background brought forward


POSTCARD#284: Delhi: Jiab was coughing and coughing, day and night. She went to the doctor, got medicine. After a couple of days, I started coughing too. Appointment for the doctor; we went together, doc looks down my throat, holding my tongue in place, and shining a spot of light to see what the problem could be; say ahh please. “Ahhh”. Okay, it’s a virus (Flu), but we don’t know what kind of virus it is. She asks me for my age and says she’d like me to come into the hospital for a few hours for more tests and observation. Wow! I wasn’t expecting this, a nurse appears and I’m whisked away, abducted by aliens … a few hours turned into two nights and three days trapped in a hospital room with a TV, restricted diet, throat feels like I’d swallowed a mouthful of broken glass. Headache too, but not the same as the PHN headache. Nothing better to do than figure out how the TV remote works.

Things moving so fast it’s all getting to be history too soon. Earthquakes in Mexico, hurricanes in the Caribbean, and pending volcanic explosion in Bali. The impact on people’s lives; the tragedy of how the hurricanes entered people’s personal space, and swept away everything. Dismayed, the 100 yard stare, where’s my home? Chunks of the environment gone missing, stuff we just take for granted, pieces of it like parts of a huge jigsaw puzzle, disappeared, lost. Reality can be this too. The mind must be fundamentally changed, after an experience like that.

At all hours of the day and night, thus held by TV, fixed high up on the wall. This is CNN bringing you Breaking News, volume fills the room: the President threatening us with his inept diplomacy, possibly bringing on a nuclear war. Hoping for the best, we are hovering on the edge of imminent disaster. He returns to his home base frequently to appear with his fans, in a created reality, televised in networks and shown all around the world; that jolt of paid-for breathless waves of applause. And does it matter if it’s not genuine spontaneous applause? Seems not, the appearance of things is good enough.

Am I going mad? It could easily be a scene from a Marvel Comix, or Manga comics’ series. Or gaming – something to do with the performance, the act – too much for me, in the end I shall just disappear in Thailand somewhere. Not here yet, but it’s getting there. Halfway through the second day of lying on a bed too small for me, sniffling and sneezing and I really want to get away from this TV. The cough is throaty, like the bark of a dog, and it feels like I’ve gone through a lifetime of watching TV, trapped in the illusion; seek, find – instant gratification, claim your prize, reward, congratulations. Have your cake and eat it too. But there’s no real satisfaction, TV stimulates a hunger that only leads to a sharper edge to appetite.

When I was discharged and away from that TV room, it felt like every bone in my body was bruised and painful. Vision blurry in the totality of natural light. Quite emotional, so much happening at the same time, things jumping in to get my attention. This is normality I guess. It’s hard to keep track of which is what, who said that, and how things came to be like this. The minimalism of events occurring in a few seconds, as fleeting as a moment in time, the arising and falling away of it, the unfolding of circumstances divided and subdivided in a multitude of miniature events…

“Don’t clap too loudly—it’s a very old world.”
[Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead]


27 thoughts on “background brought forward

    • It’s like this, isn’t it, when circumstances start to go towards a crisis, we come together more. It worries me though, because it could be Trump’s intention to create a near disaster and his fan base, numbskulls and idiots, will grow in number, creating the divide from ordinary people.

  1. Hoping your health continues to improve!
    We need to get that psychologically sick SOB out of the White House. He really is a manipulator of feeble minds… which is the only thing he is really good at. He’s fabricated this notion of Fake News occurring throughout our nation; so now he spews out lies and they can’t be proved to be lies by a media that isn’t trusted! People are so damn gullible.

    • Thanks Tom, I treat Flu with some respect now – no kidding, it knocks you out flat. We had to postpone our Bkk flight to Monday and I’m still under the weather. Your observation on that psychologically sick SOB in the White House, sums it up for me, “a manipulator of feeble minds”. He’s hovering nearer and nearer impeachment, and I don’t know much about American politics, but it’ll not be easy to be completely rid of him. His itchy trigger finger could throw us out of balance…

    • Thanks Val, yes nice to have broken free. TV 24/7 was part of the catharsis. My own normalcy is a neglected area, travelling too much to take proper care. I seem to be running aground too often, these past few years. I need to look into that a bit more.

  2. Glad you are better. I agree with Val, TV is torture, enduring TV would add to my illness (I’ve watched only snippets of it in 28 years, it is mostly garbage). The insanity of the world right now is really too much to bear. Hold onto the Light!

    • Thanks Eliza
      Yes, enduring TV wasn’t helping… but quite revealing. The propaganda was so obvious, ordinary reality fallen on the wayside and the step over into fiction almost there. I hear you, hold onto the light!

  3. Wishing you the best Tiramit, although I think with all that lines within this little box of news that seems to only bring the chaos and depression the world has to offer. I love your quote: “Have your cake and eat it too. But there’s no real satisfaction, TV stimulates a hunger that only leads to a sharper edge to appetite.”

    Take care, and wish you a peaceful and beautiful autumn.

    • Thanks Dalo, for your kind words. It occurs to me that it’s not fake news, it’s bad news, coming at us from every side, 24/7. Transcend for a few hours in peaceful autumnal weather, and I’m reminded of the goodness that’s in the world too, not all bad news.

  4. Hope you are soon well and glad you are out of the hospital. Gee! They hospitalized you for a virus??
    Oh, don’t speak of that despicable man in the White House. Actually at his golf course right now as people die in Puerto Rico because of his lack of aid. He has blood on his hands now. Pence, his beloved base of deplorables who cheer him no matter what he does, I can’t watch it anymore. It makes me ill.

    • Thanks Ellen, I still feel as if I’ve been hit by a truck. It’s a different system here, not hospital admission as we know it, there are no doctors unattached to hospitals. Another thing of course is the similarity to symptoms of Dengue Fever, a more serious form of Malaria… all these killer bugs just lurking around the corner – could be a political statement.

  5. Hi T, I’m glad you’ve been released from hospital and are looking towards Thailand with its milder winter and happy memories. When we awoke this am the temperature up here in Pennsylvania was 37* F. My tennis player husband is sad that no one has come out to play today, signaling the end of the season up here. Friends depart today for Florida, and in two weeks so will we!

    Yes, TV with its drumbeat of disaster is a mixed blessing. We watch MSNBC to see what our favorite people have to say about the insanity ruling DC. It’s on all the time, unless I commandeer the remote to watch a home improvement, real estate or cooking show or that one about checking out old barns and storerooms for hidden treasures, “American Pickers.” Feel better, my friend, and enjoy the next chapter of your life. There will always be problems in the world, suffering of all kinds and, of course, war. We used to march and protest, and now at our advancing age the most important thing we can do is vote. We speak of our feelings with others, when it seems wise to do so. As one translation of the Metta Sutta says: May all beings be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit…may all beings be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.

    Hugs, dear friend, and may the healing continue and your stamina and energy return!

    • Hi Sunny
      Sorry for the late reply, I’m now in Bangkok, the flight over was a bit of an ordeal. Fellow passengers bothered by my throaty coughing, I feel but what to do. I’m weary and unwilling to go around the house; up and down stairs too exhausting. It’s been raining heavily in Bangkok and the temperature has dropped. A good time for your husband’s tennis here, but not for me right now
      So, how about the condition of your house? I remember you saying it was at the edge of the hurricane area. You could be v busy with therapy for these unfortunate people who have lost everything and their selves too. A disaster in the mind, as well as having to cope with a home suddenly gone.
      In the difficulties they’re going through, watching TV and its ‘drumbeat of disaster’ couldn’t help and they’d have to be mindful about that. I’m not sure if I can get MSNBC here. Restricted to CNN which repeats itself over and over, but I do like New Day, 6am EST when it’s 5pm over here. That’s about all we have, BBC World too – I hardly watch it. The rest is Thai TV.
      I do feel better this morning, it’s interesting to revive an old house that’s been unlived in for 17 years, except for visits now and then
      Suffering of all kinds and, of course, war. Yes, I sense the powers that be waiting for Trump to be caught off guard and they’ll start discussion on impeachment, if he doesn’t start a war first of course.
      You take care too, my friend
      Thanks for the quote from the Metta Sutta, here’s a bit more from the Amaravati translation:

      Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
      May all beings be at ease.
      Whatever living beings there may be;
      Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
      The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
      The seen and the unseen,
      Those living near and far away,
      Those born and to-be-born —
      May all beings be at ease!

  6. Quiet Me-Time comes to mind for you Tiramit. To get your body flowing again with some loving care and good walks in nature. You mention you maybe travelling too much, working hard too? I like to know the craziness that is playing out in the world, but 24 hours TV is true torture. Trump is reflecting society’s shadow big time… it is how you act when you feel insecure, unloved and afraid… lets hope some people in the White House will not let him go too far and pull the plug on him… but what then? The natural destruction around the world is awful, my children are living through it now after Irma wiped out their island of St Maarten. For me it’s a way for people to start anew, building a life based on love, honesty and unity AND understanding there is really nothing to fear… fear is what made us powerless in the first place. It’s time to embrace our authentic power and be compassionate beings for ourself and each other. Enjoy Thailand, much love to you, Barbara x

    • Thanks Barbara, I can only imagine how the hurricane was on the island of St Maarten. After the desperate confusion of everything, it’s possible to start anew, building a life based on love, honesty and unity; the understanding there is really nothing to fear… I need to get out and about, now the cooler weather is nearly here. Normally I stay in AC rooms and work at the desk. All these flights between Delhi and Bangkok and even so, I lead a very narrow life. Like most people, post 9/11 world-view is full of holes, destabilized. It’s maybe how Trump got hold of the presidency. TV madness; social media Trump is toxic. And yes, lets hope the White House staff will pull the plug on him, when something reckless looks like it might happen. But what does the future hold? He’s a hard act to follow, what’ll happen after he’s gone?

      • Cooler weather would be nice, we’re still feeling the 30 degrees during the day! I personally would like to see ‘the joker’ being the last president, people seeing through ‘the ego’ playing silly games and reclaiming their power. A new council of wise people coming together to implement a new way of living together in community. Wishing you a great weekend x love barbara

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