Monday, October 30, 2006


The wind is screaming outside. It sounds like a wounded animal. The rain is slapping hard and fast against the house and the ground, making a pattering noise that seems to give rhythm to the wail of the wind.

But I'm most interested in the trees.

I'm watching them out the bedroom window. Some are huge, thick and tall, lurking over our house like limby, extra-terrestrial creatures. Some are small, I can just see their tips through the high-set windows. All of them are whirling, like mad dervishes in the wind. Their dance is at once terrifying, beautiful, and fascinating.

I am wondering how in Hell they will survive. I am wondering if one of them will decide that today is their breaking point and come crashing onto the lawn, or the car, or the house. I am wondering how many times they've danced like this - in the mean, cold wind.

Their thinner upper limbs bend impossibly, like the legs of a contortionist. It seems like at times they are folded in half. Their trunks even sway a bit – giving in to the rain-soaked softness of the earth. But mostly, they sustain, as the wind beats at them – angry and screeching. They stand, even the smallest, stretching tall, into the breath of the storm – almost craning into the pouring rain. I watch some branches fall – mere twigs as well as giant pieces – and I watch as the trees they fall from just stand there, so solid. I see one tree that has fallen altogether. The scene makes me feel so strange.

The trees remind me of those of us who live with chronic or life-threatening illness. Many days bring the wind and the rain – and we stand there, strong, flexing ourselves against it – reaching into it. Even the smallest of us knows to bend in the wind, to stretch toward the cold, hard rain. Sometimes, we win – the wind and rain barely move us, sometimes, we're tested – the storm tears something off, sometimes we lose - and we're knocked down.

Could it be that simple?

If it is, then there are days after the storm when we bask, like victorious warriors in the warm sun. There are days when we are nourished by the soil that holds us – that fosters us. And there are days when the wind and the rain are so sweet and soft, they're like the hands of a lover or a mother – letting us know that there is still something kind, something gentle in this world that is ours alone. And there is a day when we'll fall – and something new might grow from us.

Friday, October 06, 2006


What a week this has been.

My father was up from South Carolina trying to get his house signed over to its new owners - there was a lot of garbage to be moved out and to the dump or other appropriate places, it took a long time and I worked until I was sore. Bob's B-day was Sunday. We moved my brother and his family to a new apartment on Saturday, that day, I also worked until I was sore.

Not to mention all the bad news.

This Mark Foley business has me completely sick to my stomach. I really should be in disbelief - that people sworn to protect the public good would keep a guy they knew might be a threat to kids in office (and in a position working with children's advocacy groups, no less) - but I'm not shocked at all. It's just par for our Nation's miserable course - a course on which politics mean more than people.

The school shootings - especially the one in Amish country - leave me shaking my head at the pure bad/evil that walks amongst us. It is terrifying. But in the midst of the terror, there is still hope - provided courtesy of the families of the young girls who were slaughtered in that schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. They have urged forgiveness - and have led the efforts to support the shooter's family. They have opened their doors to those the killer left behind. In the heart of an unfathomably horrible situation, they have turned on the lights of their faith and provided warmth for their community - and for a nation that doesn't see enough forgivness, that doesn't see enough grace.

The war in Iraq continues on - and more soldiers die everyday. With more and more information surfacing about how ill-conceived this action was and is and how utterly unneccesary it was and is, it is beyond any words I could find to express how angry and frustrated it makes me to think about it. And our president blathers on like a trained ape with a parrot on his shoulder - continually repeating - "everything is fine, we're making progress, they'll steal our freedom..." Meanwhile, gas prices drop and I wonder if my pleasure at seeing my gas bill decrease is as disgustingly selfish as it feels.

Oh - and I feel like I'm back to my 1980s Cold War childhood. I wonder how long until shows like "Jericho" become as pervasive as movies like "The Day After" were during my childhood. And I know when it happens, it will be art imitating what's possible, as the threat of some dire nuclear disaster or war - at the hands of or against North Korea or some other county we've angered - becomes all too likely.

And, as I worry over everything around me, my diabetes has decided to start on a tear.

In the last week, I have seen:
*Way too many high bloodsugars
*3 bloodsugars below 30 (22, 29, 20), plus one 31
*A severely infected pump site - which required me to receive a shot in the bum. Yes, in the bum. Of an antibiotic. That stung like the blazes as it was injected. I am following up that shot with oral antibiotic for 10 days. The infection is looking much better today - on day 3.

I swear I have seasonal affective disorder. I've got a bunch of the syptoms. One night a week ago - I woke up in our house (which was at 68 degrees that night) and could not get warm. My teeth were chattering. I got under another blanket. I still shivered. I got up and got one more blanket, which finally quelled the freezy feeling I had. Luckily, we've not had a repeat of the chills. However, I have just not been feeling like me lately. It's as if my head has been occupied by some other - less comfortable and confident person. And my head has ached on and off - with one migraine coming down like a hammer and causing me to have to leave work. The doctor has run some bloodwork - it appears there is nothing physically wrong with me. So, whatever it is, we theorize, just might be in my head. And the winter is starting to dawn and my body rebels because the winter brings the dark and the increased worry and the cold and the well - you know - the winter.

I am tired. I'll admit it. I'd like a break from things. The news, the diabetes, my work. I'd like a break.