Kage Baker held to John Lennon’s wisdom – well, not in much, but definitely this: Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.
And she was always shaking her head at me, as I trailed home with thistles and rose petals stuck to my clothes; with no idea how the knotted clothesline soaked in vanilla milk shake ended up on the dashboard of the car; mysteriously tattooed (even though it turned out to be a press-on) … she’d shake her head at me in despair, and say, “I can’t take my eyes off you for five minutes!”
It was usually a fair cop. And life runs in huge, awkward, unexpected circles …
So, today I went into hospital for a couple of echo cardiograms. Despite my fears, I was blessed with a sympathetic set of nurses, a deft and modern anesthesiologist, and a miraculously smooth journey through the cardiac labs and ICU. All tests are done, and I have a clear diagnosis: calcification of the mitral valve. I am now beginning the planning for heart surgery, and I really don’t mind – I have a diagnosis, a plan, and a good expectation of restored health and stamina.
Imagine my surprise, then, at coming home, sitting down, and spending the next several hours watching Iran and the United States begin a shooting war.
Kage wouldn’t be surprised. Horrified, yes, but not surprised. We both watched CNN being born by the light of tracer bullets over Bagdad. The wise men at that nativity were on their knees, all right, peeking over window sills in besieged hotels, narrating a monstrous conflict.
For all the good it did. We’re still crouching in the dark, on someone else’s territory, trying to find a reason for whatever the hell is going on. Only this time, the insane thug with a god-king complex is the POTUS.
Still, Dear Readers, I myself feel I have gotten good news. My problem has a name and a solution. Brighter times may lie ahead of me. Spring will bring the breeding birds; Summer will bring roses. Autumn will bring the ripened corn, and come next Winter – I will dance one more time at Dickens, and sing with the Hallelujah Chorus.
If we all live that long, anyway.