Monday, March 4, 2013

On the Sunset Limited to Louisiana

There's not much of anything to do on a train with no wifi, except realize how big this country is. There hasn't been phone signal much of the time either. Earlier today we did get to walk around Houston for an hour with this nice kid from East L.A. We're arriving in New Orleans in...7 hours. Then at some point I'll be able to post this.

Taking the train was interesting in some ways, though I have missed some key parts of my usual routine, such as naps, meditation, and exercise! One needs a certain amount of physical space, or more creativity than I have, to do these things. This morning Laura slept in and I went to breakfast on my own. I sat across from a woman called Allison Armstrong and her daughter Annie. She does seminars on communication between men and women, has stuff on iTunes apparently. She was very cool. We talked about brain plasticity and she pointed out that imagining exercise has an effect too! It's interesting chatting with people in the dining car. Grandparents from Wisconsin, vegetarians from Salem, Oregon (who really reminded me of the folks on Portlandia!) Bought a cowboy type hat with a wide brim in El Paso.

Having a cold drink (with ice), or sorbet, makes me cough for about an hour. Strong scents, detergents - things lots of other people wouldn't  notice - make me sneeze or cough. Touchy. That's a word for how my body is now. Well.  My upper body. My lower body is...tight. Scarred. Temperamental? Maybe it's all touchy. None of it is a big deal in the grand scheme of things...I suppose it is a big deal to me, or an adjustment anyway. It's been over a year but I do not feel used to having a body that protests so much in response to ordinary situations (food, smells, air conditioning or heat...)

Dad is modeling the jacket I gave him (and got all
OCD about 'cuz I was worried it'd be too small) 
A point I may have made before: Lots of other people are already dealing with what I deal with now. I did not have access to this information before; apparently there are secret societies in which common health complaints are shared. People my age and younger, and of course older too, have achey lower backs, uncooperative bowels, overactive bladders, numb and cold feet, inflexible hips, problems with lady parts, and/or allergies and coughs and environmental sensitivities. The body, either late in life, or early, or some time between, requires maintenance, demands forethought, crumbles into a pile before the mind, forcing the mind to acknowledge it.

I read/Padmadhara sent me On Chisel Beach by Ian McEwan. It reminded me of certain aspects of my life in a surprising ways. Currently enjoying reading White Noise by Don Delillo (sent by Dhammagita.)

It was fun being at dad's for his 83rd birthday. He is a sweet old guy.

1 comment:

  1. I believe the "anything to do" during long stretches without wifi is generally referred to as reading a book. Oy.