And yet, "Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, despair, not feast on thee." Gerard Manly Hopkins' "Carrion Comfort." In some of my lowest times, this poem pops into my head. I won't post the entire thing here, but it is a Petrarchan sonnet about a world-weary man, downtrodden and questioning the reason behind his misfortunes. It begins with his adamant refusal to give in, to "not choose not to be," but it isn't exactly a positive poem. There is no happy, shiny ending where he allows that life is kick-ass and wonderful and all is well. He ends wondering why he has so long refused to give in to despair. Is it because of or in spite of his "God?"
Anyway, even if I don't understand the whole thing, and every time I read it I get something new from it, I still find this poem can offer me solace when my life is all kinds of crazy. I have officially been living in Denver for four weeks. I have run three times; I have biked about as much; and I have been some degree of ill these entire four weeks. My job is bringing me down, although I have already found some pretty cool people in my coworkers. And I only have one shaky job prospect I'm waiting to hear about. Hey life, you aren't what I was expecting right now...
Of course, though, there is a huge BUT. But I'm pretty sure I'm mostly acclimated to the altitude: my RHR is back down to about 50. I have some color (and new freckles) on my face and a sock tan on my ankles because it is Sunny!! here. A new friend invited me to a concert last night, a group called The Future Jazz Project, and they were awesome. Music can and will and does make everything better. Who knew Denver has a pretty awesome underground eclectic jazz scene? Hopefully, in the next few weeks, I will start volunteering with a very cool non-profit based in Boulder, Outdoor Mindset. I met with one of the group's founders last week, and it was really inspiring: I am looking forward to being able to give back something after having experienced my own crazy life-dramas. Finally, I am At Last going to get the immuno-therapy I desperately need. This whole "lack of infection-fighting cells" thing is getting too ridiculous, so this Tuesday I'll be sitting in some outpatient clinic, heavily Benadryl'd and receiving a six-hour infusion of someone else's immunoglobulins. Hopefully this will be the start of reclaiming some internal equilibrium.
Once I'm no longer coughing all the time, I'll be able to get serious about running again. Life may be
all scattered and uncertain right now, but I am still here, still kicking and screaming and wishing I was running and biking and mountain climbing carelessly. All things in time, and so I'm not giving in to despair. There are too many good things just ahead of me; it's just a matter of straightening everything out and reaching for all the possibilities. Right. So, four weeks in, and here I am. It's crazy, and I still can't believe I just up and moved, but I have no regrets. I am loving it - loving living.