Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Yesterday was John's funeral. I saw young marines in the pews and I cried. I won't say more.

Last night I talked with my dear friend Bina who is, like me, a fish and is as close as a sister. Our moods were in sync I think, she was listening to Percy Mayfield and T Bone Walker in Portland. I was drinking port and rocking the baby to sleep with my foot listening to Keren Ann's Nolita.

We talked about music and we got on the subject of Morphine, the band, who will always have a visceral reaction on me, even if I just hear the name. Sights and smells came back and I found myself thinking of a friend. I owe him a lot. Years ago, after a particularly bad break up and rough time in my life I went into hibernation for a long time. I was waiting tables, and he rode his bike up to the restaurant I was working at. I was just coming off my shift and sitting at the counter and he sat with me and I smoked and we talked for quite awhile. I found myself extremely sad when he left and I saw him riding away but I felt alive in away I hadn't in a very long time. I didn't realize how long it had been since I had talked with anyone. Days later I went to his apartment and with two other people we sat and talked. The conversation drifted into life, music, our families. I don't think I had ever freely talked with anyone about my family before. We talked casually into the evening and I left and walked home, inhaling the night air. I remember it vividly. It may seem commonplace but that was the moment in my life when I got my voice back. When I began to speak again and when I started inhaling the world in and opening myself up to let learning and people in. Does that make sense? There are times in your life when things just shift, it could be miniscule or dramatic or just a slight change in air pressure but that was one of my shifts. I'll always remember that and Morphine made me think of that. I don't think I ever said thank you to him.

I went to the oncologist today. They ran a CEA, a blood test to see if cancer is still in your blood basically, and it came up ok. I was ok. So they have officially terminated my chemotherapy. They are going to monitor me with blood tests for the next four months and I will have to get another colonoscopy (hurrah!) but so far so good. They are going to keep the Port-A-Cath in my chest until they are 100% certain. I need a second opinion on the brain cyst just to make sure. Have to see a neurosurgeon after the neurologist.

Atticus is fussy and work is like a boat in still water and I mean that not at all zen like. Yet again I have gone off in a tangent. My thoughts are all over the place, this time images of a young punk rock boy picking on his sister turn into a marine fidgeting and worrying over some chow mein in the north suburbs of Chicago.


I like Thomas Merton:

If one reaches the point where understanding fails, this is not a tragedy: it is simply a reminder to stop thinking and start looking. Perhaps there is nothing to figure out after all: perhaps we only need to wake up.

Though I am a hindu and have buddhist culture in my background the ways of the wise ones are often lost on me, forcing me to meditate while trying to swat the dog away and not watching bad cop shows. I like the last line, though, very lovely. The cow gives birth to a baby elephant; clouds of dust rise over ocean. From Master Suzuki...

A monk said: "I have been with you (Master), for a long time, and yet I am unable to understand your way. How is this?"

The Master said: "Where you do not understand, there is the point for your understanding."

The monk said: "How is understanding possible when it is impossible?"

The Master said: "The cow gives birth to a baby elephant; clouds of dust rise over ocean." (Suzuki, Introduction, p. 176)

So there is my nostalgic, romantic post for today.


Anonymous moe said...

hiya hilesh,
i'm happy to hear you are ok and can stop chemo. i want to meet atticus...see you...
btw, i love teaching too. and "fast car" is my favorite TC.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005 8:24:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home