Tuesday, January 25, 2011


It began with chest pain.

I was building a cage of reinforcing steel for a column footing when suddenly, I couldn't move. My chest felt as if the next breath would make it crack, and I panted off the top of my lungs. I was terrified that someone might have seen me nearly incapacitated.

The pain passed. It came back again every few days, but I grew used to the unwelcome visits, and steeled my mind against them. (If this sounds like a really stupid way to deal with something...I agree.)

Then it went away completely, for a couple of years. I moved halfway across the country, and developed a long-distance relationship with a woman in another state (that led to marriage...and divorce...and remarriage...yes, to the same woman).

We were visiting a museum near her home when the pain returned again, and I dropped. In the hospital they gave me the news...I had to have my gallbladder out. (And all this time you thought it was my heart, eh?)

The offending organ was removed in less than timely fashion (thank you, insurance company, for helping me develop character through pain while waiting for your decision on paying for it). The surgery didn't go well. Two days later I was back, with pain in the abdomen that was even worse.

The surgeon opined that I had a little swelling. He bade me wait in one of the examining rooms.

Three hours later i was still waiting. he had forgotten me, and left.

To be continued...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

After a long, rough night...

The pain got vicious at about 10 pm, and continues to now...7 am, and still unabated.

The words of Henry Lee come to mind, written in 1942.

I see no gleam of victory alluring
No chance of splendid booty or of gain
If I endure — I must go on enduring
And my reward for bearing pain — is pain
Yet, though the thrill, the zest, the hope are gone
Something within me keeps me fighting on

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In the Beginning...

Samuel Johnson wrote that the knowledge that one is to be hanged in the morning concentrates a man's mind wonderfully.

This is intended to me an account of one man's attempt to find, or maybe understand faith in the face of a life-threatening illness.

So far the conventional paths of faith haven't worked - and neither have some unconventional ones. But...

Somehow I know I'm not alone.

Somehow I know that I will deploy again, in some other life.

Is this enough?