Yesterday I finally scraped myself off the couch and made myself go to the doctor. It was the spots covering my body that convinced me to go. Never mind how horrible I felt in every other way possible.
You can imagine my disbelief when they told me that it looks as if I have Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Rocky Mountain spotted what?! I mean, I've heard of it...but. Geez. Anyway, they started treatment immediately since failure to do so can be dangerous if not fatal. As you can imagine, sitting in the doctor's office listening to all of this was a bit surreal. At this point I'm not sure if I feel like crap from my initial (and current) physical condition or from the powerful antibiotics that they are using to treat it with. What is it, you ask? Well, sort of like a scarier version of Lyme's Disease. Google it. It's interesting, if nothing else.
I imagined a more poetic or humorous or dramatic post about this exotic sounding sickness I've picked up. But there you have it. I'm covered in a rash and am glad to have survived a weeks worth of migraine-like headaches, nausea and fevers.
Everything is on hold.
I pulled a Medicine Card today and got the "Bat." Perfect. This is some of what it said (shortened version, of course):
"Bat embraces the idea of shamanistic death. . . Shaman death is the symbolic death of the initiate to the old ways of life and personal identity. . . If Bat appeared in your cards today, it symbolizes the need for a ritualistic death of some way of life that no longer suits your new growth pattern. This can mean a time of letting go of old habits, and of assuming the position in life that prepares you for rebirth, or in some cases initiation. In every case, Bat signals rebirth of some part of yourself or the death of old patterns. If you resist your destiny, it can be a long, drawn out, or painful death. The universe is always asking you to grow and become your future. To do so you must die the shaman's death."
And so there is one half of me imagining a caricature of myself standing on top of a pen-drawn mountain. I'm covered in cheerful pink polk-a-dots striking a Saturday Night Fever pose. That same part of me has John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" playing over and over in my head. I imagine dying from listening to his music. That part laughs at myself and the absurdity of the entire situation.
There is another part of me that sits in a chair under the willow tree and stares out over the pond in a complete space-out.
There is another part of me fitfully asleep on the couch, the floor, the bed, then the other bed.
There is yet another part of me that sees this uncomfortable state of being as a perfect (although strange) match for the transformation that is taking place both within and around me.
At the moment, mostly I just feel crap. I can't work for very long. It takes most of my energy to walk from the house to the studio. I've been canceling photoshoots and meetings all week and last. Today I went for a short drive with the dogs and it was a big deal. Oh boy. Sitting in front of the computer for very long is impossible. Unpacking is not an option. Building my empire is out of the question.
Everything is on hold. I wait to feel better. I begin to understand that I need to just experience this. I don't have to get deep about it. I've already done a lot of thinking. Right now I find it difficult to think much at all. And that, my friends, is probably what I need more than anything: to stop thinking for one divine minute.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is hereby the strangest illness that has ever come my way. I laugh at the idea! But earlier this week, the pain was enough to bring tears, too. The important part is that I think I'm on the mend.
Life is strange. That's all I have to say.