In my current waking-dream the MS for “Last House” is with the readers/editors and I too, am making yet another pass through. But there continues this waking-dream that is a snow-filled wonder. And there must be caution in the bedtime. Allowing the mind to go too far, too loose, too willing to float into that abyss is dangerous. There is a point of no return. We do not want to join Nietzsche in those last hours of the burning limbs, the frozen lake.
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.
“She will blaze through you like a gypsy wildfire. Igniting your soul and dancing in its flames. And when she is gone, the smell of her smoke will be the only thing left to soothe you…”
Dame Laura Knight – Gypsy Splendour (Fine Feathers), 1938.
Does everything that blazes burn out? Turn to ashes? In the end, is it all just a matter of changing form? So. Capture that which we love in Art, and Faith, and Memory. Only to forget when the mind wanders of its own before or after its time as marked by the world. Embrace Ecstasy.
I’ve just learned that a great one has left this planet. Thich Nhat Hanh has “passed away” at the age of 95. What a loss for this world, and what a gain for him! So let’s not feel sorry for ourselves because this world has thus become poorer today, but celebrate that this amazing soul was finally able to put down an old, sick body and can now enjoy unlimited freedom. Today, more than ever, my favorite poem by him is appropriate.
I bow in awe before the greatness of this man and express with this post my overwhelming gratitude and infinite appreciation for all the love, purity and wisdom that he brought into this realm, and with which he made this world a far better place. Beings like him are extremely rare. Mankind does not deserve such guests, and yet he came by for a pretty long visit to help alleviate suffering.Thank you Thay! I love you! Now you can smile again!
“This body is not me.
I am not limited by this body.
I am life without boundaries.
I have never been born,
and I shall never die.
Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars,
manifestations from my wondrous true mind.
Since before time, I have been free.
Birth and death are only doors through which we pass,
sacred thresholds on our journey.
Birth and death are a game of hide-and-seek.
So laugh with me,
hold my hand,
let us say good-bye,
say good-bye, to meet again soon.
We meet today.
We will meet again tomorrow.
We will meet at the source every moment.
We meet each other in all forms of life.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ❤
And just when I needed this. And Happy Birthday dear Alan!
On Alan Watts’s birthday, dive into a wealth of his wisdom on life and death and the meaning of it all: https://www.themarginalian.org/tag/alan-watts/
It’s beautifully cold today, and snow is in the forecast. Be still my heart! The only thing better could be to live in the middle of the woods as it does so. Happy golden sweet white days!