A Fall, a Light, and a Rise

Thursday, December 10, 2020

            Very early in the darkness of this past Tuesday morning, when I got out of bed to use the bathroom, I suddenly grew dizzy and fell to the floor. It was one of the strangest experiences I’ve ever had – first a sense of slowly spinning, then unsteady eyesight, then hearing a weak, uncanny cry – my own – and then  feeling myself thump down on the soft carpet. Instantly, a light was switched on, and there was Delycia, reaching out to help me. With her assistance, I managed to stand and walk slowly to the bathroom and then back to bed, where, feeling safe and consoled beside her, I fell back to sleep fairly quickly. 

            What’s surprising to me is that this strange experience has occasioned in me more quiet contemplation than noisy worry. Yes, the dizziness could be a sign of a serious problem, and I will keep in touch with my doctor about it, but, surprisingly, I have spent most of the last two days feeling stirred and stimulated rather than anxious and uneasy. The dizziness and fall has caused me to look more deeply into this life that I’ve been participating in for 79 years – especially its mystery,  its unlimited vastness. On Monday night, I went to bed feeling like a fairly organized, intelligent person who understands, reasonably well, how to live a productive life, but after this strange episode of disorientation and collapse, I have felt, these last two days, more like a vital but teeny-tiny breath of a breeze in the boundless wind of an entirely mysterious universe. 

            And, most surprisingly, it’s been an enlightening feeling for me. It’s been good for me to again realize, as I have so many times in the past, that I am not a separate, individual ‘person’ intelligently guiding himself through well-defined minutes and days, but am actually more like an immaterial wisp of something wonderful in a universe of countless infinite, inseparable wonders. In the darkness of Tuesday morning, we might say that the invisible wind of the universe shifted a little at 2:46 a.m., and something called Ham also shifted a little and tumbled to the floor, and for the past two days, this unseeable wind of the universe has continued shifting and swaying and see-sawing, as it endlessly does, and this  wisp of a wind called Ham has been unfolding, and rising … and learning. 

            Strangely, this perplexing nighttime episode, while scary, has been a bringer of wisdom, and I almost feel grateful. It has helped me, perhaps, to ‘see the light’ a little more clearly – to understand that life is not just a complicated trail that separate, intelligent ‘me’ can shrewdly follow. I see now, a little more clearly, that life should be spelled with an uppercase L, because it is an inscrutable, boundless, and beautiful mystery. Yes, I would like to know why I suddenly grew dizzy early Tuesday morning.  But I could also like to know why I just wrote that sentence. And where did the words come from? And where did come from? And where did this moment come from?

            I have no answers to these questions – and maybe no answers to any question, period. But now, in the light of this puzzling incident in the dark of Tuesday morning, I’m wondering if I should perhaps rejoice that I have no answers, because maybe that’s the only way to truly see the light.

– Ham  

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