Saturday, June 03, 2006

6.03.06, "In delecto flagratis almost..." A Poem

Weekends are quiet time on the blog. It seems like the readership cuts to about half. People are more engaged with their lives than they are with their jobs perhaps, less activity they want to avoid, or perhaps everyone needs a break from the seriousness that underlies even the best attempts at making a joke of all this. In reality, I'm sure no on thinks about it. Speaking of readers, our anonymous Film Studies person out there wrote me an email, btw, a few days ago that made me almost wet myself, so I'm wondering maybe I can twist his arm and get a pertinent film review for us here — what would the film be though? Or if I can get permission to post the email... I'll make an offer.

Too, reminder, where are the suggestions for the contest of naming this "time in life" or "time at the end of life" or whatever it is? I received about three suggestions from two people. The deal was that the winner gets a prize of her/his choice and I try to write some poem from the title. I'm rather disappointed . . . :-(

Franky Scale: 7, "7" seems to be a kind of "fine" number, with nothing too out of sorts, no supercalafrajelistic good events, just kind of doing all right and getting by. The only new physical news is that I saw a nurse practitioner last Tuesday when I was doing the IV chemo and he sat with me to plan a few programs of pill-taking, nausea management, and the like. One program involves prune juice — you can figure out which program — and I thought I like prunes OK but pure prune juice is truly heinous. I wish upon no one. Pure prune juice and original flavor Milk of Magnesia. Why are these tastes related?

Change of course: just for the hell of it, I thought I'd include a short occasional poem. There was much talk of poetry in the last week, and this piece has a bit to do with blog-related themes, in the sanse that it touches on love and love touches everything. So love, its death, departure, and I'd rather not say too much. (Font is odd, sorry.)

"“In delecto flagratis —almost"”

Facts and evidence only distort
the truth, my love, keep us
focused enmeshedly on the trees
so we don't know from forest.
I chose long ago to ignore
the facts so that I, in love
I thought, could keep you pure
despite so many incriminating
pieces of news, such factual appearance.
(I chose to let love live, despite.)
Now I learn you loved, too, so
well, you averred no bounds
save my indiscretion — admitted, sorrowful
nearly flagrant — revealed itself and
then your love chose sides.
Or, was it the other way around?

in a world that never
happened, I defeated some imaginary
foe and you, well, I love you still.

in the real world ignorance lays
slain at your shaking feet and love, well,
love you have seen out the door
— sword in hand.


Slarry said...

Mr. Jones---
I love that poem.... even though I have no idea who it is about, who walked out the door? I've always been courious. But that rude of me.
I just sent some title suggestions to your email.
But I also like,
to borrow from your poem:

With Sword In Hand

Let me know what you think. Thinking of you always.

Nade just telephoned, so I better call her back, or if not, the cell phone, my pager, the regular phone will all begin to ring at once.
: )

spacely said...

I don't know about titles.. I just know I'm sending lots of love your way! And I hope I get to hear your voice again before the weekend's over...that always gives me a thrill. But not if it takes too much energy or cell phone minutes :).
P.S. Sheri better call nadine back soon or all of my phones will start ringing!!
P.S.S. Over and out..I've got to get to sleep or I'll be a pile of pooh for my nursery kids tomorrow

Slarry said...

WHEN WHAT YOU THOUGHT WAS A YUMMY CASSEROLE TURNS OUT TO BE DOG FOOD --- Some Thoughts On Communication and Dealing With Cancer:
By: Slarry AKA Sheri Sunday June 4th 2006

I am one of Mr. Jones’ sisters, not his favorite. (he doesn’t have favorites) He is too evolved for such hooey. I’m the second to the oldest, in a family of four children, with Mr. Jones being the one and only man child. So, by default, gender and possibly the age difference and gap, he is my favorite (possibly some of his endearing qualities and his beautiful mind are also a factor). My sisters understand this and feel no malice, because they feel the same way. Mr. Jones is everyone’s favorite.

With that being said, I will continue on.
I HATE cancer. As one who works in the Medical field, I see a lot of clients who have cancer and have often been present when one of my clients has died. One of my responsibilities is to offer comfort and provide support for the family of the deceased. “Responsibility”, in this case, is accurate of my job description but doesn’t even come close to the full realm of what I feel and experience and what I have gained from being “present”. It is an honor and a privilege to “be there” for my clients and their families. However, I have found that even after doing this for over a decade, each experience remains unique: some are sad, some are a relief, some are horrifying- but the process of watching someone die, being part of the process, is never routine. One never becomes “used to it.” Well, at least I haven’t. And I am considered proficient in my job.

So why am I writing about this and why the goofy title? Well, I have discovered something about myself (and it isn’t pretty) in regards to learning, and now knowing, that my “favorite” person is facing his own death; someone that I am completely close to, depend on and in awe of, is that I’m not handling it very well. I am putrid at it. That my so called “experience” with death and dying, has not helped me in the least, not one iota, in preparing or coping with the impending death of my brother. Also, with my reaction, my rage, anger, sadness and total befuddlement of this senseless tragedy, I have found that I have hurt some people that I care about along the way. I am not myself because I am so sad and angry and scared. That is simply not a good enough explanation.

In that regard, my communications skills, my ability to show other people, even those closest to me, any tolerance, patience, a listening ear or even gratitude has not often been very apparent. Thus, like the title, I might be perceived as a caring, empathetic person and appear to others, like a yummy, warm and inviting casserole dinner, but some of my behavior of late is more like dog food. For our three furry dogs it is great, but for the people in my life that I love and care about, not so much. They were invited and accustomed to a good dinner and instead, got served a plate of dog food. And there is a story behind the title, which hopefully will make this confession and apology make more sense.

When our older sister and her kids came to live with us for a while they were not aware of our tradition of spoiling our precious dogs (some might take issue with the precious part) to a dog food feast on the weekends. Every weekend, without fail, I prepare a concoction, a mixture of their favorite foods. It usually consists of some type of meat, some moist dog food - which is something they rarely are given, some cooked oatmeal and rice and a scrambled egg. It is served slightly warm and they each get their own individual plate. They begin salivating, tails wagging, the minute they can smell the meat and the microwave spinning around. They actually start pacing, whining and crying with anticipation of this ceremonial and traditional “treat”. A treat that humans would gag over, just by the smell of it. But when it is done, it does slightly resemble a casserole.

During the first or second week of my “tossing salad” sister
living here, she was also dieting (quite successfully) but was starving half of the time. It was then, when she began to pick at and eat little pieces of food off of other peoples plates. We were not too shocked by this behavior, our mother, the epitome of petite and what is polite and proper, has been doing this for years, for as long as I can remember. Sorry Nade. :-)

One day, in the winter, salad came home from the gym absolutely starving. I had already placed the dogs’ food on the counter to cool off a bit-- and that is when Ms. Salad grabbed a spoon and just dug right in, with her son, my girlfriend and I just watching in shock and awe. We said nothing for 30 seconds. We couldn’t move or utter a word, we were stunned. And then the laughter came as she made a funny, somewhat bewildered face, as she began to gag, spitting and spewing dog food all over the kitchen. It went everywhere. Ah, a fond memory. We miss her.

So, the correlation of the title, the message I’m attempting to make, is that what or who might appear as a delightful casserole or a fine meal, might actually be a plate of plain old dog food.
In this case, ME.

So, to all of you whom I have either ignored, made petty statements to, misunderstood or been especially caustic or rude to, I am so very, very sorry. I cannot apologize enough. If you have received a personal email to this comment, then I know I have behaved badly and inappropriately. I have either been intolerant, insensitive, too sensitive, appeared ungrateful, judged harshly, been self absorbed or selfish, maybe even cruel, displaying impaired judgment or in some way caused you hurt or pain or inconvenience--- all unnecessarily. For this I am truly sorry and can only hope that one day you will be able to forgive me and understand.

I can only say that I should have done and now have done, what my brother suggested and begged us all to do at the beginning of his diagnosis; join a cancer support group. To seek counsel and to listen with a humble and open mind and heart.

If this lengthy “comment” to Mr. Jones’ blog helps even one person, I will be forever grateful. Pancreatic cancer is hard, and as my brother and his therapist spoke of regarding his particular situation, he was given a “double whammy”. Not just a diagnosis of cancer but of an incurable, fast acting one. It is painful, heartbreaking and tragic. It is unbearable for him and all who love and care for him. At times it has made me kinder and more gentle and more understanding-- but I also know and am aware of, there are many times when I have been incredibly emotional, cruel, judgmental--absolutely looney, at times. I will be more thankful for wherever people are in their own lives, what they are capable of giving and being; knowing full well that everyone experiences unexpected tragedies and deals with them in their own way. I am thankful for anything and everything that people are so generously offering me.

I guess some of my erratic and careless behavior is to be expected, but it doesn't have to be the norm or have to continue.
I am not the one dying. I am suffering and overwhelmingly sad. At times, totally paralyzed with grief. That doesn’t allow or grant me the freedom to be an ass, especially to those whom I love the most. And to my partner, Lefty, who just moments ago, stated, with tears in her eyes, “thank you, Sheri, this is a good letter ... something I needed to hear from you ... I have been the recipient of “dog food” and I know you are better then that.” I beg her forgiveness and appreciate her kind, unselfish and understanding heart. She is one of my “one true things,” just as Mr. Jones is, and many others of you are.

I thank you for your support, kind gestures, warm wishes, kind thoughts and loyalty for my brother-- he is deserving of all good things. And I appreciate those of you have stood by me, even and especially when, I was serving up dog food. I am so, so sorry.
I won’t just do “the best that I can right now”-- I will do what my heart is pleading with me to do; to love more, to care more,
be grateful for the friendships that I’ve been blessed with, the family that I have and for my lefty, who for whatever reason, still loves me.

And to Mr. Jones--thanks for letting me have a place, a forum to express myself. I love you more than any word can express-- but I know you already know that. But I also want you to know that I accept your challenge in being grateful for a luxury that you have less of, but done more with: TIME. I am so proud and grateful to know you, be your sister and enjoy and learn from you-- and be a recipient of the pleasure of your company. I will do more with my life-- as I know I am capable of this. Your words are not falling on deaf ears.

And in the words of the great Frank Sinatra: ‘FLY ME TO THE MOON’ and we will see you soon. Infinite numbers my brother.