Saturday, December 13, 2008


I had thought I was not up to writing anything today. I then wrote a response to an e-mail. It was rather interesting, watching sentences form in front of my eyes. I wouldn't have believed I could string a thought together.

Seeing it was possible to form a coherent thought was reassuring. I'm in quite a bit of pain. Pain blots out so much, makes one's world very small. I've used the word "miasma" to describe how I feel. Here's the dictionary definition:

1. A noxious atmosphere or influence: "The family affection, the family expectations, seemed to permeate the atmosphere . . . like a coiling miasma" Louis Auchincloss.
2. a. A poisonous atmosphere formerly thought to rise from swamps and putrid matter and cause disease.
b. A thick vaporous atmosphere or emanation: wreathed in a miasma of cigarette smoke.
[Greek, pollution, stain, from miainein, to pollute.]

That defintion both hits the mark and doesn't. It's interesting, though (to me) how when I feel quite bad, I have a feeling of contagion, even if I'm not contagious. I just received a call, "How are you feeling?" "Like crap." "I guess you don't want a visitor then." "No. I'd love some company", was my response.

Afterwards, I thought perhaps I should have said "stay away." Why would anyone want to spend time with someone who emanates a poisonous atmosphere? Well, I hope I don't do that. I'm easily distracted and while probably unable to tell jokes today, will easily laugh.

People do keep away from those who are sick and in pain. It makes sense that we would prefer to be with happy, healthy folks. So, us folks who aren't, perhaps need to prove that we can keep our miasma under wraps and be cheerful when people visit. I will try!

I had intended to post this only to write this simple thought: If you're feeling lousy, unable to do much of anything, figure out something that you can do that proves you're not in as bad shape as you think. That's what writing seems to do for me. I felt completely unable to think or form a sentence. I was wrong, and it was very good to find that out. If I had just gone back to sleep and not responded to my e-mail, I would not have discovered that there's still a functioning part of me.

Painting note: I just stumbled upon this artist, Julie Heffernan. This painting is entitled "Self Portrait as Dead Meat II" (2006). For more about her, click here. Harper's magazine seems to have a number of articles about her, but one needs to have a paid subscription to read them. Drats.I am intrigued. I am generally turned off my any art that has surrealism or fantastical elements in it. There is something in this women's work that draws me in deeply. I'd like to talk to her.

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