Wednesday, 18 April 2012
april 18, 2012
her scenario was very different than mine. she was in a coma in the hospital after getting an illness she was expected to die from. i was in a bike accident and happened to hit the pavement in a way that inexplicably prevented me from dying. according to doctors, i should have died from a head injury, and my friend should have died from the complications of her illness. technically speaking, neither of us should have survived. it's such a gift that we both did...true mystery at work.
that's sort of a weird purgatory, isn't it? to face death but not be taken by it. it feels, sometimes, like a veil has been lifted, but no one else sees beyond it.
today, in our conversation, my friend mentioned a much-loved but holey pair of socks that were made for her by a friend. she's neither willing to throw them out nor mend them without quite knowing how. they just sit there, in between being worn and being done. i think this is the best metaphor i've come across for the way it feels to cheat death. it really is a kind of waiting room purgatory - like life is a strange dream. do you know that feeling? like when spring comes after a long winter, and you don't quite believe in the greenery all around you; you can't quite believe that it could be real. it's a bit like that.
i remember talking to another friend who almost fell to her death while she was rock-climbing a while back. she walked away with barely a scratch, but she spent the days and weeks following her near miss in a strange haze. she explained it to herself in the exact way i did after my accident, which amazed me: she figured she had slipped into a parallel reality where she wasn't dead, and death would be coming back to get her one day soon.
there's a lot to integrate in an experience like this. for one thing, what to do with your relationship with this body, which is so strong and miraculous and alive and, yet, is the site of such struggle and pain and need for healing? what do you do with the fear of physical pain and how it controls your day-to-day choices? or the fear of experiencing more bodily damage? or self-consciousness about your bodily limitations and scars? do you invite a new lover into your life or not? do you go to that dance party or stay home where everything is known and safe?
after an experience like this, fear competes with the desire for closeness and fun and sex and touch despite a strange, hard to understand lack of trust that has to do with the potential change and dissolution that exists in all of our circumstances, all the time. a brush with death tends to cement a person's understanding of changeability.
recently, a friend who i've always been attracted to approached me about doing some bdsm play and potentially being lovers. we've had really hot conversations about it so far, but it's left me anxious. what do i do with all the fear about pain and injury? and all the uncertainty about uncertainty? how do i mend something as abstract as trust in life? and how will i find a way to fully live my life again? to greet fun, new things with enthusiasm rather than feelings of doom?
life is a tenacious, delicate thing.
and, lately, that's exactly how i've been feeling.
i will find a way back to a technicolour life...i know that without a doubt. right now, though, i'm in the dark about how.
i have a feeling that this book (see picture above) is going to be a big help in the whole process. it comes highly recommended.