And it is a dream at sea such as was never dreamt, and it is the Sea in us that will dream it:
The Sea, woven in us, to the last weaving of its tangled night, the Sea, in us, weaving its great
hours of light and its great trials of darkness.
— Saint-John Perse, Seamarks
I’ve touched death twice and come back. I feel like a cat, though I’m not counting on nine. I was told as a child that I would not live even thirty years due to severe asthma. In my early twenties, I wheezed ceaselessly for two years, even with intravenous steroids during monthly hospitalizations. At this time I was told I’d be dead by twenty-five due to a rare form of asthma that afflicts fewer than two percent of asthmatics, most of whom are seventy or older. Now in my forties, I know that no one can predict another’s fate.
The first time I touched death, I was seventeen. After spending several days trying to stabilize a particularly bad attack, during which I could only walk with assistance, could barely eat, and couldn’t lie down, I called my physician, Doctor K, who wanted to meet me in the emergency room.
Driving proved slow and difficult with such labored breathing, but after I parked near the hospital’s entrance, I inched toward the automatic doors by leaning against cars, poles, the rough white wall for support, and paused to catch my breath after each step as if climbing at twenty-six thousand feet. (More)
Thank you to the editors of Cezanne’s Carrot for first publishing this piece.
(This is a semi-repost from 10.10.09)