The capacity for being in a state of uncertainty about ego identity, and to sustain imaginative belief rather than reaching after reason or fact, was a Keatsian trademark that he made famous in his axiom about a poet’s gift for negative capability. Sympathetic identification as, for Keats, the vehicle for his migratory flights from imagination to reality and back again—a spinning dialect of the mind in constant interaction with itself (138).
Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
It was a lovely day. The children and I woke up later than usual. Rei was already making coffee and the two of us got the food and such set up just as Joe and Marc stumbled into the kitchen. We unwrapped our gifts and then broke up again. Rei settled down to watch her dvds. I made my bed and then lay down to rest a bit. The boys were hanging out in the great room and eventually took a nap.
Then the first of a stream of guests arrived. Thomas showed up and we were all hanging out a bit. Mostly I was lying down but Thomas did come in and talk with me a bit. Then Matt arrived and there was another layer of socialization happening. Thomas left but was soon replaced by my friend Rossana. It was pretty late in the afternoon at this point and I should have taken a nap but I didn’t. I forced myself to stay up and ended up making myself rather sick. Of course, this didn’t stop me from getting up hours later to play Cranium with the children. Rob came home just as we were getting ready to play.
We were up until 2am so needless to say yesterday I was in bed all day long. No need to cook because we still have much food left over from the buffet. I didn’t even take a shower. Not that I’ve done any sweating or work or anything to merit my getting stinky but showers are nice. I was just too dizzy to deal with one.
Today is another story, however. Ribs aching, I am going to do my morning yoga, spend some time writing quietly in my journal, then I definitely want to do some housework before jumping onto my bike and burning off some of the calories I shouldn’t have consumed on xmas day. Later I will collapse in my bed with a book or two or three but for now I need to get busy being busy with my day.
Aries Horoscope for week of December 27, 2007
When the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their fifth album Blood Sugar Sex Magick in 1991, it blasted them into rock stardom. They stopped performing at intimate nightclubs and appeared exclusively at large arenas. They won a Grammy, had a hit song at the top of the charts, and sold millions of records. Guitarist John Frusciante
freaked out at the success. As an indie artist intensely loyal to the underground sensibility, he was embarrassed to be in a band that had mainstream popularity. In the middle of the Chili Peppers' tour, he quit. You may very well have to deal with a comparable development in 2008, Aries. Will you opt to remain low-profile, as Frusciante did, or will you answer the invitation to get more professional?
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
I woke up in pain, stiff from the baking, shopping, and wrapping of the weekend. A headache is pounding its way through my body and then it hits--a stabbing shooting pain through my leg and up into my abdomen and through my hips. Ahhhh . . . not only is it that time of year but apparently it's also that time of month. Someone just shoot me. It is not yet 9am. I've already made breakfast for Rob and sent him on his way to KY. I plan on putting the first Harry Potter movie on in the background, building up to our traditional Christmas Eve movie which this year is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. And I have a house of chaos I now need to organize in time for tomorrow.
This has not been an easy holiday for me. The worst was a few years ago and last year came in pretty close as a second place bad. This year is close to bumping last year into third. But the holiday isn't here yet and I can do what I need to get done while still making tomorrow magical. The truth is, I should stay in bed today. I feel the vertigo and will push myself into greater sickness if I do too much. Perhaps when Marc gets back from his errand I can get him to help me with some of the housework. In the meantime, I think I will update this post throughout the day. Perhaps after every movie I'll take the time to say what I have and have not done. But first, food for me would be nice. It's cold. I want oatmeal, something warm in my tummy. Instead, cold cereal so I can use up the skim milk before it goes bad.
Later Ugh. Cramps. Ugh ugh ugh. Marc has gone to fetch his siblings and I am about to settle down to another round of gift wrapping. I cleared off the kitchen table for this purpose to hopefully reduce the strain on my already aching back. However, perspective being what it is I have been reminded that things are not as difficult as I had thought. A virtual friend of mine has recently suffered the loss of her home. I mean, literally within the last few hours everything she owned, including her home based business, was burnt to the ground. She and her children survived and while there is reason to rest and rejoice in this knowledge the truth is that her new year will be more of a "new beginning" than most of us will have to face in our entire lifetimes.
Later Still I had to scramble to get all of the gifts wrapped and ready because there was a slight snafu in scheduling due to Rei's schedule being changed which meant that everyone would be back home earlier than I had originally anticipated. The domino effect of this is that I completely forgot to first grab something for my pain and instead of stopping to take something I continued wrapping relentlessly. In other words, ow ow ow ow ow!
I am off to now put Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban into the hellivision and take something for the pain. I wish I could lie down for a bit but I foolishly did two loads of laundry which now need to be sorted and folded. Three guesses where the pile of clean clothes is currently falling over in despair, waiting to be neatened and put away . . . *sigh*
And all the more later The children and pizza have arrived. We have already eaten and Marc's laundry is in the dryer while Joe's is in the washer. The house is peculiarly quiet. I am about to put Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire into the dvd player but I am in desperate need of a nap. Methinks I shall fall asleep before the movie even begins to get exciting. Thankfully, I have been able to lie down and rest which is more than I had expected to do at this point. Able? More like did in spite of myself. I had things to do . . . I mean I have things to do but my body had other expectations and made its demands.
Later and later The children are off to look at houses that are decorated for the holidays. This is a family tradition, something we usually do together but because riding in a car makes my vertigo . . . Well, I am home and I'll take a shower while they are out having fun. Then when they return we will all have a cup of hot chocolate before settling down to watch the fifth Harry Potter movie. I am still not feeling the holiday spirit. Perhaps later . . .
Friday, December 21, 2007
Aries Horoscope for week of December 20, 2007
"Ambition is a bad excuse for not having enough good sense to be lazy," my ex-girlfriend Arlene used to say. She claimed to be a Zen master whose duty it was to deprogram me out of my absurd striving to make something of myself. She believed the key to enlightenment was to do nothing as much as possible. "You're egotistically attached to your identity as a poet," she'd yell into my room as I toiled over my writing. "Come out here and show me you have the spiritual guts to sit in front of the TV and lose your grandiose self in a meaningless game show." While I did eventually emerge from our relationship with an appreciation for the value of emptiness, it was not ultimately my destiny to downplay ambition. On the contrary! Which is why I'm
here to exhort you, Aries, to treat your desires as sacred rocket fuel -- in 2008, more than ever. In the coming months, in accordance with your astrological omens, I will intensify my efforts to supercharge your ambition.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I read Judith Harris' The Bad Secret in part because the author was one of the speakers at the conference and I was hoping to attend. However, I was not strong/healthy enough to attend. Still, I'm glad I read this slender volume of poems. The cover image is evocative of the mood the poems within convey--bare, stark, reflective. Each poem's image seems to either build from a previous one or leap away from any of the other poems and yet the overall emotion remains. These poems are haunting and conflicted. Childhood memories at times delightful and vicious, like a Grimm's fairy tale, are shared side by side with later revelations. If in her book Signifying Pain Harris has taken the time to show how others have used writing to help define and heal their own pyschic pain, in these poems a reader can see how Harris herself has done this by looking first at the cause and then forgiving the effect. What could have been a collection full of anger and self-righteousness becomes, instead, an honest exploration of how forgiveness and grace can grow out of these reflections.
Just thinking of you,
can coax my flesh alive again,
as if that leaf could shiver air . . .
I have no body,
What has earth to do with this?
I tense with pleasure,
like the black feelers kicking
inside the meadow lily’s pinkest inner dome . . .
The downed sun kisses bark;
and the buds keep coursing through bloodstreams
of the upper boughs,
too early and too late for spring.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Psalm 61 1 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. 4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah 5 For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. 6 Increase the days of the king's life, his years for many generations. 7 May he be enthroned in God's presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him. 8 Then will I ever sing praise to your name and fulfill my vows day after day.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Maude: I should like to change into a sunflower most of all. They're so tall and simple. What flower would you like to be? Harold: I don't know. One of these, maybe. Maude: Why do you say that? Harold: Because they're all alike. Maude: Oooh, but they're *not*. Look. See, some are smaller, some are fatter, some grow to the left, some to the right, some even have lost some petals. All *kinds* of observable differences. You see, Harold, I feel that much of the world's sorrow comes from people who are *this*, [she points to a daisy] Maude: yet allow themselves be treated as *that*. [she gestures to a field of daisies]
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Formerly known as 'hysteria', the disorder has arguably been known for millenia, though it came to greatest prominence at the end of the 19th century, when the neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, and psychiatrists Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud made it the focus of their study. The term 'conversion' has its origins in Freud's doctrine that emotional stress was repressed and 'converted' into physical symptoms.Is it any wonder I am more Jungian than Freudian in my understanding of the human psyche? I really don't know what more to say about this and after reading the article I have no desire to even think about it. Marc put up his Christmas tree and Rudolph is out. He did not come out last year so it is good to have him back where he belongs, lit nose and all. Our polar bear is out on the lawn. I had hoped to buy some lights for the bushes but it is hard to coordinate these things. Only ten more days? How did Christmas sneak up on me like this? I am not ready for the holiday. Far from it. Very far from being ready.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Aries Horoscope for week of December 6, 2007 This would be an excellent time for you to visit terminally ill patients in a hospice or go on a tour of a maximum security prison. To take maximum advantage of the current cosmic opportunities, you might also travel to the Slum Theme Park in Americus, Georgia, where Habitat for Humanity has built replicas of the leaky-roofed, earthen-floored, bug-infested huts that so many millions of the world's poor call home. In other words, Aries, I recommend that you give yourself firsthand exposure to people whose problems are much more demanding than yours. To do so at this juncture in your life's journey would provide a helpful shock that would inspire you to conquer the personal challenge you find most daunting.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Vertigo may be caused by damage to nerves in the neck. If these nerves are damaged, the brain has difficulty monitoring the relative position of the neck and trunk. This type of vertigo is called cervical vertigo. Whiplash injuries, blunt injuries to the top of the head, or severe arthritis in the neck (cervical spondylosis) may cause cervical vertigo.
There is more and you can read all about vertigo here. Still, all these months (a year now) I've been hearing vestibular vertigo. All of the testing showed nothing wrong with my ears and still it is looked at as vestibular. Not once did I hear about cervical vertigo. Probably because I hadn't been in an accident recently which, from what I can tell, is a more common reason for cervical vertigo than say arthritis in the neck! Would have been nice if someone had tested me for arthritis a lot sooner. In the meantime, I will be going to Emory to see if they can get me the help I need to be cured. In the meantime, my doctor is recommending that I start having massages for my neck and she is curious to see what the people there will say. Leave it to me to come down with something that would require my getting a massage. No wonder I keep saying my life is good even though I am not 100% healthy!
I found the following information about cervical spondylosis in the Merck website and wanted to put it here for further clarification of what I am dealing with.
Cervical spondylosis usually affects middle-aged and older people. With aging, the bone of the spine overgrows and narrows the spinal canal in the neck. As a result, the spinal cord or the spinal nerve roots (the part of spinal nerves located next to the cord (see Biology of the Nervous System:Spinal Cord) are compressed, causing dysfunction.
Symptoms may reflect compression of the spinal cord, the spinal nerve roots, or both. If the spinal cord is compressed, a change in walking is usually the first sign. Leg movements may become jerky (spastic), and walking becomes unsteady. The neck may be painful. If the spinal nerve roots are compressed, weakness in one or both arms may develop, and the muscles may waste away. The neck is likely to be painful. Nerve root compression may be accompanied by or progress to spinal cord compression.
Diagnosis and Treatment
When doctors suspect cervical spondylosis, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or myelography with computed tomography (CT) is performed. MRI provides slightly more information, but myelography with CT may be more available. These procedures show where the spinal canal is narrowed, how compressed it is, and which spinal nerve roots may be affected. MRI has generally replaced x-rays of the neck.
Without treatment, spinal cord dysfunction due to cervical spondylosis sometimes lessens or stabilizes, but it may progress. Initially, a soft neck collar, neck traction, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (see Pain: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), and muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine may provide relief. However, when the disorder progresses or when MRI shows severe compression or collapsed or displaced vertebrae, surgery is usually needed. As a rule, surgery does not reverse changes that have already occurred, because the pathways in the spinal cord become permanently damaged unless the disorder is treated very early.
Last full review/revision February 2003
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
It is occasionally remarked that I have remained upbeat and positive in spite of my vertigo/situation. Listen, if I had a choice, I'd pick something different. "What? Vertigo? Hmmm . . . you know, I think I'll swap in the vertigo for a full head of grey and white hair. How about that? Not enough? Okay. Give me a few wrinkles around the eyes. Deal? Deal!"
Okay. So I don't have a choice. I have what I have.
I also have a turkey waiting to be put into the oven and family coming over for a feast. I am thankful. Thankful for my wonderful children and Rob who all fill my life with fun and frustration, laughter and love. I am thankful for my mother who scared me out of her kitchen but taught me to love the alchemy of cooking. I am thankful for knowing that my loved ones are aware of my love, are living in a world that is complicated and contradictory but are safe in the knowing that somewhere out there is at least one person who deeply loves them.
This year we will have all the usual. I am up and already preparing things. Marc will return with his siblings. Rob will finish up whatever it is he has happening at the studio. We will be gathered together to be reminded of the love we all share and then return to our lives a little more stuffed than we were when we got up this morning.
I hope you all can say the same!
Aries Horoscope for week of November 22, 2007
When life gets weird, should you take refuge in decorum and tradition? Should you intensify your commitment to the humdrum? Is it wise to dress more conservatively, act more dignified, and smile more automatically? I say no. When the daily rhythm veers off track into unexpected detours, I say it's prime time to gleefully depart from The Way Things Have Always Been Done. In fact, I advise you to cultivate your rebellious questions and celebrate the unusual impulses that bubble up. They will help you harvest the epiphanies that life's weirdness is tempting you to pursue.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Aries Horoscope for week of November 15, 2007 I love it when you forget all your troubles and get lost in thoughts about your friends' problems. I love it when you place your entire focus on the eat steaming from your cup of coffee or on the sun reflecting on a puddle or on the mysterious expression gracing the face of a stranger. In fact I love it whenever you prove how much you love being here on earth by taking your attention off yourself, and giving it to everything else. The coming week will be a perfect time to specialize in this consummate art.