It’s surreal being really sick. I had been swimming before I got this sick, for a frozen shoulder, and I carried it on after getting sick. If I go after the mornings it actually helps to float in warm water. I can’t ‘swim’ per say as I have little energy because I’m not able to eat solids, but I can float. Floating helps with many things including state of mind.

Luckily it’s inexpensive and near where I live. I go as often as my health allows me. I have met some fascinating people whilst ‘swimming.’ Most are older than me because it’s a PT warm therapy pool and the average age is probably over 50 but they’re just such an interesting group of people. I wish I were feeling better so I spend more time listening to their stories. People of those generations like to spin a story and they are good story tellers. It also helps remind us how much those generations actually DID compared to how our lives are now.

I’m grateful for any company because it’s very isolating being sick and waiting in limbo to see if someone (the Mayo hopefully) can help improve on this daily feeling. It is like Groundhog Day. Every day wake up feeling awful, repeat. I try to be optimistic it has helped a lot to hear from others and have that hopefulness. I realize others go through far worse so I’m not complaining. I’m fragile and I just try to get through a day to the next day. It doesn’t feel like I am alive, it feels like I’m licking the periphery of life.

Licking the periphery of life:

A lotus; one not seen in many moons

spreads her chalky whiteness and thick blossom

floating without effort, her perfume, her grace

by the muted dirty windows of the swimming pool

casting no shadows, lending no reduction, outside

the day could be a lotus, nobody really knows

the splayed dream of a sleeping cat in sun.

I know days count down, tired hands without gloves

spinning some surreal dream where I am lost

licking the periphery of life

memories are adders in tall grass

intrusive, poisoned by want

sometimes smooth like a record left to catch

on its fine fragile needle.

I neither belong nor exist

still the music plays like treacle

women who are 80 but look 60

with small shoulders and 50’s bathing suits

red nails and white piled hair, smile serenely

one tells me she has a boyfriend

my heart winces and its clasp trembles

a world I have left behind, as I grow roots to nothing

save what the light cannot capture.

Is it possible for a fire bird

to be reborn from water? Even as

flame coils its essence?

Can despite itself, something form in the loss?

An urge of peace glimmering

rebirth what was mislaid and flying

from knotted depths come whole once more.

What would I do if I were made whole again?

What would I do if I were given another chance?

All the days I wished to not wake up

will they be held as chalk marks against me?

The murky depths of despair when only

a tempest and sickness flay in drowsy cloud

or the terrible loneliness of being

caught in limbo, nobody knowing what to say

words leaking water, blurring, indistinct.

I want to tell the 80 year old that I once loved

a girl who was cruel in every way and flayed

people for lunch. I want to ask her if she

ever knew of people like that, and what

caused me to sit by that river so long

staring into the rings made by fish

dwelling beneath false surface.

Was I brought up to believe I wasn’t worth

more than fish-food? To be tossed to tigers

pretending to be women, pretending to

be whole when they were rotted fruit

leaking into the earth. I spent too long

listening to the Siren call of such

wasted years betrothed to cruelty

when I could have been diving

deep into the heart of a pearl

for surely anything is improvement

than an arrow seeking tender heart.

One day I may return here; whole

unrecognizable, perhaps the swimmers

will have changed, died, or become reborn

they may not remember me, they may

touch my arm and say; “weren’t you that girl?”

And I will reply; I am not a girl. I am a sea pearl

born from no light, drowned before breakfast

unable to swallow myself whole.

See that wan sun coming in through the cheap

plastic windows? I am that sun, the fire

of me extinguished by heart ache

by pain, by sickness, and when nothing

was left, ashes built themselves a pyre

and we burned and burned and burned

till water itself grew flame

till nothing remained

but the outline of what had

and what will

now become


My GoFundMe is slowly inching its way to a number that will help me stay up there for 10 days and not be drowning in debt. I so appreciate all the kind donations that have made this possible and I am trying my best to reach a middle ground where I can afford a payment plan for the remainder I will owe: