life viewed from a bed is different from a life being actually lived.
time passes either too fast or too slow (please excuse my lack of adverbs), and your bed becomes increasingly less welcoming. what started out as a comfy retreat begins to feel more like a black hole, and you don’t want people to even visit you for fear they will get sucked in.
the lighting is always wrong; dawn and dusk are bad for reading but daylight seers the brain. night is too immense and heavy, but at least AM radio is alive and kicking.
i still have functional times during most days, and i can still pull it together enough to seem normal in front of most people. *h complains that he sees the uglier side of everything, but i guess that’s his cross to carry…
one thing i have learned to appreciate from my sojourns in bed is to be slow. in real life (meaning life when i am not bedridden or nearly there) i am a whirlwind of activity. i am a planner and accomplish-er and achiever. i am Ms.To Do List, and i just check-check-check my way through life. we went to someone’s house a few weeks ago and the topic of gardening came up. we mentioned that i grow veggies (hahahaha) and he asked what i thought of his flowers. i had no idea what he was talking about. he said he had a bunch of flowers right outside his front door, so i told him i would look at them on the way out.
okay, i am not exaggerating when i say that this person literally has hundreds and hundreds of colorful flowers planted in the ground and in planters and in and around various sculpture-things leading up to his front door on both sides of the path. you literally cannot miss them.
unless you are me and you are looking for the address on the house and your focus is on arriving on time and you are a single-minded individual with a job to do.
insert metaphor here:
but in bed it’s just me and my window. (okay, i’m being poetic and overly dramatic here. actually, i also have netflix with loads of great documentaries, which i watch like a fiend, but go with me for a sec…)
and i get to be a spectator. sometimes this is awful, like when some of the older chickens gang up on macy grey and she gets left behind when they saunter off to do chicken things. my heart breaks for her and i want to go scoop her up (even though she has big black crazy bird eyes instead of normal weird regular chicken eyes) and bring her under the covers with me. i want to order her a gift from amazon.com and get free 2-day shipping and put it in her name so she gets something really cool (like a bucket of live mealworms- does amazon have that?) and all of the other chickens will be really jealous because none of them ever got a package and she will get mad street cred.
sometimes it’s hilarious, like when the crows come and chase away the seagulls from the chicken area. then they sort of patrol the area until the chickens get back, and i always imagine them in their own mini hells angels-style leather crow jackets looking all menacing and sleek. when i go outside i make it a point to stare then down until they fly away, but i half expect to find a clubhouse with a patch claiming seattle and then my home address stitched on the back by some crow old lady. i wonder if they would give themselves really hard sounding bird nicknames, like ‘raven’ or ‘buzzard’. you could see them having meetings, like, “we had this crow who wanted to be a prospect, but his name was ‘cockatiel’, so we sent him packing…” anyway, the seagulls always come back, as do the pigeons and the mommy rat from next door, so i guess they have reached some agreement over turf. there is even a stray black cat who i tried unsuccessfully last year to claim as my own, and she will come from time to time to check out what’s on the smorgasbord. all in all, i’d say my window is more fun than animal planet.
and i don’t have to pay $9,000 a month for cable TV.
my kids have gotten good at hanging out with me in my room, and even tolerating my odd netflx tastes. i think in general i am more functional than i think i am, but it always seems to go in this cycle: when i have lots of bad days in a row i feel like it has gone on this way forever. i can’t remember when it started and it doesn’t seem like it will end. i can be patient for strings of minutes, but not for strings of days or weeks.
you would think (and in this case, “you” means “i”) that gardening should have taught me how to wait. that’s the whole beauty of the process, right? you plant a seed. you wait. you water and have faith. you wait more. you see a tiny growing-ish sprouty thing. you continue to wait. it grows (hopefully) and grows (hopefully) and you keep on waiting. and if no catastrophes befall your plant while you are practicing all of your waiting, you will get to eat something you actually grew.
so, which is the greater miracle, that a seed became a food, or that you (I) had enough patience to wait for that tiny seed?
i guess it’s all miraculous, really.
the seed, the water, the chickens, and hell’s crows.
even the fact that i have a normally comfy bed in a normally comfy city with a normally patient husband.
so, in the big picture, what’s the big deal if i have a few painful days?
at least i have a room with a view