Sunday, February 28, 2010
this is one of those times
there are times when so many difficulties swirl about us that it feels like the inside of a tornado.
and from your tilt-a-whirl perch you wouldn't be a bit surprised to see almira gulch on her bike, pedaling endlessly, as if it were possible to ride out of the storm and into, oh-i-don't-know-what. freefall, maybe.
perhaps you're familiar with times like these. perhaps, you'd say, this life is solely and entirely composed of times like these. that anything else is illusion.
you'd get no argument from me.
just by way of example: a friend of mine, kary, has leukemia. she's been battling it for months, putting up a hell of a fight. recently a nice doctor told her there was nothing else he could do for her, that he wanted to call in hospice, and that oh-by-the-way, she had a week to live.
way to go, nice doctor.
trouble is, kary wasn't prepared to play out her part in that particular script. she wasn't quite ready to stop living, see, so she basically told the nice doctor to go fuck himself. she got on the phone with a different doctor, who agreed dying could wait. to that end, she told kary to hop in the car and drive from flagstaff, arizona, to phoenix, for a red blood cell transfusion.
so, kary and her mom madly drove to phoenix only to find that, hospital protocols being what they were, she'd have to keep driving. to tucson. everyone must adhere to protocols, mustn't they? even the dying. because protocols and formalities and rule-following should be a top priority for the dying, after all.
kary's mom drove on to tucson, to the university of arizona medical center. kary checked herself into the emergency department and got her transfusion.
it's been more than a week now, and kary still refuses to lay down and die (the nice doctor notwithstanding). apparently the U of A physicians and protocols and treatments are focused on keeping the living alive until such time that they're no longer alive.
if you can imagine such a thing.
according to her sister, kary is scared and "in need of hope--lots of hope." which is what i was thinking about as i ran errands today.
on my way to somewhere, i passed a car with a bunch of bumper stickers on it. most of them were old and faded, but one looked brand new, and that's the one i read in the 1.2 seconds it took me to pass by.
it said, "be kind...be true...be brave."
it was one of those surreal moments that go by in slow motion, to make sure you don't miss it. no, i don't believe in such things, but there it was, and there i was, and the moment vibrated like a cosmic tuning fork.
maybe it was a quiet call for me to send whatever good karma i've accumulated on to kary.
and maybe it was a reminder that the challenges facing the spaceneedl family are really nothing by comparison. that we should acknowledge and embrace our ridiculous good fortune, and stop bitching about our diminutive problems.
and maybe, since i don't believe in such things, it was a coincidence.
probably that's exactly what it was.
but there are times when i'd like to believe otherwise.
this is one of those times.