Day 509, November 16

Routine

Sometimes there is a strange confluence of issues that affect a person all at once. I had wallop of multiple health issues all come to a head that included a bout with shingles, the flu, and a few other things as well. Finally, after a round of antibiotics, two weeks at home, and lots of rest, I am back and slowly building myself back to the person I imagine myself to be.

I haven’t returned to the bicycle yet. Maybe Thursday or Friday I’ll try a ride. And I’m only doing the pushups of a man half my age, but even so, it feels good to be moving again, to be coughing far less, and blowing my nose only periodically.

Strange things go through your head when you are sick in a pandemic. All the stories of ambulance rides, long-term complications, loss of taste, foggy brain, they all mix with cough syrup and flu medicine to leave one nearly delirious. I even reached into the COVID emergency box and tested out the oxygen meter my daughter had me buy in the first wave. 

But I was lucky. The COVID test came back negative. The oxygen meter stayed in the good range. And eventually, I started to get better. My appetite came back. I could swallow again. I didn’t drown in my own phlegm. I stopped seeing blood in strange places.

This weekend, I was able to do things I enjoy doing again. It is such a shift from just tolerating things, or waiting, or doing anything to make time pass, to actually engaging in life again. It makes me thankful for what I can do. 

I’m still a little tired at the end of the day and I’ve let myself snooze a little longer than usual in the morning, and even this evening I was hesitant to returning to the blog. But here I am. No art, no craft, but showing up. I’ve been reading Adrienne Maree Brown’s Holding Change. She writes about adaptation as learning how to survive. She writes about building trust. She writes about the true selves.

Sometimes it feels like the true self is exposed when things are raw and exposed, the body is seeping, and the mind is too tired to even read email. But that is a false self pretending to be a true self. My true self is still riding a bicycle for a few weeks more, playing guitar pretending I’m on tour, and writing, always writing. 

Adrienne Maree Brown writes about the small things that accrete. How the little things are practicing what it feels like to be on the right side of history so that we can be ready when we need to make a bigger change. Small things, help us practice. 

Take care and be well,

Leo

Stairwell at the Whitney in New York.


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