Fin in a Waste of Waters

"These moments of escape are not to be despised. They come too seldom....Leaning over this parapet I see far out a waste of water. A fin turns....I note under 'F.,' therefore, 'Fin in a waste of waters.' I, who am perpetually making notes in the margin of my mind for some final statement, make this mark, waiting for some winter's evening." (from Woolf's THE WAVES)

05 June 2007


On the experience of having a seizure just now:

A seizure just now, whilst I was reading - and as it tightened its hold on me, the words for this entry formed in my mind, but now that I'm free of its hot grasp, I wonder if they will still flow...the image, however, remains, if adulterated, paradoxically, by what should in all practicality be greater coherence (though sometimes with these attacks comes strange clarity). The image:

So often when these spells hold me immobile on my bed, face turned to the wall, do I suddenly see by no self-conscious volition my body as no longer my own, but rather as that of some great 4-legged animal - most often a gazelle or a horse, but always strong, swift, long-limbed & supple, muscular - felled alone, unknown in a vast tract of yellow desert, spread on the sand, legs still, but ribs rising and falling, gleaming with heat - sweat & sun & salt. My eyes, the round dark globes of this desert animal, lodged in my immobile head (now also sleek & equine, stretched at the end of a long-muscled neck, thrown onto the sand where I fell), are all that can move now, and take in with the disquiet but expectant expression of the game prey my fallen body, acutely aware of both its potential power and utter lack of it, and I wait...and then -

it's as if one of the muscles in my legs flits; my skin twitches where a fly bites my thigh, my tail gives an involuntary switch - my body becomes my own slowly; I return; I heave my limbs from the sand & the bed at once; I am for a moment both, occupying both this world and that (and "this" & "that" themselves fluctuate as I straddle them); and then I am one - the seizure has passed. Today, the vision remained (if not the words which lined themselves up before I had fallen too far).

I cannot help feeling lucky when these images stay with me - it is not unlike remembering your dreams. How, how lucky I am when I am allowed to keep these rare moments when I remember the visions of the worlds I dip into during these moments that are paradoxically both utter confusion & even unconsciousness but yet queer clarity. I once, two years ago, told my mother that perhaps the tumor was a gift - in so many ways. These moments; these dreams; these other worlds I am allowed for only moments to occupy - this is just once of those ways.


At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Holly said...

You have the most admirable ability to take the unwanted and create magic from it. You are lucky, indeed. Most people who seizure, (and I have the joy of knowing many) remember nothing of the time during the seizure. I always considered this a blessing, but perhaps I misjudged.


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