20 Aug 2013: Triumph, Disaster, Triumph

IF you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat these two impostors just the same …

– Kipling

Post Blog 19th August – a Great Day and then Disaster

…an expedition with my main British mate to resolve issues with HSBC and visit IFC, with me in a wheelchair.

Snagged Lindt choc bars at the divine levels of 70% and 85%, where the bitterness of the 85% cacao solids added creates a delayed release of chocolate’s powerful pure flavor AFTER the bitterness, like a fine wine or polyphonic music:

–Flavor release 1————–
…. +–Flavor release 2————–

And…no pain whatsoever by way of a strange law: spending time in public with people at least as smart as you, is a marvelous analgesic.

But first…yesterday’s most incredible development: I was waiting in the cab queue at Queen Mary, standing temporarily as my wheelchair was loaded into the boot of the cab, and I found myself, without any pain, executing dance moves. I was thrilled and immediately resolved to experiment with a few more in my next workout, gradually increasing them as is needed and as would be possible.

Well, of course, that’s just not on now owing to disaster at end of day 19 August. For as I got ready for bed, my rib started to pound with pain. I’d probably banged it in a fall on the 17th, running for the can. Or it may be, frighteningly enough, a manifestation of metastasis to bone, a feature of prostate cancer. As I crawled into bed, minutes before so smug, I could hardly draw breath.

“I that in heill was and in gladnes
Am trublit now with great sicness
And feblit wi’ infairmitee!
Timor mortis conturbat me.

William Dunbar, Lament for the Makarys

I was given morphine (Fentanyl synthe-morphine) and like any person in pain, from the drummer boy lying on the field of Saratoga or Waterloo to a rich lawyer whae helpis no conclusionis slee my “study” was reduced to what I could do to stop, or endure, the pain. Thinking and feeling hard I realized that I needed to get the pain under the threshold set by my subjective pain (10/10) to have a chance of sleeping (and thus eliminating or reducing the pain) and to do THIS, I needed to … reduce my breathing.

To do THIS, I needed to reduce my activity so, no pounding on the pillow in agony and no picturesque sobbing and grimacing.

Relax in order to focus all energy on the breath.

Which worked after a while. And I slept, a gift, until morning.

When I awoke just before congee of course no workout was “on” and grimly the pain was the same. I struggled thru breakfast.

But…amazingly not only have I had no hip (cancer) pain all day as if my Hip Devil was deferring to my chest devil as a better tormenter than he…that in fact the pain was in the mind, forming one of Adorno’s strange constellations (“Dream Notes”) in the night sky of my illness to signal me that intelligence was behind my pain…perhaps, my intelligence.

The chest pain was minimal by early afternoon and all the above was me pitching a fit, or, more likely, thinking hard under pressure and finding solutions, or most likely, thinking hard under pressure, finding solutions…

…and, of course, pitching a fit.

Even tho the above was pretty much a false alarm…

with this new pain I was back at square one, searching for the limits of my new world like a man in a dark chamber who probes the shape of the wall, like Kant transcendentally exploring the limits of sense and reason in the dance of pure reason.

Kant was trying to discover how the dance of reason can take place. Imagine a room with shapes in black curtains, protruding from the wall:

How can the dance of darkness and pain take place?

How did the Irish Dancer dance in the holds of ships escaping the famine?

Imagine trying literally and figuratively to dance in the space provided by pain without passion and without hatred, for

“La mission est sacrée, tu l’exécutes jusqu’au bout et si besoin, en opérations, au péril de ta vie.”

“Au combat, tu agis sans passion et sans haine, tu respectes les ennemis vaincus, tu n’abandonnes jamais ni tes morts, ni tes blessés, ni tes armes.”

Articles 6 and 7 of the vow of the French Foreign Legion enhanced with my poetic feu de joie et l’honneur which I write “drawing my breath in pain” as Hamlet admonished Horatio, for indeed it is honorable to do so when recounting tales of honour, contes de l’HONNEUR:

Vow, of the Legionnaire of the Legion of the Endurance of Pain

Legionnaire, remember, the mission is sacred
Carried out to the bitter end, without hatred!
Carried out with utmost respect for the vanquish’d
As YOU would be treated as you would have wish’d
In storm of stress you keep your shit wired together
Keeping your weapons clean in fine and foul weather!
Abandon not your dead nor your wounded nor your arms
In the name of bright Honour, even in defeat, risking all harms.
And in victory never may you succumb to cowardice’s charms:
Abusing prisoners, or capering like an ape
And above all no violence against women. Rape
Is a coward’s act
You will be held fast to this pact.
Here, finally, is our most treasured possession as Legionnaires:
The leather strip we bite upon
When wounded so as not to betray our mates or our position.

Threnody Français

La France est ton Pere, la Legion c’est ton mere:
Vous est nous heros vous est nous enfants plus cher
Faire vous la combat au l’outrance comme l’audace
Et l’audace et toujour l’audace!
Et l’honneur brilliant, comme le Soleil
Qui grace votre armoire de la noir hey hey hey.

Edward G. Nilges 20 Aug 2013: Copyright 2013 by Edward G. Nilges: Moral rights asserted.

AND…lest there be any smart remarks…this is a matter of life and death and if I have to write poetry to stay alive then by GOD I shall.

No pain evening of the 20th.

“For Thou didst not leave his soul in hell, nor didst Thou suffer Thy holy one to see corruption.”


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