San Francisco radio personality, Don Sherwood, used to end his program with a saying I just loved: Out of the mud grows the lotus.
For Donnie-Babe, who had more "do-yourself-in" / comeback episodes than Lindsay Lohan, it was the perfect mantra. He found himself in the mud more times, and somehow, miraculously came up smelling like...well...a lotus. We loved him.
I actually fantasized about writing a book about Sherwood and it would, of course, have been called "Out of the Mud Grows the Lotus." But Laurie Harper, the wife of his friend Hap Harper beat me to it in 2003 and I can't argue with the title she chose for her book, which probably sold more books than my obscure title would have!
I'm kind of feeling like I'm wallowing around in that mud right now and I'm wondering when I'm going to find the lotus. (or as the saying goes--with all this shit around, surely there's a pony somewhere!)
Everything bad going on around me is happening to somebody else, but it's all I can think about. My body feels like it's moving through mud. I went to lunch with the friend I lunch with twice a month and I would find myself staring off into space, not in the conversation, wondering when we are going to hear about Nora's or Kathy's death.
I sat down to write letters this morning, the thing I love doing, and words wouldn't come.
Everything seems like an effort and I spend a lot of time just bent over, holding myself and uttering a quiet expletive.
I've been here before and I know the feeling, but it still sucks. What's worse is feeling guilt about thinking about me when everything that is bad right now is happening to someone else.
Kathy continues to beat the odds. "She looks the best I have seen her look in months," her daughter wrote this afternoon, "although her grasp on reality is continuing to slip away. As far as what this means for her prognosis, we have been told anything from weeks to years. Kathy continues to defy the textbook definition of anything and to wish for an end to all of this. For now we take comfort in knowing how well cared for and safe she is."
Nora's daughter writes, "Mum hasn't let go. It's tough but we are all with her. I told her you sent your love. Not sure whether she still hears or understands. Will let you know but it is very close now."
These are two very tough, very determined women and they will obviously leave this world on their own terms. But the waiting is hard on everyone. Still they are both surrounded with people who love them and what more could one ask at the end of one's life?
But there are diversions. We took Ned out to dinner for his birthday this evening and had a good time. I ordered ranch house onion rings, those tiny slivers of onions...actually pretty much fried fat with a touch of onion attached. Walt actually ate some and so did Marta--and they both hate onions.
It was a good evening and I hope Ned and Marta had a good time.