Quotes to like or puzzle over: “There comes a time when you realize that everything is a dream, and only those things preserved in writing have any possibility of being real.” ― James Salter, All That Is
So much has been happening that it has been difficult to even attempt a sort-through to post. Indeed, where to begin.
First, I had another (twice now) trip to the hospital—pericardial effusion—wherein the people all thought it was a heart attack. It wasn’t. Either time. But apparently all of the medical paraphernalia thinks I am so they go with that rather than my insistence “I’m not having a heart attack!” *sigh* So. Now they have to find the cause of my attacks which are painful beyond belief.
In the operating room: The most exciting part of the whole thing is that I coded—yes, died!—and that’s where it got interesting rather than just painful. It was no big deal at all and there were no lights and out-of-body experiences or awareness or floating. Nothing. A great big huge black nothing.
Just before the Black in a millisecond I had an awareness something was happening and a wondrous peace wherein nothing mattered and then… Another second and I woke up, knew I had been “somewhere” and asked what happened. They said I coded twice (wrong count, only one, extended) and they had to resuscitate me. So while trying to “save my life”—in a non-heart attack—they almost killed me.
It is impossible to describe because the observer, and all consciousness was gone. As soon as we say nothing—we have something. It is an experience that can only be experienced. I do think that I stayed in my body because I wasn’t gone long enough. It was less than a minute. Perhaps it takes longer for the full-death experience.
It should be noted that this was Not a heart attack. It was Not heart failure. It was that my heart stopped. Those are all different things. Apparently the heart stopped due to the dye they were inserting into my veins to find the blockage (there was none) that was causing the heart attack that wasn’t.
Meanwhile. During and after recovery I’ve been doing a rewrite of a novel I wrote a while back called “Last House.” I was always fond of it and thought it should have another look through. I also wrote a short story and entered it in a couple of contests. That’s in addition to the family history I pluck away at and photos with comments I send to the family.
And the Snow! We’ve had a couple of snow storms that have been just glorious. The dog and I go out at all hours to play and enjoy. Especially deep into the night when no one else is around. It’s so incredibly joyous with mounds of white and blowing wind and the silence and the glory! Watching a black dog jump and run against all of this becomes a thing of the Spirit. Other worlds hover about, waver in the light that suddenly glints against the sweeping snow.
“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” T.S. Eliot
“It is not I who create myself, rather I happen to myself.” ~Carl Jung, CW11, Para 391. Posted by Psyche’s Call with Donna May.~~I love this…”…I happen to myself.” Do we not, indeed?
I spent the morning outside digging out the little trees planted last year and now overwhelmed—packed under—by snow. The little things had to be dug out and released from their prisons of ice and blocks of snow. I had thought they would escape on their own and so had waited until I no longer could. Poor babies. At least now they should be happy in the winterscape around them.
The dog thought this was all a grand plan as she ran around me and through the piles of snow. What better than to run through snowdrifts and plunge through the crusted berms? Great stuff, this world. That’s what she says. The cat says it’s best to watch from the bedside window, ensconced in quilts and pillows.
And oh my. I’m so far behind in everything that responding now would make me early for next year. (Too late for late this year.) OK, a slight exaggeration but not much. Though given to hyperbole, it really is too late to say Happy Thanksgiving.
So for now, some notes in passing, regardless of the time of year.
Kurt Vonnegut was born in November of 1922, on the 11th. His works inspired my generation, more so than the beatniks. Breakfast of Champions was a bible of sorts, coursework for creativity and radicalism. He was one of the many who entertained the life and learning in Iowa City while it swarmed with writers and hippies and those of us who thought we could change the world.
The kid was here for Thanksgiving and our birthdays which made the days warm with love.
We’ve had a grand snowstorm, leaving us covered with at least two feet of snow. It has made the nights bright with the light reflected and held in its folds. During the day the snow sparkles with little diamonds strewn about by magic. Many of the places here have Christmas lights and decorations adding to the feelings of joyous-festive days.
For now then, this is the way things are while I go about attempting to catch up on other corners of my world. Wishing us all snow and sunshine, things that whish and cause us wonder.
Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment—whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary—as cosy, charming or special.
From my Danish roots, here comes that word that captures the feeling of warmth in a cold but beautiful clime. Ah yes, to visit there, to sit in front of the fireplace, stockinged feet up on the coffee table, books a tumble, hot chocolate in hand.
This is not cold when you have pleasured in a Winter’s Day, when the warmth of snow encircles, when tiny lights match the diamonds in the sun and moon-lit accumulations of snowflakes. That’s when your breath merges with air to make a whispered music. It’s not cold, when you’re not too old to make angels in the snow, when you can dream of other worlds where snowflakes ring like softened chimes.
That’s when someone’s mother makes the porridge with lemon and vanilla so that it, too, sparkles and sings in front of the red-cheeked children, fresh from sledding or skating, embraced by light worn as snow into the self of home.
That’s when Winter is childhood. When Winter is home.