It arrived many moons ago, a beautiful pattern and color combination of varied hues of green and blue, so many kind messages in the fabric squares. I let it stay folded on the ottoman for days, for I was afraid to touch it, actually, until I finally spread it over the bed to admire it for a long time.
The cats instantly adored it, of course, they immediately sensed something special and are very content to curl up on the quilt whenever they can. It always stays folded somewhere in the house in stitched glory, I don’t use it for warmth unless I’m sick. I’ve spent many, many nights alone in the dark, it means a great deal to me to have a cloak of kindness about my shoulders as the moon shadows shift slowly around me.
Many, many moons it arrived ago, yes, it’s not like me to be so tardy in a thank-you but the quilt is on such a plane of human kindness and nobility I foolishly wanted to match it somehow in intellect and spirit, to be some force of gentle bonhomie and good news. I have neither, I’m afraid, and this simply cannot be put off any longer, so I will pass on what news I can and then be off, I’ve felt terribly wounded and mute lately, a brutally inexorable clamp of mind and spirit.
The quilt was about me only last week, symptoms and patterns slightly changed but solid-fueled hope nevertheless completely useless against the torrent of vomit, I’m not getting better, I wasn’t all year. I’m permanently busted for the regular labor market, my career is over. There’s never a chance to earn six figures again or be anything like a regular professional, I’ll limp out the rest of my working days.
There is the slightest of filaments to hold onto, at least, it honestly works in a fashion, useless in summertime, unfortunately. I’m still decent in a shop or a job site, it isn’t unlikely I could limp along for 20 years performing seasonal work along with the flimsy filament. I’ll be trying it soon, anyway, it’s something and I don’t have to hide about being sick while I patch a life together.
Also, too, I’m in the 17th month of an internal transformation, vomiting isn’t the only element to put my life in a total uproar. There are many paths to transformation, I suppose, the monastery, deep meditation, trauma, hell even LSD or yoga. Mine came about from the unmasking of deep hideous secrets, when I found out the truth it felt so powerful I wanted it on the public teletype of Times Square, seriously. I’d go on walks and this fury felt like I could pick up compact cars in the street and toss them about like toys, I am not kidding.
Please be careful of the word transformation, there are many dimensions it can be applied to in a human life. I’m the same schmuck I ever was, of course, to me it means a vast shift of all external inputs around me, things feel different when they happen, so much of what was important before seems like folly now. I look back on my life and see incredible vistas of wasted time, not because I did useless things but because I never could have been truly myself when I tried.
Fury that can only be viciously beaten into you is one thing, cooling down while trying to grasp a slippery filament while being consistently sick quite another, such is my current fate and predicament.
Simple things like the taste of coffee, shelter from the rain or the small kindness of strangers mean a lot more to me now. My vistas and dreams are tiny, but at least they are small, honest and real. My writing, when I feel like doing it, has a different power and focus. A Facebook acquaintance told me I scared her after a piece on US journalism, which dismayed me.
Most times, though, I want to find a quiet place and sit in peace where nothing can go wrong or hurt me, I feel so wounded and beat up I wonder if I’ll ever be myself again or really know what it is to be happy. Not exactly the best mindset to be a political essayist for The Left Coaster, you know?
[places palms together] I have been sick for 11 years, likely I’ll be for the rest of my life, and I have not given up. I have seen and known unspeakable violence and terror, and I have not given up. I have been utterly lost for decades for want of the truth, and I have not given up.
I don’t how long I’ll be hurt and quiet, or if I’ll always be. If I’m absolutely positive I can help the little people with the truth I will be there.
Thank you again with all of my heart for the quilt. As long as I live the kindness of my people at Daily Kos will mean so much to me.