Finally in Australia!
It was an amazing trip, and I’m sorry I can only offer a few photos right now. The story is, for me, attached to some pretty serious emotions.
Unfortunately, Lily and I separated pretty much upon our arrival. We are, to put it simply, very different people.
Fortunately, her family has been incredibly supportive of me. Not sure what I would’ve done without them! Probably just ran back to the USA with my tail between my legs. So thank you!
Instead I went out into the outback of Queensland and helped Carolyn, Lily’s sister, and their father Keith, on their cattle properties. There’s been a long drought here so it wasn’t easy, but the practical skills and peaceful country lifestyle suited me just fine.
It was finally quiet. No nurses, no traffic noise from outside, no distractions.
Loneliness was there, a misty specter that filled the room and seemed to push away the medicated haze. It was terrifyingly obvious how self-sufficient I had to be. Aloneness quivered with crisis, discordant. Tears weren’t far away.
I turned my head on the hospital pillow, blearily. Self-pity curled down the corners of my mouth. My eyes throbbed. I directed my gaze upwards to the IV bag slowly dripping saline fluids into my veins. The blood hadn’t come yet; this was just to fill my vascular system with something, anything, to keep my blood pressure up. The doctors couldn’t get their hands on what I needed, and though my friends and contacts were out there, searching for my blood, right now it was up to me and me alone.
Taking a few deep breaths, I prepared the image I would begin my self-guided meditation with: the stark white of my bones before a black field. The disembodied trio of my hip bone, other hip bone, and sternum – the blood-making bones in ultra-real purity.
I closed my eyes…. (more…)
The technical terms that were used were “comminuted sub-trochanteric femur fracture,” meaning that the thigh bone had shattered into a bunch of different pieces just below the ball joint of the hip. It wasn’t your average geriatric fracture, where the ball of the femur snaps off from osteoporosis. This was the thickest part of the femur, crushed into several disorganized pieces. I had really fallen hard.