Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Innard feelings

This is the first year in many, perhaps since I was about to turn 30 and thought, "My God, it's the 80s - life as we know it is over," that year-end contemplation is the order of the day. Usually, life is a continuum and the marking of an hour or a day or a year or even Y2K doesn't really mean that much (although one increasingly looks forward to 12:00 and lunch). One certainly looks back, in ruing or rejoicing, but the significant events of life seldom correspond to something so manufactured as end of a quarter or birthdays or balls dropping in Times Square.Will I feel older/wiser/safer/gobsmacked at 12:01 am 1/1/14?

No.

But this year, as I say, is a bit different. For the last three weeks I've been quite focused, attuned to the passage of time and other things, waiting for enlightenment.

I would have thought that my ideations would be complex and magnificent. The successful completion of abdominal surgery should have made me think of the fickleness of life, its beauty and promise. Every moment going forward should be precious. With all this time sitting around, lying around, wakeful at 3:00 am, I should be planning great things, novels even, or at least visualize a new year's re-arrangement of the living room furniture.

Not a chance. My head is actually in my belly, in a couple of quarts of guts and organs.

"What's that twinge down there?"
"The catheter's going to pull out, I know it."
"Do I dare to eat a bean?"
"Rumble, rumble, soil and dribble."
"Gotta be  infected by now."
"There's no way those steri-strips are going to hold."
"What if they left a sponge in there?"
"I hope to God the prune juice works."

But this new year there will be a dawning, there will be a change. I'm out of the peristaltic obsessions of the city, its sophisticated robots and outcomes research. I'm in Maine, back to simple cold and surf and snow and long-suffering balsam firs. Time to get my head back to everyday dreaming.