Tuesday, March 25, 2008

By Way Of Apology...and Renewed Commitment

Dear Faithful Readers,

I know some of you have been sniffing around in spite of the fact that I took a little unannounced break after discovering that I have diabetes. That news alone would have been enough to give me pause, but it came on the heels of another set of procedures called for by the possibility that I had another even more dire condition, which turned out not to be so. Regardless, the last two months have been difficult at best and frankly, scary, as I got used to a whole set of new ideas and practices that will be with me now for the rest of my life.

I've gone through a lot of feelings. Shock. Dismay. Crushing disappointment. Panic. Fear. Depression. Determination. Overwhelmedness. Despair. And finally, acceptance. And even gratitude. That I can do this. That it is manageable (with rigorous attention and commitment). That in a world where people are starving to death and watching their children starve, in a world where people are being bombed in their own homes even as I write, in a world where human beings are languishing heartsick in cells and cages year after year like animals, some of them for no reason except that they are used to rationalize a government gone mad without restriction, a diagnosis such as mine is really not enough to be an excuse for the end of all joy.

Perspective is the name of the game now. And renewed commitment to the work I have been given to do. Enough with feeling freaked out and all that being freaked out brings with it.

I had the pleasure of having an unexpected lunch with a young woman of whom I am very fond on Monday. She was passing through town on her way across the country with her young cousin who admitted in embarrassment that she voted for George Bush because she believed he would "allow himself to be lead by God to do the right thing as a Christian leader." Needless to say, she's become somewhat disillusioned.

First of all, I assured her that she didn't vote the man in because he wasn't elected. He just stole two terms and the U.S. public let him do it.

"Well, why?" she asked petulantly. "When the French don't like something, they bring that country to a halt until they get what they want. The people in Spain go to the streets. What's wrong in the U.S. that everybody just watches what's happening and does nothing?"

I explained that we've been socialized to believe that money is more important than life, that wage labor is the only viable system, that the U.S. is the greatest nation on Earth and therefore deserves whatever it wants, that violence is the result of the victim's poor choices, that having stuff is the litmus test of personal worth, and that alienation is natural so escape (of all types) as a way of life is reasonable. I told her that this nation is careening in the direction of facism at a speed light would envy and that I'm not the only one who's noticed (see The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot by Naomi Klein or the video above as two of many examples available by now if you really can't see it staring you in the face on the nightly news).

In any case, I guess what has occured to me of late is that we act like we have forever. But my recent experiences have reminded me that we don't. Enough with the whining and complaining. We get serious or we die. Know what I mean?


cero said...

Diabetes? Condolences - it's always an odd shock to find out you've got something permanent. But I know you'll keep this thing under control.

Changeseeker said...

I have too much to do not to, cero. And I've had some great input toward doing that. But, yes, an odd shock is a good way to put it. I'm glad to be through this first month. It was a roller coaster ride and I didn't like roller coasters even when I was a kid.

bint alshamsa said...

Changeseeker, I know this might not be a situation you pictured yourself being in but it seems you are adapting with the same courage and determination that you show when tackling any difficult issue.

I don't know if it's a thing that you're ready for or even interested in doing but, the disability blogosphere can be a very helpful resource for those who are dealing with the sort of changes and challenges that you may face with your diabetes.

Changeseeker said...

Greetings, bint alshama! It's been a while. It's always a pleasure to "see" you here. I appreciate your suggestion and, believe me, I've been all over the 'Net, up into a couple of different books and a whole stack of other materials, and wearing out my "medical team" with questions. After only three weeks, they're letting me cut my medication in half due to the rigorous nature of my commitment to do what I need to do and the response of my body accordingly. Cool, huh? :^) There's just SO much to learn and you're right, the Internet is a great source of information and support for me right now.

bubamarenya said...

It was such a pleasure to see you. No one explains things with the quite the fire that you do. The lunch and conversation were both wonderful. You are right, you do have too much to do. Those of us who have been inspired and moved by your work know how necessary you are. You can do this. We are here to back you up.

Changeseeker said...

The visit, bubamarenya, was so rapid-fire, it almost seems like a dream, but it was a joy to see you, as always. Socially reproducing myself is my FAVORITE thing to do. That's why I'm so passionate. Highly intelligent young people give me great hope and the motivation to keep doing what it is I believe I'm here to do.

Tom said...

Oh, Changeseeker, I've been trying to cut down on blog time and so I'm just reading about your condition now. I'm so sorry to hear about it. I'm beaming some support at you.

Changeseeker said...

Thanks, Tom. I have needed all the support I could get. And then some, apparently. :^/