Monday, April 13, 2015

By Way Of Explanation

There is a reason for my recent radio silence that's known to only a few of my internet friends. On 2/14 I had a sudden cerebellar bleed: the AVM discovered at the time of my chronic subdurals last summer (and irradiated 12/2015 for 3-4 year cure} burst and  I had a subarachnoid and intracerebellar bleed.

I don''t  remember the next 2 weeks of Mass General neuro ICU and step down. I begin to remember my subsequent course at rehab -- Spaulding for 1 month amd Hebrew Rehab for 2 weeks. I scared the shit out of my dear loyal husband and everyone else, including me, but am home now for 3 days facing unknown prognosis -- at best prolonged recovery of some  degree of function.  But for now its dizziness, imbalance, a mild right intention tremor of  arm and leg, double vision: can't write, hard to read, using an eyepatch, must use a walker to get around and be chaperoned on stairs -- all galling to this independent woman. No work for now (or ever ?) and another angiogram next Monday to embolize the remaining AVM.  Ugh.

I am grateful for my supportive friends and family, especially my infinitely capable and patient husband and my doting son; I am grateful for my skilled providers and my health insurance; I'm. (as attenuated as I am at this point ) glad to be  alive. 

There's nothing like a sudden calamity to bring things into perspective.

More, later, I suspect.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


It is time to stop making claims and to simply listen. Myths still hang, blood red, on the winter branch; barberries, too. On the lawns blow-up Santas deflate at dusk. I sit vigil with them overnight. At sunrise, as they resurrect,  I flee; from the bushes, I watch the young ones dance circles around the restored, cheerful effigies. The dancers sing;  stray words drift on the sharp wind into my ear -- hope, radical, witness  -- or is it simply the sound of ice, shattering ?

The aerial roots of poison ivy strain the air. Ears also strain the air, often mistaking their own tintinnabulations for far off bells. Thorns make for a perilous harvest.

Tinselations, tessalations, tessaracts -- the cold captures the downward trajectory of tears

as the the world burns, stamping, screaming, killing, trying to keep itself warm.

Close looking (while the eye lasts) rewards the eye: someone's last breath, cast in ice, hangs inside a drop.

For a single brief moment you might think you feel the comforting touch of a humanoid ghost.

But it is nothing but a winter moth fluttering toward its dark death. The darkness, it whispers as it passes,  is both inner and outer.  You have heard the voices cursing that darkness: a place without gratitude, they cry, they who have never been banished there.

These are the landscapes that cartographers have rejected, whose roads unscroll behind you and, within seconds, disappear, whose winds tear the guiding narratives from your frozen grasp.

You are a broken bowl, a barbed-wire chalice.

Rust and mold calls to the iron in your blood. You stand at the intersection of that discourse and try to understand. It is useless, and a bliss.

None of it, all of it, is mine. Cataracts of wood,

tunnels of leaf,

fingers of oak,

stained ice, unsigned, given in memoriam for all.

The great that there is something and its mirror image -- that I am -- circle me in tireless totentanz.

Rust (they sing)  is as precious as the finest gold --

and comes from and will return to the same refining fire.

Grant us safe passage, as we lose our way.