Sleep, the magical medicine of my despair. With sleep I feel peaceful. The doctor finally called after three days, Sudafed, thank you. I can finally take OTC meds to help me breathe, if that doesn't work it is back to the doctor. Infection is always a fear, spinal meningitis, scary words. I can't even touch my nose, it feels like someone hit me with a hammer, it is a very strange feeling. My palate is completely numb, I have lost my ability to taste and have a very limited sense of smell. Cooking is a challenge. Despite my pain and inability to breathe through my nose I was finally able to sleep. This morning was a gift. The sun is shining on the snow, lighting everything in this frozen landscape but it is warm and cozy in here behind the glass. The land, the trees all reflecting an intense brightness. I wanted to get back to the beginning again, the strength that got me through the early days of February. I felt a little like my fingers were gripping the edge and failing me, I almost wanted to fall down into the whirlwind of self-pity. I still had one hand holding fast, I was drawn up towards the reflections and here I am. Not breathing but so grateful for my life. Each day is truly a gift. Since I can't do anything really, I sit quietly reading in the background as my family goes on about their day. Sometimes I feel like a ghost, sometimes I feel like a reflective observer, the audience to their stories, their laughter, their work. I have a wonderfully beautiful family, their voices are a comfort to me, they smile, they care for me, they worry, what more could I hope for? I am truly blessed.
The spring before I conceived my joy I went to Vipassana for ten days of deep meditation. I took a vow of silence. That was the greatest gift I ever gave myself, the power of silence. After a few days I could truly hear. My mind was quiet, I could listen and hear a singular voice. I was deeply aware of breath. On the tenth day I didn't want to talk again, I wanted to continue the journey. It was like walking out of a misty, warm forest into a clearing. My family was there waiting to see me again, to hear how I felt, to recognize me. That was the turning point, my son was conceived that fall and I was ready, I was more grounded, more quiet. I always wanted to set aside one day a week so that we could all practice silence, no talking, no technology, no work for even just a few hours. That is what this is like now, my silence. I sit, anapana, grateful for breath, and healing.