Thursday, May 03, 2007

Oh, that this too, too solid flesh would melt...

My husband is in the hospital. Pneumonia, complicated by a strep infection - in his lungs, which I had never heard of previously -- and his recently diagnosed emphysema. We are awaiting test results which will tell us if he is genetically predisposed to COPD, which could mean years, even decades, lost. Cross your fingers, pray -- to Allah, Buddha, God, Dionysus (come Friday night if the fates are with me I shall be paying personal homage to said god in my own way, via vodka and OJ), Sisyphus, or your grandmother's cat. Good vibrations, we could use a few.

Goodbye Phil Stacey (son of a preacher man, woot!). You're a good man, Charlie Brown. Love the cueball, baby. Rock out.

I am 37 and one day old today. Did you know that May Day isn't just a pagan fertility thingy, but also a labor movement spawned in like, New Zealand? A bunch of anarchists put their heads together and decided the proletariat was still gettin' had by the man, so they put on a parade every year in honor of what they call the real labor day. As Johnny Carson would say, "wild, wacky stuff." I don't know if I ascribe to that line of thinking, per se, but how can they go wrong with a black flag as their emblem, right?!

Hmm. I remember me, I mean, a 17-year-old me, laying in the dark listening through headphones for the first time to Henry Rollins snarling out the lyrics to Family Man.

do you want the family man or do you want the swingin' man?

family man

you get the family man
family man
with your glances my way, takin no chance on the new day
family man, with your life all planned;
your little sand castle built, smilin through your guilt, family man
here i come
here i come family man
i come to infect; i come to rape your women;
i come to take your children into the street;
i come for YOU family man, with your christmas lights already up,
you're such a MAN when you're puttin up your christmas lights,
first on the block;
family man
i wanna crucify you to your front door with the nails
from your well stocked garage, family man;
family man;
saint dad! father on fire! i've come to incinerate you
i've come home

That was one of those life defining moments. Similar to the moment, a few years later, when I saw Piss Christ on display at the Cleveland Metropolitan Museum of Art, and on the same evening listened to Alan Ginsberg recite Howl.

Things like that, much like my husband's disease, his struggle, our frustration, our grief, our fear about what is to come.....these things make me see in stark slow motion reality that there is beauty and blessedness in the things that make us squirm, the things that make us uncomfortable, the things that make us want to look away. Away from the ugly inside of us, and in others.

Life is messy. Why waste time trying to clean it up? Wade through it, let it touch you, let yourself bleed. The deepest cuts are healed by faith (that last line is Pat Benetar, not me, FYI).

The universe is a spectacular pulsating thing, full of questions that don't have answers. Today, I want to embrace its eternal ambiguities, and simply be.


At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey. Hope the husband gets better. I can't even imagine how much that must suck.

Sportsracer - Imagine


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