Friday, March 5, 2010

365 Photo Project - Day 63

Taken: March 4, 2010, approx. 3:30 p.m.
Location: Healdsburg, CA

Feeling slightly better today. Tonight actually. Wrote three pages just to remind myself I could. It felt  laborious but good. Damn good. Talked on the phone a little. Voice is getting stronger, cough weaker. And hell, I've lost nearly 10 pounds. What doesn't kill you, makes you thinner? I'll go with that.

I think I might even venture out of the house tomorrow, if only to walk down to the mailbox. Don't think I can make it back up the hill without collapsing in a coughing fit but downhill seems doable. My photos were feeling as claustrophobic as I was, so I padded outside in the late afternoon to a dazzling bright partly sunny sky. Those clouds on the horizon portend more bad weather ahead but today was positively springlike.

A gift indeed.

Yes, that is the view off the front porch of the house we rent. This is why I live in wine country. Take a look at that shot (which I took iPhone and very lightly edited).  Intoxicating, isn't it? Like looking into the eyes of someone you love. Really love. You can feel the last-gasp of late winter, the almost-warm sunlight, the crackle of new coming through the softening soil. Just enough to make you think of whatever it is that means spring to you, be it baseball or just-cut grass, Saturday-night barbecues or evenings when the setting of the sun is slow and easy.  Magical, inviting and, full of promise.

Corny I knew but it's gospel to me.  Hell, I know I'm not onto anything new here (see Walden and his pond) but it's worth contemplating these days when life seems so hard for so many people. I'm not very religious but I think the Tibetan monks have it figured out -- the value of a person's life cannot be measured with stuff, on dreams of material things or in career milestones, victories or heartbreaks.

It's all too easy to worry and whine, complain and blame and so damned hard not to feel like the Center of the Universe. As if God happened to pick only you to smite today.

I'm no braver than the next guy, much less so compared to people I know who are dealt the worse of hands. That's the thing about a sad story. There's always someone else's who's a helluva lot sadder than yours. Like my roommate at the hospital where I was treated for Cancer who was in for her fourth operation on a freaking brain tumor. Two kids, no money and her husband had just left her. Talk about putting my situation into perspective.

But it's not the Woe-Is-Me Olympics. It's about your point of view. Or, really, any view.  It's about looking up. It's in the living, the breathing, the experience of being in the world as a part of the world and all that it offers us. It's in the love we share and the friendships we make and if anybody expects to walk a straight line through it, well you're just fooling yourself. It's like the Indigo Girls like to say, "You'll never fly as the crow flies so get used to a country mile."

And even if you're no good at shirking those everyday disappointments (and who is?) all you really gotta do is look up, breathe in, eyes wide, heart open. Not so you realize how small we are compared to everything but how connected everything is to us. You can find it anywhere and everywhere I think. Not just where I live. Up here, it's just easier not to forget.

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