Sunday, November 7, 2010

The theory of relativity in being ok

Before getting into anything deep, here's another sunrise picture.  I've got to photoshop that little green blurb out of it - this is untouched.  But when I do that, I think it'll look super-pretty.  I like the tips of the grasses having the light shine behind them.

And also, the composer of the day is John Rutter.  I've been listening to his Requiem for much of the day, but most of that is pretty depressing.  True story: once I spent All Soul's Day in Cambridge and was at King's College listening to the choir perform the Rutter Requiem.  It was getting dark at 4pm, and was a cold and dreary day anyway, and there we were, Sandor and I, in this cold, damp, 800 year old building with bad lighting, listening to this moving requiem by candlelight, and smack dab in the middle of the Agnus Dei some old man sitting in the choir stalls passes out.  There was much huffing and puffing and asking if a doctor was in the house, and carrying of the man through the center of the chapel out the back door.  All the while, the choir kept singing as if nothing was happening.  It was so surreal.

But like I said, the requiem is pretty depressing.  It's beautifully depressing, but still, I'm trying not to be a complete downer all the time.  So, here is a Gaelic Blessing... deep peace of the gentle night to you, moon and stars pour their healing light on you...

So a lot of people are asking me if I'm ok these days.  What does that mean?  What is ok, anyway?  Because with the world turning upside down on me, I've got a whole new sliding scale of what being ok actually means.  According to Webster's it means "not excellent, and not poor.  Mediocre."  But that still isn't saying much because it's all relative.

A month ago, a day was ok if I got a reasonable amount of work done, didn't eat every piece of chocolate in the house, got to spend some time reading, maybe wrote in my journal and listened to some of my favorite music.  If I worked out, got to spend some time outside, or if Project Runway was on, it was slightly above ok.

These days, I'm doing ok if I only cry three times in a 24 hour period.  I'm doing ok if I can fall asleep on my own without the help of drugs (though with my back issues, I've been getting a lot of help from drugs the past couple of days).  If I don't wake up when it's still dark (I dread the dark.  It's not a good time of year for me to lose a child, what with the way I hate the darkness so much.  Then again, is there ever a good time to lose a child?).

When I stopped bleeding, it was a great day.  It meant that I could start putting this mess behind me, physically at least.  And then I got the back issues, which have put me several steps behind where I've been.

The funeral home called and my son's ashes and death certificate are ready to be picked up.  When we get the strength to go get them, it will not be an ok day.  Picking up the ashes of a baby that you never got to hold, whose tiny fingers you never got to coo over, but whom you loved just the same - that is not the activity of an ok day.

That said, today I didn't feel like cooking, so we ordered pizza.  Pizza is pretty much ok. It's hard to argue with the ok-ness of pizza.  We got a lot of chores done around the house, so that's ok, too.  Wrigley the Cat is being sociable and cuddling with me, which is slightly above ok on the scale.  She's not the most social cat, and when I get attention from her, it makes me feel loved.

I just finished the first book I've read since the Horrible Day, Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch and it made me laugh.  Now I'm midway through Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked.  These books make me happy because they're the kind of books I loved before I lost my baby, when stupid things were important, and everything didn't have to be dark and heavy for me to think it worthwhile.  Spending a day reading, and catching up on my NaNoWriMo word count is a step above ok because it lets me tap into my creativity, and I can be quiet without feeling tortured.

So who knows what ok means anymore.  If someone asks me whether I'm doing ok, I don't know how to answer that, because I don't know what their frame of reference is.  What is ok to them?  Am I doing ok by their standards?

I think I'm probably just barely holding it together by many people's standards, but for me, every day that I get through is becoming a victory.  Like an addict who is proud of getting through a day without using, I'm proud of getting through a day without collapsing into a lump of moaning sobs in the grocery store.

It's all relative.

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