Dear This Week,
I wish that you were not driving toward a serious medical event, but you are. There, I said it. I'm saying it in a blog post stroke open letter that means, in some weird way, that I am trying to talk about why everything, literally everything has felt so strange. Like one's life is living one, and not the other way around. Is it stranger to talk about it, or to keep it to myself? This is what I've been asking myself for weeks now. Just like, This Week, I have been planning you for many weeks before now--before This Week. Planning how to teach after This Week. How to withdraw from any but the most essential commitments. How to ask for help (how does one ask for help? I think I would know how to ask for help if I were, say, drowning, but for this? how?). I have been trying to manage everything including my feelings about you, This Week. Maybe it's easier to plan and schedule and work and cram meeting upon meeting than to grapple with the serious medical event that is the apex of your arc.
On Friday, more or less the end of you, This Week, I will be sitting in the waiting room of a hospital while my beloved is in surgery.
On Friday, I will not be alone, but I will feel so alone. I know I will, it's just how I'm made.
By about midday on Friday, I will know the meaning of the week, the arc toward which this narrative seems to have been inevitably tending. I, who by training know that there is no one story, rather many stories, feel threshed and chastened by the power of this story. Helpless, maybe, in its inexorability. Is this a fruitful way to think about one's life? I think not, but there I am: I am at the mercy of this story.
I hope that you will be merciful, this week. I am, in fact, praying for that mercy.