I have had a difficult time writing this. Not only because it is personal, but because it is also unsettling, unique, even frightening. Some of you may be aware that I suffered a stroke just about a year ago. Lots of people suffer strokes. I have been fortunate in my rehabilitation. I can talk. I can walk. I can write. I can take care of myself. These were not the case in the first three weeks following the stroke. So let me say to all my medical support, nurses and therapists thank you very much. Now, it is just me and the daily mental battle of rehab vs retrogression. No big deal. Humans seem to need battles to excel, to live. Strange as it seems.
For me, it is the first three weeks that perplex me, that put me into some kind of twilight zone between dreams and real life. It had been signed off at the time as stroke induced dreams but they came in such volume, in such intensity, with such fear. Then a couple days after a full night dream wherein I had violently struggled to free myself from entrapment, I noticed an horrendous bruise on my thigh at a place that could have easily occurred in my dream, so I had to ask myself dream or real life? And if it was real life why do I not recall my activities that night? I only recall the ‘dream’ and that ‘dream’ did not occur in the hospital.
Because of these uncertainties, I feel obliged to recall them in detail. Those ‘dreams’ in detail will become a series of short stories, if I have the fortitude to work through them. Fortitude? Well, since the stroke, one of the lingering effects has been my inability to even come close to multi-tasking. So I have stepped away from what many of us see as the natural multi-tasking complexities of the modern Western world.
The following set of photos exemplify what I find as simply satisfying in life these days. And when I try to resolve the awkward and fearful complexities of the first three weeks after my stroke…I rarely have the will power to remember or the endurance to examine. Rather I go out for a walk in the fresh air. The therapists call it looking to the future instead of the past. I can live with that; but the dream versus real life intrigues me.
Phoenix dactylifera finds its way north to the cold of winter.
I am living in the Northern Hemisphere in a region where serious winter occurs as freezing water and ground along with regular snows, so how is it that I am eating dates which do not grow naturally anywhere near here?
That is almost a third grade geography question. 🙂
But it needs an answer. Shipping and transportation of foodstuffs in our modern world, we should not take it for granted, should we?
Action? Most of us get no closer to the Arabian Peninsula than King Solomon’s medjool dates, and why not? If you had a choice between your home town and anywhere in the Arabian Peninsula, which would you choose?
My disclaimer is that previously I have lived 20 some *odd* years in and around the Arabian Peninsula. Gimme some of that Dubai, if you will. Go light on the Empty Quarter. And one thimble of Arabic coffee with the dates, please.
I’ve been writing landscape adventure stories the past couple years, and in a strange fashion, the narrators of each story have taught me new perceptions of landscape architecture and design.
For example, the narrator of Crystal Vision explained to me that landscape harbors danger for humans and that garden is safe and primarily provides for quiet introspection and also for active and regular energy exchange. The narrator explained further that both landscape and garden are deficient if not dominated by plants sustained by adequate water.