Flip the Kayak

Imbolc and the Purim Moon

Wednesday gratefuls: Snow already falling. 3 feet! predicted. Whoa. Jackie and Rebecca, both canceled. Haircut and a friend lunch. March in the Mountains. Tom. The tire pressure sensors. The cold. Making a come back. Sleep. Naps. Tired. Anemia. Snow plows and their drivers. The roadgrader, too. Shadow Mountain and Black Mountain. Storm.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Lotta Snow

One brief shining: Illness and its changing of the inner atmosphere, like a cloud scudding across the fearful ego; moods altered by digging down below to find dirty gems, sad regrets, remnants of life, of past mistakes, of old fears, a comprehensive muck raking that can destabilize the heart sending it spinning out, out, out faraway from its real home.


Guess I didn’t pay attention when Kate was alive. 7-10 days for the common cold. Tom knew that. I thought I was getting better yesterday. But no. Still tired, sneezy, and drippy. (guess I’m one of the 7 dwarves) Fortunately I have almost no obligations right now, especially over the next few days. Should see me through this insult.

Went to the doctor yesterday to talk about my bleed. She prescribed more of the suppositories because they seem to help. Having them on hand gives me a bit of security when my situation turns ugly. I went to a Walgreen’s to pick them up and experienced an oh my I’m old moment.

As I got ready to pay, a phone number popped up on the card reader’s screen:  303-674-xxxx. Tell me the last four numbers for security purposes. Nothing. It simply wasn’t there. I was sick anyhow and this task overwhelmed me. I don’t have that phone anymore, I said. I lied. And regretted that, digging my hole deeper. The clerk put in my cell phone number, which I know. The minute she did what popped in my head? 5398. Yes, those four x’s.

I recount this to show how, instead of going from strength to strength, we can, when old, go from weakness to weakness. Already sick I doubled down by freezing on that phone number. Which I instantly read as a sign of senile brain. Only later did I realize that the unexpected nature of the request combined with a number I already had trouble remembering (address-9358. last four numbers-5398) was the issue. Not memory.

My reaction time when surprised has declined significantly. It’s not my mental capacity which continues vigorous and strong. It’s about capacity to adapt quickly to the unexpected. Don’t give me command of anything that requires sudden decisions. It’s also part of why I don’t like to drive at night anymore. My reactions are already compromised and the darkness amplifies them.

How we can turn on ourselves, give ourselves short shrift. I needed some time and some distance to sort all this out. A fortunate aspect of aging is our capacity to see things for what they are, to not be fooled by momentary or unusual circumstances. To be able to flip the kayak underwater, then flip it back up to the surface where there’s oxygen again. Can’t say it always happens instantaneously though.