Monday, March 28, 2011

Shigata ga nai.

Things aren't going well.

Had a wonderful time at the Huntington art gallery & gardens with my wife and a couple of truly wonderful friends. Saw a really interesting exhibition, enjoyed the Japanese gardens.

I couldn't read the signage describing the objects in the exhibition. It wasn't that my eyes wouldn't focus, I could see the letters quite reasonably clearly. But I couldn't read them.

While at the Huntington, I was using a true wheelchair (rather than the rollator/transport chair I normally use). You know, the kind with the wheels you can push with your hands.

I liked it. I think I like having the higher POV you get from standing, but considering how poorly I'm walking these days--and that's really poorly--I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the big-wheel wheelchair. I think that walking with the rollator makes it easier to navigate the world--your eyes are at "normal" height, you can vary the width of the walker if you need to slide between obstacles, and of course, practicing the walking, as much as I'm not enjoying the experience of "walking," is probably good exercise. But I was surprised how much I liked the "wheel it yourself" wheelchair; something that so far, I've been assiduously avoiding even trying.

I'm having a horrible time simply engaging the world. I couldn't read small-print signs in an art gallery (and they're really not that small print, easily 14 or 15 point at worst), I can't understand directions, I feel like I'm receiving sensory input but that it's just not making any sense, I hate walking, I don't enjoy eating--anything--and I don't want to get out of bed, much less go into the world.

Depressed? Actually, no. I wouldn't call it that at all.

Numb. That's more like it. Incapable of sensation.

There's an expression in Japanese: shigata ga nai. Nothing to be done. It's not about giving up, it's not about railing against anything, it's just the way it is. Nothing to be done.

And that's where I am, right now. I feel like everything is getting worse. And there's nothing to be done.

I'd say "I don't like it," if I felt anything at all.

Beautiful blossoms on the tangerine tree in the back yard; beautiful aromas. The promise of springtime; the promise of new life; the promise of renewal.

Awfully nice to look at. But I don't feel it. Is it true for the world? Heck yeah. But for me?

Shigata ga nai.


Peace Be With You said...

Ah, but Robert, if you can still notice something like:

"Beautiful blossoms on the tangerine tree in the back yard; beautiful aromas. The promise of springtime; the promise of new life; the promise of renewal."

Even if you say you didn't feel it, you had to have felt it on some level to come up with those words and images.

Just saying.


nicole said...

I have those days too. And sometimes family just don't get it. So, I'd like to say wholeheartedly that I understand. And I think Judy you just got a two for 1 because you may have pushed me out my blah too! So thanks to both of you!