April 14th, 4:39 PM. A sudden jerking awake, a popping of the bubble. Good lord, man, what happened?
It is not an exaggeration to say I had an abrupt moment of clarity, this morning, between slipping in and out of naps. Clarity accompanied by the gasp of knowing that there seems to be a lot undone in recent days. The lack of "productivity" in my life always creates a tension with which I find it hard to cope. I was disappointed that I have written and photographed almost nothing since March 23rd. Also, somewhat anxious.
What makes this absurdly funny is that I had no official deadlines or production schedules in that time.
Life is what happens when you make other plans...to be clear, I had a near week long visit with my daughter at the beginning of the month, followed closely by surgery (due to the events mentioned HEARnia), the recovery time I knew full well would set me back by keeping me off my feet. Even so I remained optimistic that while reclining in bed or on the couch I would still be working the keyboards and maybe even getting a jump on the Next Great American Novel. I thought I would bounce back in a snap, not unlike I did the first time I had a similar operation nearly 30 years gone.
Boy, was I ever mistaken. The surgery was just over 4 days ago, I was home the afternoon it took place, but it wasn't until now, a relatively nice Sunday afternoon, that I felt energetic and focused enough to sit down and write. Anything. Anything at all. In hindsight, I am astounded I managed to communicate to the extent I did during the last week. Even that was thanks to the miracle of the Interwebs and social media. The combined effects of surgery, anesthesia, pain medications and the fact I've been a few more years around the sun rendered me exhausted, loopy and beyond caring (too much) about typos. The smart phone was a boon, allowing me to at least dabble in the world beyond my shoulders between bouts of sudden-onset napping and just plain goofball fuzziness. I also managed to stay connected to loved ones, far and near.
My plans for literary excellence, or even increased output, were busted. It made me antsy, even as I drifted off to snooze and comprehensively map the insides of my eyelids. A curious battle between the need to rest (which really was the right way) and this need to fulfill my creative, productive urge. It felt good to rest, but laced with a ribbon of panic that golden opportunities were slipping away from me.
It's a good thing that I have people in my life who care deeply for me, for my well-being. I may have received some good-natured teasing over some typos and the loopiness I indulged in, but I also received good advice and care. Priceless, indeed. The core of the advice I needed to hear, is that my body is telling me what it needs, and I would do well to listen. No sense in trying to bang out a collection of short stories if all it does is land me right back in the care of physicians.
Having said all that, I think it's time to wrap it up. I getting weary again, the body is achy. I have some more meditations I'd like to offer to you, dear readers, based on my "from-gurney-observations" I collected whilst in the recovery room. Minor epiphanies and gratitudes, if I may. Those will wait a bit longer, after a nap and maybe some ice cream.