Reflections on loving God, being Catholic, being a woman, being ill, loving life and anything else that comes to mind.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Riffing on a Theme

I've moved my computer to my bed. Having a library/work area is, I've decided, reason enough for a single person to have a wide bed (I wish mine was a queen instead of a full). When I was out ill last year I was stronger than I am now. This year, I spend much more of my time in bed. I'm very fortunate to get through the simple form of Morning Prayer in Magnificat. (Who knew that prayer was such demanding work?) Reading is pretty much limited to first thing in the morning. If I don't get it in then, it doesn't happen. And even at that hour, I only get through a few paragraphs which I don't remember.

Forcing my brain to focus has become exhausting. And when I demand too much of myself, I crash - hard. I've just spent the past three days in bed. On Sunday, I could hardly stay awake and missed most of my meals and several doses of meds. Two dear friends were over and I reclined in a big easy chair as my mind wandered in and out of lucidity. Yesterday, another friend stopped me in mid sentence and told me I was rambling. Today, I'm a little more awake, a little more aware, but that means I'm also more aware of pain. I did get out for a walk only to discover that there was not enough air - one hopes the pulmonologist will be able to weigh in with some remedy for that. But then, one has been hoping he would do so for some time now. It would be lovely if there were more air when I exert myself.

My mind wanders a lot these days. Oh I use it as much as possible. I try to keep a Health Journal, work on puzzles and trivia quizzes and take simple surveys. Once in a great while, I participate in a more demanding survey or an IM exchange for a few minutes. (I'm hopeful that I can rebuild my cognitive faculties by using them. And I certainly don't want my brain to atrophy. It may or may not work but it's certainly worth a try.) Mostly though, I watch family comedies from the 50s and 60s and let the thoughts come. Right now, I'm watching Bewitched* and Leave It To Beaver*. And I've made it through Nanny and the Professor (a very sweet program that I highly recommend) and most of Father Knows Best. I've assembled a three page list of family sitcoms from the 50s and 60s (by that I mean sitcoms that focus on the family in some fashion). Those old comedies are gentler than what's available now. Sweeter. I can't even stand being on a noisy bus. Having loud, glaring programs assaulting me through my computer or TV screen is excruciating. Many older sitcoms explored very simple themes through very simple stories. But today, sitcoms are like Times Square in NY - harsh, brash, painful and meaningless. Even the harshest early sitcoms, such as Bewitched, is gentler than those shown today.

And while I'm watching them my mind wanders. The themes they explore are very much the themes I think we need to be exploring today. So many thoughts come to mind. I wish I had more energy to write - these few paragraphs have been stretched throughout the day, whenever I could get a little more done; in the past, this post would have been an hour's work or less. But to the extent possible, I want to write about some of what comes to mind particularly the themes having to do with women and girls. If possible, I'd like to begin a new hobby which I'll write more about later. For now, I just want to suggest that women have been taught to be like Times Square and maybe some of us would like to be something different. Not something that would take us backwards to a golden era that never really existed. But something that will take us forward, bring us closer to God, develop femininity and womanliness. More later...

*Additional episodes available on