Friday, May 27, 2011
Hysteria, Presence, Early Morning and a Heron
Awake at 4:42 is never a good plan. Unless you're packing for a vacation to the Italian Riveria, Lanzarote or, heck, anywhere. But I'm not. I'm just awake before light. Awake before light is not good for reading the news either. Today there's a book review on npr of Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth Century Paris. I bookmarked it for some other day, in folder Women because I don't have a WTF folder. J-M Charcot (what is it with French weirdness this month?) took photographs of, and drew, his patients in Saltpetriere Hospital in the 1870s. The excerpt heightens the macabre combination of mentally ill (or warehoused) women patients as art subjects and public sideshow exhibits; and a PhD in French literature wanting to write about this to put her work in context, and then lumping fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a bundle of other maladies in modern day hysteria equivalency status. I'm too tired to sort that stuff out, so here it is and I unbookmarked the review. I also made a WTF folder. Then an article about Presence Approach to caregiving dementia. Ah, geez. After I've done three loads of laundry, scrubbed upholstery, grocery shopped, prepared and served meals, cleaned, chauffeured, problem solved, searched for missing items, created the art due, all on 4 hours of sleep, I can form and train a Mindfulness Support Group to help me cope. Okay. Right after I....zzzzzzzz. The trick to living in the now is to actually have some now you're present in to live. This walking diary drawing is the now moment from this week. I was pretending I can identify birds at a distance by flight pattern. That's a goose. No, seagull. It squawked at me. Crow. That's a crow. No, seagull. It swung in a wide arc and flew directly overhead. Profile glimpse of the S'ed neck. A heron. A beautiful heron. I watched it until it flew out of sight, wings flapping like an Olympic rower. That heron is now the facilitator of my mindfulness support group.