Saturday, April 18, 2015

I Can Fly

The fleet-footed Morgan Shirley, April 18, 2008, somewhere on the Southern Oregon coast.

As many times as I spiral back down to the ground, I will stagger to my feet again and launch myself into possibility. I re-read "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" a few weeks ago, though I'm not sure what brought it to mind, and while I didn't find it as inspirational (deep, man) as I did in junior high school, it was still a charming story, and a good reminder to relax and focus, not that those are easy to do simultaneously. I remember seeing the movie with my cousin Robin in South Bend one summer at the River Park Theater on Mishawaka Avenue (closed since 1986; I am so old), not far from where my grandparents used to live on 31st Street in a house I sometimes walk through in my dreams, where there's a screened-in front porch, a standing fan in the upstairs bathroom and an old-fashioned laundry mangle in the basement, a kitchen where I used to eat Quaker Instant Oatmeal as my special visiting-the-grandparents breakfast treat (maple syrup was my favorite) leading out to a big back yard with a sour cherry tree and a gooseberry bush and a garden stretching back to the endless dusty alley that ran between the rows of houses on either side. The last time I went by the house the alley had been closed off, and the front porch was full of old furniture and trash. I didn't want to know what had happened to the cherry tree.

But if you can't go back again, you can at least go forward. I woke up this morning feeling better, though yesterday afternoon was weird. After finishing my typing (type type type type type) I posted my everything-is-falling-apart-oh-how-I-suffer blog post and then went for a walk. It was getting pretty muggy with the approaching storm that has been crackling and grumbling overhead for several hours (please no power outages please), so I was only out for about an hour. But just as I was almost back at the hostel I started getting really flushed, and sweating more than usual after a brisk walk in muggy weather, and by the time I got upstairs my face was so red it was actually painful, and my heart was racing. I used a cool washcloth to wipe down my face and chest, and even put it on my head for a bit, which felt pretty good, but my face was sore even after the flush faded. I'm used to getting all red and sweaty when I exercise, but that was a bit extreme. I think I'll walk more slowly next time, and see what happens. I'd rather not explore the Serbian medical system as well, thank you very much.

On the bright side, my mood is better after a good night's sleep, it's raining so I'm not cranky about not going outside, my computer monitor is only doing its dim/bright/dim thing sometimes instead of all the time, I'm making progress on my writing projects, and I had more money in my PayPal account than I thought, so my financial situation is merely critical instead of dire. I've started doing the last bits of travel planning in Italy and France (touring a marble quarry, kayaking in a canyon) and on Monday I'll go buy the ticket for the overnight bus that will take me to Florence in a little over two weeks. Yikes! Time is slipping by. I really need to go see the historical monuments in Niš before I leave, and I'd still like to get a massage at the old Roman spa a few miles south of here as well. There is more to life than typing (type type type type type) but I also really, really need to get these articles done. I will fly away now and finish off another two or three articles before I stop for the day, and go to bed early so that I can put in another full day of work tomorrow while it's still raining.

I can do this. I can fly.

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