Workout 2 Sep 2012: a morning crying hither

Lamma Island 1 Sep 2012

Fifty minutes walking with weights first thing. Hiking with weights up towards Open Space in the leafy, rainy, sunny morning, a morning that’s crying hither, is quite aerobic.

Nothing like getting, as I got, a sympathy note from one of your stalkers: this guy, whom I believe to be a British yob here in Hong Kong, sent me this morning a note addressing me as “cunt” as always, but actually expressing some limited sympathy which was rather amazing. He went on to suggest that I be less self-centered and full of bile in his rib-tickling way as a way of curing my cancer: I think he means “self centered” and “full of bile” in which any critical thought whatsoever (that is any thought whatsoever) is in a corporate-dominated world, “a satire too keen and critical” for Duke Theseus as in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

This was, I believe, a chap whom I’d offended in my own rib-tickling way. British men really hate it when one, a bookish Yank, “yanks” their chain, and knows more about the literary heritage of their scepter’d isle than they, and here they are editors for major publishers, and one just isn’t, rot one’s boots. I can see where us rude Colonials were rather frightened at Lexington. But we beat them, didn’t we.

He ended with a hope to never see me again which sorted ill with the fact that he’d checked in with me, but there you are. Hold your enemies close, said Sun-T’su.

I unavoidably touch the tumor on arising, same as always, my left side feels like it has electricity or foreign particles in it. That’s because the carcinoma has distributed itself primarily down the lymphatic system on my left side. I never had sciatica. The intense nights of pain suffered in April, where I lay for hours listening to Enya while my hip bones ground, well that was cancer saying hi, chump. But it’s stabilized now.

That’s the thing. Cancer no different from life in which we know not how long we have. In 1981 I was rather surprised at a Chicago company where I worked briefly before getting a job in Silicon Valley to learn that the owner’s wife had cancer, but was showing up to pick him up, Yupped out, from her own job. Basically you stabilize cancer and use the right choices to push it back, it will not go “in remission” on its own. Words like “in remission”, like “terminal” are no longer used the more we know. Instead we rely on numbers such as PSA levels.

Of course, marketeers and salesmen will hawk eternal life at the gates of heaven where it’s free for the same reason they will tell you they can get you a green card when you can apply for free yourself. So there are all sorts of “cures” for my condition which scientifically is incurable.

Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France cyclist, overcame a cancer that was like mine metastasized upon discovery…but perhaps he was wealthy? I don’t know. “Tell me nothin'” as the soldier says in The Thin Red Line.

Kamalaya, the surprisingly posh-but-affordable spa I went to last week, has had a very good short-term effect. I no longer limp while climbing hills. If the effect is longer lasting I shall save for two weeks later this year. But if I cannot afford it, or it doesn’t have a long-lasting effect, I can still make my living space more healing by doing the dishes, playing music, and keeping my underwear off the floor.

Money helps but isn’t the cure.

Consider that AIDs was a death sentence in 1983 whereas over time and in the West, HIV positive people learned how to manage their situation, using PCs to track extraordinarily complex drug regimens, going to spas, exercising and going to work. They survived…whereas men in African hostels didn’t stand a chance against “slim”, mostly because Africa is the rest of the world’s victim but also because uneducated AIDs victims tell themselves self-defeating stories…such as AIDs being witchcraft or a Christian God’s punishment. A good way to die with Aids or Cancer is to fall into the hands of God-wallopers. Opus Dei pestered my Dad and he escaped Catholic northern Indiana, preferring Jewish Chicago where he was left in peace.

Less well educated victims of disease, whether cancer or Aids, self-stigmatize, don’t seek what treatment is available and die in hostels as I could die in a Motel Six real soon now if I don’t stay serene and sober. Which is why the trumpet summons me again as it summoned me in 1981, it’s once again time to get on parade so I can read books to grand-daughters. God’s glory, their father used to grab a book from the shelf and come to me, saying, “wead book”. He also said to my Mom, “more cheese”. Quite quotable if Gnomic. I want “more cheese”, more Life, Tikkun.

Tomorrow I have a Queen Mary appointment and a new job. It is also rawther amusing that my health degringolade has coincided with the crash of the West and the disappearance of the very idea of “employment”: my income now consists of entrepreneurship, whether teaching in Shenzen, or man-handling Chinamen across Pedder street in this TV commercial starting at about 14:00 in which I as a CEO want to hire the Smartjobs registrant.

We know when to go and when to stay. My friend Kanthan’s father knew he was for it when he’d spent enough time with my friend’s daughter his grandchild. Whereas I’m still watching the credits roll, at a minimum. Or, perhaps, I’m not even in the middle. In my end, said Boleyn, is my beginning. We do not know.

And I listened, last May, to the Legionaires’ chanson Kepi Blanc to man it up and get the bad news from “The Priestess of the Temple of Artemis”, my fellow actor and full time physician, and I have done something about the bad news. Many men would have gone straight to the bar and done nothing. But not my father. Big man found a way to serve his country in WWII without being cannon fodder and quit smoking in 1954 when the British Royal College of Surgeons revealed the statistics about smoking and cancer. He made survivorship into a fine art, something noble. Which redeems his faults just like that.

May the gates of Heaven open unto him assuming they haven’t already: we Catholics pray for the poor souls in purgatory.

“Which shall fructify”: we do not know what scandal we give. Conversely some of our egregious stunts may actually benefit others and not only as cautionary tales.

At the moment which is not of action or inaction
You can receive this: ‘on whatever sphere of being
The mind of a man may be intent
At the time of death’ – that is the one action
(And the time of death is every moment)
Which shall fructify in the lives of others:
And do not think of the fruit of action.
Fare forward.
O voyagers, O seamen,
You who came to port, and you whose bodies
Will suffer the trial and judgement of the sea,
Or whatever event, this is your real destination.”
So Krishna, as when he admonished Arjuna
On the field of battle.
Not fare well,
But fare forward, voyagers.

TS Eliot

#Occupy at HSBC, Hong Kong, 1 Sep 2012


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