Delirious blatherings

Monday 24 March 2008

I am feeling quite unwell and quite anxious at the same time. A dastardly, fragmented combination. This place of racing anxiety is caused by ill health. Ill health is hell. I remember this terrain so well from CFS land. Paradoxically, on top of the racing anxiety, there is this almost manic happy feeling going on in my body at the very same time that I am aching, with sinusey head feelings making me feel like my head is about four inches taller than it is, while at the same time like it's being squashed into some insidious mammogram machine. It's not entirely unpleasaurable, the manic feeling. But it's fake energy.

I am, I hate to admit, a writer of the type Helen Garner mentions below:

Writers seem to me to be people who need to retire from social life and do a lot of thinking about what happened - almost to calm themselves.

Perhaps I am not ill at all but am simply an insane writer. God knows there've been a few of those. But really, I don't think I'm insane, at least not today. I suspect it's hormonal imbalance, thyroid fucked-upedness, immune system overload, a healing crisis from the stuff I am taking, maybe a fighting off of a flu bug. But really, I don't know really what is causing me to feel like I am in a giant washing machine, spinning around in this whirligig of strange, adrenally-fatigued anxiety.

I don't know. I might get that tattooed on my forehead, preach it to myself a thousand times a day like a mantra. Saying "I don't know" is like a release of a bolt that I didn't realise was screwed on too tight.

I have given mental assent to the unpleasant understanding that I need to climb back on the carousel of the medical profession, at least for a couple of turns. It's time to try to fit yet more pieces of the puzzle together so that I can experience more consistently the good health that has flitted itself in and out of my life, flirting like a lover, over the past few years. I will pursue it down whatever roads it wants me to chase it. It's worth it. It feels better than any drug to be able to dance through the day in your own body, careless of yourself.

I was about to have a shower before when I noticed an insect of indeterminate stock beating futilely against the frosted glass of the bathroom window. It could see the light, was trying to get to it, but there was something in its way. It kept trying. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, was the insect of indeterminate stock insane?

I took pity on it. Took a piece of folded up toilet paper and stood, imploring it to climb onto the toilet paper so I could take it outside. It was quite beautiful, when I looked at it. I have never seen one like it before. The pattern that stretched all the way from head to toe aroused a memory of someone's wallpaper. Green and cream wallpaper with a tiny fleck of yellow. Someone's hallway that I spent enough time traversing in my childhood that it's filed itself in my visual memory. The insect climbed rather daintily onto the piece of folded up toilet paper with yellow legs.

I took it outside and it flew. I felt a flutter of jealousy at the way the insect of indeterminate stock got to look like green and cream and yellow wallpaper and also to fly off. I wanted to fly off too.

What does the life of the insect of indeterminate stock count for? However long its life is - where does it go? Does even its apparently rather pointless life get filed in God's giant filing cabinet? Does it need to? Does it need to go anywhere? Does it need to all matter beyond what it is right here, right now? Am I displaying the ridiculous thoughts of one has the blood flowing in my veins of a Family that has always wanted to know too much?

Human existence is neither perfectly consistent (as rational and control-needy people usually demand it be), nor is it incoherent chaos (what cynics, agnostics, and unaware people expect it to be); instead, human life has a cruciform pattern. It is a "coincidence of opposites" (St. Bonaventure), a collision of cross-purposes; we are all filled with contradictions needing to be reconciled.

The price that we pay for holding together these opposites is always some form of crucifixion. Jesus himself was crucified between a good thief and a bad thief, hanging between heaven and earth, holding on to both his humanity and his divinity, a male body with a feminine soul, expelled as the problem by both religion and state. Yet he rejected none of these, but "reconciled all things to himself" (Eph. 2:10).

Christians call this pattern "the paschal mystery"; true life comes only through journeys of death and rebirth wherein we learn who God is for us. Letting go is the nature of all true spirituality and transformation, summed up in the mythic phrase: "Christ is dying. Christ is risen. Christ will ever come again."
Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs

Blow me down with bird fur if I haven't finally given in, again, to the letting go of expectations and the giving in to expectancy. Feeling life as it is right now fly in, feeling like childhood, and settle down into my gut, patting down the fluttering of anxiety, of expectations. Letting go of holding onto myself too tightly. Now, if I can only do it a bit more consistently, perhaps I will lose the self-absorption that causes me to begin so many of my paragraphs with "I" (look at them all) and lose myself to life (it's just hard to do that when your head's pounding).

Thanks for listening to my blathering pointlessnesses this evening (except for that above Rohrianism; they're never pointless nor blathering). Writing it has calmed me down, somewhat. I'm so glad I picked up Richard Rohr (or his book. Personally, I feel too weak to lift Richard myself today) .


  1. ah, sue, I, too, am battling a health issue. the medication's side effects are disconcerting, but much less so than the illness. I hope this is all temporary, like my doctor says. I sympathize with your anxiety.

  2. Barbara - health issues really are their own sort of hell. Ten years' worth and I still haven't got used to how awful it all is. I really find it unbearable. I sympathise with yours, too.

    As we speak it is pouring rain and thundering and lightning, and I feel a pressure release in my body. I can't handle the whole barometric pressure thing. The atmosphere pre-storm just sends me bananas


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