Monday, April 11, 2011

Birth and Dreams

This morning I drove my mom to the hospital. She entered at the outpatient gate and didn't look back. I turned the car around, pointing it back to the house. She's schedule to have surgery this morning while I look after my Dad here at home. This day, 32 years ago, she also gave birth to me.

Driving home I met the nurse as she was wrapping up and quickly prepared breakfast for Dad, coffee, pills, eye drops, insulin pump. I gave myself the experiment of Cream of Rice for breakfast with berries and green tea. My facebook page is being filled up with the obligatory 'happy birthdays' and I'm getting emails reminding me that today is 'the' day.

Neither real or un-real is the feeling. Slightly numb, dazed fate guides my procedures today. It isn't the surgery. Doctors call the procedure 'minor' with a day in the hospital. It isn't the autistically ritualistic schedule my Dad has for food placement on the tray, how medication have to be set out and organized a certain way in order to be ingested. He takes care of most of the pill rituals himself carefully designing color-coordinated tabs soldiering off into his mouth. The bed has to be tilted just a certain way so that when he looks at it, he doesn't get annoyed. The food is the same, the TV shows the same, the movements are the same, just with diminshing returns. Like the red wind the carves out desert valleys in Arizona, there is something comforting in the fateful organization that erodes away the unpredictability, and carves out a monument to itself. Disease and illness tips the mind toward the comfort of order and rituals. I do my prayers and meditations every day and that too is a ritual. The facebook 'birthday postings' is a techno-ritual, both incredibly monotonous, but comforting: people know its my birthday and are able to muster 13 key strokes and hit send. 

Disease and death chase me toward the ritual. Wracking up birthdays remind me of not only where I've come from but where I could be going, where many are going year by year. I'll have to do some giving from the perfections, read some scripture, and puncture the soft feeling of entombment.

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