This has been one of those weeks. The kind of week you finish, but aren't proud of. It started well. Plans. Goals. Deadlines. And started to slowly sink as the sinuses reared their ugly head. And not breathing turned into not sleeping. And stuffy head turned into nose bleeds. And those turned into doctors. And I hate going to the doctor (no offense to any of you in the profession). In my misery state, box of tissues, nasal spray, blanket, hot tea, prescriptions I cannot pronounce… I thought I needed someone to take care of me, to comfort me and, well, baby me. I'm a handful when I'm sick, be warned. But then I stepped back in my miserable state and looked down. Down at my hands. These hands that write to you tonight. Someone once asked my if I were to retain only one sense for the rest of my life, what would it be. I used to answer with sight. Visual is still very high on my list, and there are wonders of the world that can only be partially enjoyed without sight. But the more I thought, the more I realized that touch is what I cannot live without. These hands. From holding a child seconds after it's first breath of air to touching a starfish the size of a dinner plate 20 feet under the surface of a vast ocean. Aiming a telescope at Orion's Belt, painting a room. Throwing luggage into the overhead to go find some new place and new friends. Where would I be without my hands? Where would I be. These hands. They pick up toys, they cook dinner. They make wine. They write code. They dial phone numbers. These hands. They walk the dog, they drive, they write. These hands. They help me find the way in the dark, they navigate through touch. These 10 things, 5 attached to each appendage to make my hands. These hands. Touch the stars. With my hands.
I've been having this recurring dream for the last 10 days now. It's really strange. It would be cool to say that it involves an exotic lady half my age, but that's really not the case. It starts out at dusk. I'm at a party of sorts, there's a pool. It's a night where there should be galactic things going on in the skies. So this crowd is standing in the grass looking up at the sky. The one time in a billion years where there is a blue night sky. And the sky lights up. Not like lightning, but strange azure patterns brightening the dark dark, blue sky. Then there were waves. Waves of baby blue light that dance in the darkness. Almost teasing the crowd as they stare up in awe. This lasts for a time and is then followed by more flashes. Different patterns of chaos in the heavens. And then bubbles. Perfectly formed bubbles 10 inches in diameter floating everywhere. And I grabbed one. As soon as I did, I was floating. I heard someone say, "breathe out to descend, in to ascend." I tried this procedure. I was stuck, holding on for dear life on the gutter of some nearby house. Looking down on the *pool* party. Someone threw a rope and pulled me down. I ended up sitting on a tractor, holding on to combat negative gravity. Not knowing if I would float into space or not. Breathing out as much as possible. And then I drove the tractor into the ocean. The squid lined up in a row and stared at me like I was a foreign creature in their world. The eagle rays brushed by, gently caressing my skin. The tide carried me, I swam and breathed water. It felt heavy, but clean. Perfect. I ended up on a beach. Uncharted. Untouched. Someone was there.