20 September 2008

A Cold at the Speed of Light

Today my sinuses are more toxic than the Jersey swamps. Fell asleep for a couple of hours late this afternoon, woke up to blow my nose again. And to continue blowing every few minutes.

Forget those financial stocks: In the condition I'm in, you should buy shares of Kleenex. I take that back: I'm using Marcal tissues. Nothing against Kleeenex; just that Marcal costs less.

What will Google Ad Sense make of this? I still haven't gotten a check from them!

The weird thing about this is that even though I'm moving slowly, I don't feel that the world is moving quickly, in spite of everything that's in the news. It's like the unofficial slogan of the 1992 campaign: It's the economy, stupid. Investment banking firms are failing; the government is making token gestures (Really, that's all they can be) to save AIG.

They say this is the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Which means that it's news to anyone who didn't live through it, or any of the recent cycles in the economy. It's always the same thing, really: Lots of people putting their money into the same things, thinking the price can only go up and that they can continue to make money forever. Then one day, someone realizes that it won't, and the cards come tumbling down. People lose money, naturally, and many of them think that they were cheated out of their "right" to keep on milking the cash cow.

Now I'm no economist. But I know this: A thing is only worth what someone is able and willing to pay for it. There's no natural law that says House X is worth $800,000 or whatever, or that the value of it should continue to increase the moment I buy it. (As if I can, now!) If the money's not there, or people don't want to spend it, there's no way the price can increase.

Maybe this is the reason I never became an economist (aside from my utter lack of aptitude in such areas as mathematics). People don't grasp fundamental lessons or learn from mistakes, or even experience. If I'd understood that earlier in my life, I might never have become a teacher, either.

Anyway...The news is like a video playing in real time. Other things are proceeding at warp speed. Or so it seems.

Like this day. Not that it was so wonderful (or bad, either). It's well, Saturday, and as such is a day off. Except that I had to be sick and run a couple of errands. But Saturdays almost always go quickly anyway.

So has the time since I began this blog, and since I scheduled my surgery. The recent past seems to have gone by faster than a taxi you're trying to hail when it's raining. Five years since I began living full-time as Justine: It seems as if it began only yesterday, even though I feel as if I've lived entire lifetimes during those brief years. Whenever someone asks how long it's been, he or she is invariably surprised that it was "so little time" or "so recent." I've been on this planet for fifty years, but this part of my life is only a tenth of that total. And it seems to have gone by so quickly.

Naturally, time does go quicker when we get older. But I think that these five years have been further accelerated by my knowledge that I have fewer and fewer years left and my increasingly intense desire to live them--a desire fueled, in large part, by the changes I've made.

I don't have the physical strength or endurance I once had. That is due to my increasing age as well as the effects of the hormones I've been taking. But when you feel young, strong and invincible, there are things you don't notice. Like the ones who want you to love them, and who challenge you to love and be loved. I'm not referring only to romantic or sexual love, though they are outcomes of what I'm talking about. I also mean the ones whom you don't expect to become friends, allies and teachers.

Feeling--and sometimes falling to--my vulnerabilities has forced me to see the video, if you will, at the speed of its own light rather than through the illusion that I can or must run at, or faster than, its pace. I can't keep up with the light, much less see it at its own speed, when my focus is on making myself fit for such a task.

And so things go, at the speed of light. I hope my cold does the same!

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