I always get a little moody around Valentine's. Not for the usual reasons, but because it was the day after Valentine's 2000 that I first noticed something wasn't quite right with my health. At the time it was a strange buzzing sound I couldn't lose, like the static of an off-air TV station. Gradually it became debilitating headaches, then pain all over, then loss of hearing, then sudden susceptibility to colds and viruses. Five years of this now, five years of speculation as to what it might be, five years of not knowing. Five years of endless frustration. It has taken a toll on me, in many ways. Work is often impossible, and I avoid going outdoors much of the time, which leaves me inactive. My weight goes up. I become anti-social.
It's gotten to the point I get paranoid about getting sick, nevermind the constant pain; my usual method of escape is writing, but it has its own frustrations. And it makes a monk of you. There are two currents of human existence: one is the corporeal, the daily struggle, and the other is the intangible current invested with all our thought, history, art, and faith. Most of us live in the former. Some of us the latter. Some of the latter are refugees.
I know this is something I will live with for the rest of my life now, whether I know what it is or not. It may be two different things. Don't say I was never lucky. There are people much worse off than I am, too many people, too many with the same question marks over their lives. There may not be answers. A teacher once told me to live life with fierce joy, and I can't think of anything better.