Seems like I had just built up momentum for posting again after a July sickness and a late August vacation when pow! stopped in my tracks Saturday by a mild heart attack. There, that's more than I'd usually tell my readers about the details of my health; it's just that the last several days have reminded me how false the separation is that we create between mind and body. I'm here because my body is here-- there, I did it again.
I got home yesterday and today ventured out to fill a prescription. I stopped at Arise to pick up some invitations for our Open House (Friday, October 10) and heard that ACORN was having a demonstration about the foreclosure crisis at the new federal building, thought about stopping down for a few minutes but really I was as shaky as a shorn lamb in a stiff breeze.
In the miniscule two block radius I traversed on foot, I ran into several people I know. One woman introduced me to her friend.
"I know who you are," she said, "but I thought you'd be taller."
I take that as a compliment, but the truth is, if I don't think of myself as tall, still I always forget that that I am short. I found out last month that I've lost an inch, am now under five feet.. Yet looking out of my own eyes, I don't see it-- not unless I stand next to somebody's twelve year old child. Then I think, "Am I really that short? How has anyone ever taken me seriously?" (Sorry, other short people.)
And looking out of my own eyes, I don't feel old. I don't think of myself as sixty, but rather of some indeterminate age hovering between early and late adulthood. Not that I don't identify with sixty intellectually and politically, and not that I don't view with some amusement how much the skin on the back of my hands has become like my grandmother's. But it still takes a moment to recognize myself in a storefront window.
So here I am, still here. When my state of being was momentarily in doubt, I remember thinking, Wait, I can't die yet, because I'm still not the person I want to be! So now, on the other side of the event, I have yet another chance to remember that I have no one to please but myself, no standards to meet but my own, and no one but me to satisfy that I have done the best that I can.
Photo from Deego's photostream at Flickr.
Take a deep breath.