Ikigai

Lughnasa and the Harvest Moon

Radiation done. Lupron still on board. At least one more injection. Oct. 1st. If that’s it, three months after January 1, I’ll have a PSA that tells the tale of the radiation. Did it work?

Hot flushes, the occasional flash. One drastic mood swing. All I have to show for the forces of life vs. the forces of mortality. Leaves me in this in-between place. Cured? Maybe. Can’t know until I’m off the Lupron. Cancer still stalking me? Can’t know until I’m off the Lupron. So. Caught between knowing I have a reemergence and not knowing what my oncologist’s treatments have accomplished. In the quickest scenario it will be a year from the diagnostic PSA in March of this year.

Though I feel calm, not agitated or anxious about this, that’s not to say there’s no effect. The chief of which is a floaty, not grounded sensation. Am I living or am I dying? To be sure both are always true, but in this instance I’m not sure whether the dying has gotten the upper hand. Leaves me unmoored. The dirigible of my Self has broken loose from its tie down on the Empire State Building and has drifted out to sea.

Result. Not sure what comes next. Motivation hollowed out. Sense of purpose broken up like ragged clouds in a high wind.

Ikigai (生き甲斐) – Reason for Being “Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self-discovery and reflection… The word “ikigai” is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile… In the culture of Okinawa, ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”; that is, a reason to enjoy life.” from Creative by Nature.

Right now the reason I get up is to feed Rigel, Gertie, and Kepler. After that I write Ancientrails. On three days I follow breakfast with a workout. After that my day begins to wander, to pull away from my choosing. Not used to that. At least not for any length of time. I don’t want to be at this in March of next year.

Maybe my ikigai right now involves finding my ikigai for a place between life and death. So the search is the thing. Not the destination? I don’t know. Wish I did.

Flaneur

Lughnasa and the Harvest Moon

One of our O2 concentrators, Kate’s for night time, has a problem. Not sure what, but it was not producing enough O2. Her O2 saturation dropped and she could tell. Had to switch her onto the machine I use at night. This morning. O2 concentrator store service call.

Saw Alan yesterday. Breakfast at the Wildflower in downtown Evergreen. Even during the week after Labor Day and at 10 am the place had lots of customers. Alan’s got play rehearsals, a recycling day for the Rotary, a big deal, prep for the High Holy Days. He’s singing. A friend.

After breakfast I wandered down the board walk, a flaneur in a mountain town. Don’t often go in stores along the way. They don’t open until 11 for the most part. A tourist schedule. I’m rarely there after 11. Today I was.

The Evergreen Boot and Shoe Service has knives. The owner, Steve Repaz, is a collector. Pushed open the door next to the shoe shaped open sign. The familiar shoe repair smell. Leather, shoe polish, glue, a metal tang. Steve was polishing an oxblood slipper with a small piece of cloth. He lifted something, glue?, out of a volcano shaped mound on his worktable. Applied it.

I’m just here to look at the knives. Where you from? Conifer. Oh. I’ve been here 41 years and 10 months. Wow. Bet you’ve seen a lot of changes. Yes and no. I can’t really see out.

His windows had thick wooden blinds, half closed. The shop was its own small universe.

We talked for 20 minutes or so. Rather, Steve talked. He told me his family history. Swiss. How his ancestors fared in the Civil War. Pickett’s brigade. Cousins killed at Manassas. He warmed to his tale. Oh, this is a good story.

The bell on the door sounded. Steve mentioned Allentown, Pennsylvania. Oh, that’s where I’m from said the stocky man who’d just come in with his friend. I eased myself out the door.

Did some more work on my bagel table. Happening on the 14th. It will be different from Steve Tick’s. Writing and introspection, dealing with the purpose of revelation and how we experience revelation ourselves. How does sacred scripture model revelatory experience? What’s the purpose of revelation? Could we write sacred scripture ourselves? Looking forward to it.