Slowly, the heartbeat begins…


It is with gratitude and no small sense of emerging discipline that I returned to these pages.

Today I have been a writer it seems fair to say. No doubt I will near likely 5000 words on today’s overall count. Which of those words cut time, and which are blown away by it remains to be seen.

Of course Big Time which is the only word, consumes all words eventually, but that is a story long, ever, and now old and beyond telling.

My words today simply report the passing of one moment in small time, if the spirit of poetry finds its way into them, that is another’s doing altogether.

San Diego was a dozen degrees cooler today than yesterday, and cloudy as well. No rain yet, perhaps tomorrow, but I smiled from by bed this morning at the charm of a cold grey day that promised a trip to the offices of the bureaucracy.

After rising and a lighthearted smoothie, Eleña’s favorite breakfast to prepare here, we made our way out the door, bundled up in sweaters and scarves and warm overcoats, to the office of Social Security to see what they might have to say was on offer from their perspective on my future.

Parking was not present so we drove around a bit, eventually settling on the Starbucks lot across the controlled intersection. This gave the adventure some intrigue as it meant navigating a variety of awkward, uneven, and hilly surfaces to make the final leg of the journey. As I said, we were in good spirits so adventure it was.

We laughed as we entered the parking lot of the Social Security Administration, on foot this time. Both disabled parking spots at the front door were now open, and three more spots in the previously crowded lot poked us in jest like familiar friends.

Inside, the process was formal – a welcome sign instructed us to the electronic kiosk where we were second in line, but only for a moment. Filling in the requested information, and the machine printed us our ticket in the days order of things – D 42 – and we proceeded to the longer que to wait our turn at the window.

We dutifully played on our phones under the watchful or perhaps un-noticing eyes of the dozen or two folks patiently seated in the waiting area just behind us. It seemed we were going to a window to be told where and why and how to wait. It seemed a little odd to me that only one window seems to be receiving our line, while about eight more windows sat open.

Open windows, patient crowd, standing in line. This was definitely the place.

As we made our way surprisingly quickly to the front of the line my curiosity grew about the nature of our environment. I could see now that there was another hallway leading to more windows, probably with more clerks behind them. These were serious windows, with only small openings through which to pass voice and various miscellaneous documents. The attendants on the other side seemed well protected from any would-be assailants wanting to make the conversation more personal.

A few moments after dismissing her previous client, Desiree beckoned us forward. She was unsmiling, quick and efficient, and made room for us to leave at our very earliest convenience. I asked Eleña about this later and she pointed out that, in Desiree’s position, she likely saw a lot of suffering and distress, needed to move from one request to the next without getting too caught up emotionally or personally in the matters going by. Also, she was probably on the receiving end of much of that distress as the days turned into months and years.

In any case, her efficiency and practiced clarity paid off well for us. In a matter of probably 10 minutes we were very clear that I had no additional available benefits at this time, at least not from Social Security, and that if my net worth over dropped beneath $2000, I was welcome to return and apply for additional benefits at that time. As for Medicare, she was pretty sure there wasn’t an office where I could meet a person, but encouraged me to call them directly nonetheless.

Very little waiting, no second que, and out the door with solid info. That was pleasant enough, though you’d never have known it from the gentleman screaming obscenities into the air just outside.

We made our way home and I did call Medicare. That too took less time than it might have and I found myself further well-informed and moving forward on other matters that may prove vital in the coming months.

After that, a quick lunch with Miss Cassandra just in the door to spell sweet Eleña whom we will now not see until next week. Finishing lunch I found myself a bit more conscientious of a physical distress and discomfort that had been with me since departing Social Security. I had noticed it in the car as we were leaving, as an all too familiar friend in the moments of my life. In the same moment I think I had written it off to the cool whether and threats of rain tomorrow. In any case I decided to investigate further.

This meant leaving the desk to lie down on my bed for a moment, make sure my clothing was all organized on my body properly and nothing else was out of sorts. Something else was out of sorts.

In the transfer it seems from chair to car on our errands, my catheter tube had become pulled tight to the stoma where it entered the body creating some strain and the accompanying discomfort. Adjusting that was an easy fix, but I stayed lying down for about 45 minutes to recover from the physical stress of the inconvenience.

As I rose I was reminded I had promised my attention to a friend to introduce her and her friend to some reflections on the Integral Community and movement, subject with which I’m familiar now for the last 13 years and with which she was quite interested to align her pursuits for schooling and career.

I knew going in I should’ve recorded that call, but didn’t. As it turned out she drew out of me about a 20 minute lecture, or perhaps recitation is better, on my experience and sense of the Integral movement, both formally and informally over the last 13 a little years. Had I recorded it, I think it would’ve made a nice little offering just to post into the wild for anyone else curious about the subject.

C’est la vie.

For the rest of the afternoon I turned my attention to writing on the story of MettaCare in my journey through having caregivers over the last 17 years or so. I spent about 90 minutes on that and then turned my attention to the related correspondence. All that is recorded in writing elsewhere so I’ll not dwell on it here.

That brings me to 6:45 now and I’ll close here, turning my attention to dinner, shower, and bed.


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