Saturday, January 24, 2009

Notes from a Recovery

Carnations by Richard Mach, Ph.D.

1. I ate funny. For a solid week, all I could seem to eat were bananas and avocados. Fortunately, I like bananas and avocados. Ah, there's something luxurious about slicing open the nubbly black skin, parting the halves of the fruit, lightly pulling out the pit, sprinkling in some kosher salt, and eating the creamy green meat right out of the skin with a spoon. Bananas are nice for a similar reason -- you don't need a dish if you're too exhausted to even think about putting a plate in the sink.

2. Later, the cuisine of choice was bacon and yogurt. Don't ask me why, except to get rid of the bad case of thrush I was on a forced sort of customized Adkins Diet. I think I shocked my friend Kim, one of my Steady Eddy's family at The Farmer's Market, when I demanded a double order of bacon one morning. She'd never even seen me eat a BITE of bacon in all my years of having breakfast there: I'm usually a tofu reuben girl. Of course Mike crisped up a pile for me back in the kitchen, and it tasted FABULoUS. Oddly, the first thing I did afterwards was buy an antique oval mirror at the second hand store next door to Steady Eddy's -- only $35. Why I'd want anything to expose my pasty mug at this point is beyond me, but the point was that I loved the oval, the ebony frame. I wanted something beautiful.

3. And the bacon obsession led me to unearth my mother's antique cast iron frying pan. It was buried in a bottom cupboard with cake pans and a drainer piled on top of it. I love this frying pan - the real deal, probably 150 years old, heavy as hell. I fried up all my therapeutic bacon in this family heirloom. It was like having my mother with me, saying, "hang in there and remember the old values. You will be okay."

4. Swimming. Ted and I joined the UMF Rec Center and have been walking the track -- a meditation I find calming. But twice so far I also went through the considerable rigamarole to swim in the pool. Despite having to walk a long tunnel under the building to get there, etc. etc., once I get there I can slide into the warm water, roll over on my back and just float. Yeah, I did a few Puritanical laps because that's who I am, but the best is just floating, looking up at the concrete square patterns in the ceiling and let them glide by as I put my mind into neutral. I love the water, sinking into serenity.

5. Flowers from "Schmedly." One of my neighbors has decided that we all need bits of color in our email inboxes every morning. He never says much about any of his photos, from his garden last summer, but just attaches a flower. I can't tell you how much these gorgeous shots have meant each morning: it's chemical-free treatment for SADD...little daily joy pills. The carnations above are one of the first ones I got from him -- I love them. Thank you, Schmedly.


jeneva said...

Jan, I'm sorry you've been going through all this--it sounds as if things are starting to turn around a bit. Here's to health!

Macy Swain said...

Thank you, Jeneva. It's been unnerving but things are getting better by the day.