Back on Saturday, May 5th, I suffered a concussion (among other things) while riding laps in Central Park. The other things are painful, but not worrisome. Neither is the concussion, but it is interesting, because I’ve lost what I’d come to think of as my secure hold on reality. It’s now been 9 days of concussiveness and all connection to the reality level feels at best tenuous. What’s taken over actually feels not so much good as amusing.  Almost like a Summer Replacement for reality.   First, for instance, I found myself watching Fox News. The lead story tonight was about a truck catching fire on the George Washington Bridge. Nobody hurt, but if commuting is your thing, this kind of stuff can’t be beat.  Certainly more promising than the Fox headlines on the internet: Two Banned Pro-Reform Iranian Papers Publish AgainInformation is temporarily unavailable.javascript:void(0)Carjacker Beats 91-Year-Old Man as Bystanders Look OnInformation is temporarily unavailable.javascript:void(0)7 States Ask For Names of Sex Offendersand compelling for those of us who’ve ridden our bikes across the bridge and like seeing the bike path. On top of that the newscasters were pleasant looking and friendly and seemed like they didn’t want anything to spoil our evenings.Then there was my correspondence with a friend who felt compelled to send me his response to my response to his sending me what I thought was the gentle, respectful brilliance of my response to ” The 7 great lies of religion” woven right into my responses. His are in the swiggly type–the name of which I can’t come up with at this moment–just like yesterday I couldn’t remember how many days are usually in a year


>>>>>Thanks for your communication. I hope you don’t feel I’m suddenly buying >>>>>no one asked you to buy into anything – this is merely sent as an interesting approach to

>>>>>what I consider the fraud ulent practices of organized religion.

>>>>>in to The Seven Great Lies of Organized Religion with the latest blog postings when what I’m

 >>>>>actually focused on are the truths of what are called “pre-religion,” >>>>>those realities of life and the universe which do not depend on any human or cultural

 >>>>>interpretation or implementation  >>>>>in order to be stated they are automatically subject to human or culteural interpretation

>>>>>for their validity. I’d hoped that by showing the similarities among such diverse bodies of thought

>>>>>as Kabbalah, Buddhism and the words of Jesus that I was illustrating that point.

>>>>>As for Lie #1: ‘If you live a moral life, deny yourself pleasure, follow the prescribed rituals and

>>>>>give us enough money, you’ll have a decent shot at being accepted by God,’ I’d hoped that you’d >>>>>recognize that I’ve never bought into this. Yes, it is true that I believe that living a “moral life” is

>>>>>advisable, as it is an ultimately normal life in harmony with the lives of all other living things. My

 >>>>>reference here is to the “morality” of the Tao Te Ching or the “suggestions” of the Buddhist


>>>>>For me the harmony of all they describe represents the one real source of enduring pleasure–hardly

>>>>>a denial of pleasure. And Jesus said it best, using the words,

.>>>>>….”Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”

>>>>>appears in the old Testament in several books and writings

>>>>>Following prescribed rules (here I like the 10 Commandments) and giving money to organizations

 >>>>>(e.g., Goddard Riverside Community Center), while they may prove helpful in some cases, aren’t

>>>>>something I’ve advocated for others.

 >>>>>I hope this letter has brought about the clarity which I failed to convey in other writings.

>>>>>No, on the contary it is just as confusing. The idea here is that he finds my writing confusing and I can’t figure out why.   I’m the one with the concussion.  If anyone should be unable to figure it out, it should be me.  Of course I also can’t remember anything about the accident. As far as I’m concerned I was riding laps in Central Park, thinking that I’d have to take it easy at the southern end because it was so crowded. Next thing I knew I was sitting next to Bobbie in the emergency room of NY Presbyterian Hospital not even concerned with how either of us got there. For that matter I still don’t know how we got there, but it seemed then and seems now like the right place.

And it’s not like the rest of my life is busy making sense either. Suddenly I, who have never had children, I am the grandfather of twin boys named Christopher and Benjamin and I’m madly in love with them. This weekend past I rode around Connecticut in search of them in a rented Cadillac which pumped heat into my seat and whose gas tank refused to be entered. Oh, yeah, and when I finally left the hospital they gave me instructions for two medications I didn’t receive as well as detailed instructions for dealing with the surgical wound I never received.And the novel I’m reading, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, centers on a guy with great musical talent and love of life whose own life seems to hinge overwhelmingly on the size of his pina (which is just what you think it is.)So what’s real? What’s not? Does it matter? Who cares? What I care about and want to share with you at this particular moment is that concussions and the thoughts they produce–once you stop worrying about the accuracy of them and about whether you’ll ever have a functional brain again–feel GOOD! It doesn’t matter whether you know how many days there are in an average year or the name of the company that makes the really comfortable women’s bike seats or who you went with to the senior prom or even what you really really like to spread on your toast. It’s just fine to forget these things or to show up at the wrong doctor’s office or to have your home address written down somewhere inside your wallet or that your fingers have a thing about typing L’s and T’s where they don’t belong.Anyhow I’ve now been out of work for more than a week–something else which doesn’t make sense to me–and using the time to sit in hot tubs, read The Mambo Kings… and bitch about not being able to get comfortable enough to sleep. Somewhere in my past there was more to life, but right now this seems sufficient.Write me back something I can try to respond to. It’ll give us both a laugh.

Published in: on May 14, 2007 at 7:29 pm  Comments (3)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A bit of a clarification about New York Presbyterian ER visit…Richard did not awaken sitting next to Bobbie…Bobbie was standing next to the stretcher he was lying on, cervical collar in place around his neck, and worried as HELL!! As he expressed NO MEMORY of the accident, worries increased. Bobbie never sat, as there was no seat in the “Resus. 1” room of the ER…and she stayed there from approximately 1:45pm until 9:15pm, until Richard was wheeled up to the Intensive Care Unit for an overnight stay.

    Bobbie is a nurse, and does not rattle easily.

    Richard has found a way to rattle Bobbie.


  2. […] 8. Finally, I’ve learned that we’re all better off ignoring the blogpost immediately before this one, the one called SOMETIMES IT JUST HITS YOU IN THE HEAD!  […]


  3. I actually understood the post…at least as much as I understand anything these days…maybe I’m still suffering from that cacophonous concussion popularly known as “birth”… 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: