santa fe/new mexico
I contemplate the circular black standing Lasko fan’s whirring propeller jjjzjzjzjjjng as it vacillates toward my lavender louvre doors and back towards the open window where the Russian olives screen the clouds and periwinkle sky. I’m half reclined in bed, bolstered by three fat pillows against the headboard, another between my thighs to keep my hip from rotating inward, yellow smiley hospital socks on my agitated feet while vancomycin drips from the plastic grenade of antibiotics at my side through the long slender catheter of my PICC line, At my bedside table, my purple glitter journal, ripped at the right corner, a Lamy fountain pen and a pack of blue-black cartridges, the small jar of cannabis-infused coconut oil, a glass of cold water form the fridge in a Goodwill glass marked with lemon slice icons. On my iPhone, I upload my niece’s 75-minute flow posted on her website The Honest Blonde, I follow her guidance, pressing my thumb and left finger to my nose, breathing with her in pranayama. Mirroring her, I place my hand over my heart where the PICC’s distal tip enters my vena cava, and I imagine the antibiotic seeping in to the left chamber of oxygen rich blood and through my arteries, delivering the dose to my cells. I visualize this twice a day for the hour and a half I’m hooked up to my home intravenous treatment, a sort of Fantastic Voyage of chemicals attacking the purple pompom bacteria consuming my bone. Though I want to lift my arms, like Liv, above my head to sweep the energy towards the ceiling of this small room where I’ve spent the last months, I can’t compromise the deep needle in my brachial vein.
So I lie back and watch with great tenderness her standing poses, dancer’s arms and legs elongated, as she flows on, this lithe young woman, muscular and flexible. By the time she is through, all soft angles and strength, my grenade is empty, a miniature deflated football. At the end of her practice—at the end of my treatment—she lies in savasana on her yoga mat; I lie supine on the bed’s down duvet: both of us contemplating life from corpse poses. In Medellin, Columbia, she is inhaling the elix’ir of tropical oxygen rich air. I am inhaling the whirring air from the floor fan as tonight’s killing cocktail mixes in my veins.
When Ebrahim comes into the room with the two syringes–the saline and the heparin–to flush the line after the antibiotics and screw on the little sterile green cap that protects the port hanging from my upper arm, I reach for hope but feel submerged in despair. Housebound and trapped: nowhere to go but from kitchen to bathroom to bedroom rolling an old lady walker.
In this state, I turn to lectio divina: not unlike yoga, a spiritual solace. From The Illustrated Rumi, I transcribe a poem in my journal and sit quietly, allowing the words to seep into my veins as irrevocably as the drug. In contemplation, a soft tingle slides across my skin; I recognize gratitude and my husband comes into focus, He has cared for me since the accident through the first two surgeries. Not only these past months but in our twenty-four years together, Ebrahim’s steadfastness and loyalty have never wavered. I record the Rumi poem and pull digital images from our 2017 travel to Portugal.
In one-minute bride, images from Ereciera and a narrative poem by rumi are accompanied by the iconic wedding walk of Pachelbel Canon express gratitude for the gift of both human and divine love.