy bit optimistic…I’m still hopeful.

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How many miracles of everyday life do we take for granted? Having lived in many places w/out the benefits of modern plumbing, hot water, good streets, vegetables in the winter (really), or modern medicine, I rarely take my life for granted. Well, except for those times that I do…image

So here’s my grateful thanks for Tamiflu, Celebrex for arthritis, anti-depressants, hot water, dishwashers & washing machines, central heat, reliable transportation, urgent care clinics, and all the other benefits of 21st century American life. A job if you have one, even if it’s not the one you’d dreamed of. There’s even stuff like — the snow finally melted!

If you’re feeling a bit punk today, look around. I suspect that even on a blue day there’s vast occasion for gratitude.

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