natural cycle

Aided in part by the eager and encouraging urgings of my wife i started running again last week. i don't run as much during the summer b/c i get a fair amount of bike riding in but after the shift into autumn riding the bike to work becomes less tenable (for me at least, there are plenty of people in portland who are undaunted) and my fitness level drops, seemingly day by day.

this am it was dark and windy but not cold.  the air had whiff of potential precipitation but it only had to hold for 30 min and i'd be home dry so i ventured out. 10 minutes later it began to rain. nothing horrible but enough to kill the buzz. i made executive decision to abort full run and head home at which point i'd retrive the dog and run the last 10 minutes with him. (his behaviorial issues prevent me currently from taking him on the whole run). i could feel my reflexive anger bubble up, almost taking it personally that the universe waited until i was the furthest point from home to start unloading. i feel utterly ridiculous typing that out but if i'm being honest that's how narrow my worldview can get at times. i was able to pull back from that spot though: it's a natural process. you can no more take weather personally than cancer (which has been on my mind of late due to a friend's diagnosis and cemented by the cover story in the sunday ny times yesterday). We struggle to not attach malevolence or intent to natural process. I recalled the gift of my recurrence-free life and how the me of 4 years ago would be thrilled to hear i'd be drawing breath at all 4 yrs hence, much less running around, having the luxury to complain about minor discomfort. and for awhile I actually smiled.

By the time I got home I was drenched and grateful. The rain hadn't let up but it hadn't gotten worse and so - since I was already soaked to the bone - I figured I'd grab the dog and go. we only had to do 10 minutes. We'd run 5 min out, 5 back. no sweat.

We made it 4 steps into the street and the heavens cracked open, unleashed sudden pummeling, pounding, king lear, monsoon storm, sideways sheets of epic rain. The kind of rain you seek immediate shelter from. I was the guy you see - from the safety of your dry car through wildly thumping windshield wipers - and think oh my god that guy's a lunatic. running with his dog in this? and why the fuck is he laughing?


sentence of the day 10.15.09

"A house without cheese is like a heart without love."

mm defending her shopping list

The Mirror

Dear friends are recently arrived in the post-diagnosis place m and i occupied nearly 4 yrs ago - a roiling ocean of darkness, chaos, fear, uncertainty. We have a unique window - unique at least among our friends - into their situation. But the window is also a mirror, reflecting back our own experience in ways we'd forgotten, illuminating the way things happened and the way we have chosen to remember it . M and i have the luxury - now anyway - of looking rearward at what happened; the further we get the more the edges of it are defined, more formed, more compartmentalized. But when you're in it, heading into the storm it is black and endless.

This week I am quick(er) to anger, i am deeply annoyed at the chattering person on the bus, i am frustrated with our dog choosing which commands to honor. This morning i recognize that this is probably happening on a micro-scale, my body recalling/empathizing at the cellular level, forwards and backwards, what has happened to us/what is happening them.


sentence(s) of the day 10.9.09

"..i went to college, you went to college; i shaved, you shaved; at the end of the day we're just mammals..."

c. dye, relaying his approach to a recent courtship

"there's something askew with my pneumatics"
overheard in the workplace


it feels like a hundred years...

Spent some time this AM filling out a pre-meet health questionnaire for upcoming visit to new acupuncturist. The document was generic in nature but aimed at isolating recurrent mind/body health issues so the practitioner knows how best to treat the patient. Got to the part about Emotional Health and was asked check all that apply:

granted, most of the choices are at the gloomy end of the spectrum but the 3 items i selected were certainly not positive. all day i keep asking myself why not joy? I'm not completely joy-less in my day to day life but joy is not my default setting, not even close. You'd think after the brain tumor that I'd be shitting out sunshine and dancing on moonbeams but i worry a lot - too much? - about death. The death of those I love. The death that's built into everything - even planets, stars, galaxies. I can't just go for a beer with a friend, I go for a beer with a friend that I know one day will be dead. I go to watch a baseketball game and instead of keeping my focus on how good Greg Oden looks and how nice it is to have Martell Webster back, my mind drifts to 100 yrs from now these 17,500 people will not exist in this current form. This is not a positive or sustainable scenario for emotional well-being. I get that. And I'm not saying that I can't help my thoughts b/c I know I can if I work at it, but I do wish that - in the face of all this inevitability - that i was joyous.

updated to add: feel compelled to qualify - after two slightly concerned emails - that i am not drowning in an ocean of sadness per se as relates to death. it's an intellectual consideration not emotional, even though the above post is mostly about my emotions. does that make sense?