Not Much Sleep

Mostly watched how-to videos on YouTube over night. Clearly avoidant behavior. I don’t have bad dreams, don’t dream much at all unless watching people assemble electronics, do woodworking projects, perform chemical experiments, make elaborate clocks from brass stock, create an electron microscope, or build custom guitars can be said to be a kind of dreaming. Perhaps it can.

Hot Pink Dawn

A hot pink dawn over the river this morning only lasted about thirty seconds, but highly intense. Some perceptions have to be caught on the fly, others can be savored. Perception is neutral, a register of input, to borrow an ugly term from electronics. It’s what one makes of the input–the phenomenological spark–that creates a meaning. I don’t know how. (Weather & atmospheric phenomena continue to be my master metaphors.) Light from the sun shining across the river / taste of the first sip of coffee. The adventure of what happens.

Note: First thing in the mornings, while Carole is making coffee, I often have the feeling that the various systems & subsystems of my body are coordinating with each other & coming into coherent functioning. That’s what’s supposed to happen. It’s bad news when “systems” are glitchy, but that has not been happening so much recently. Things going relatively smoothly–I almost said “booting up,” demonstrating how hard it can be to keep domains of metaphor separate, though I think it’s important to be able to do so.

Thom Jones, Vietnam War Writer, Dies

Via the NY Times I see that Thom Jones has died at age 71, one of the most harrowing writers of the Vietnam War generation of Americans affected by the Vietnam War. (Jones shared both my alma maters, the Universities of Washington & Iowa for the Writers Workshop). A classic example of a specific American type. “The Pugilist at Rest” may be the single best story about the War’s influence on an individual soldier’s consciousness that I am familiar with.

Morning

Milky coffee, english muffins, gray sky after a rainy night. It is surprising how normal I’ve been feeling for the last week. Given my disease, I’m grateful that I seem to have found a plateau of ordinary life that is characterized by weakness & mobility problems (still walking with a walker) but without sharp or debilitating pain. Current medication is mostly morphine ER at a low to medium dose, with a shorter-acting opioid for “breakthrough pain,” though I find I don’t need those as often as one would think.

I’ve begun doing some medical research online regarding pain associated with cancer. For quite a while now I’ve set my anxieties aside & just tried to get on with my days, focusing especially on writing poems; but lately I’ve had the sense that I ought to intellectually prepare myself for the progression of my kidney cancer. Perhaps it is time to start sneaking up on reality, though without becoming anxious or obsessive; in fact, I’ll probably want to go back to ignoring chronic symptoms as much as possible for a while. This sort of modulation strikes me as healthy & should allow me to work on publication projects, sending poems out, etc. (A lot of that stuff is easy to shunt aside, but has a remarkably positive physical, intellectual & even spiritual set of effects when I focus on getting such things done.)

So I’ll be listening to doctors, pharmacologists & etc. talking about pain & pain medications on YouTube & following up the very materialist parts of these discussion. (I have little or no problem dealing with the linguistic, metaphorical & spiritual sides of the problem; what I need to do for a while is look more closely at the nitty-gritty.)

Still, a lovely cool morning with mostly bare maple trees out the window, Somehow wet & dusty at the same time. The body adjusting itself to the various fields of force that act on all of us all the time. And acting on me & the qualities of my time & life in the coming months.