blue background, image of woman with three red marks on her forehead.

Ailing Estela, graphic by Estela.

I live here in this room. Alone. Metaphorical room, I mean. You, who read this, are here in the room with me, and I’m speaking to you. While you read this, we simultaneously occupy a speck of space in the universe, this vast, infinite universe. I, the physical person, am on the planet Earth. You who read this are on the planet Earth. (Presumably.) That’s all I know.

I feel as if I float in the ether. That is how the internet feels to me, like I’m floating out in space.

The first time I got online, twenty plus years ago, it scared me. I felt myself floating among stars and planets, and I could see (in my imagination) the earth below me. I felt that feeling of being up, that dizzying feeling of height. It was trippy. Surreal. It still feels a bit that way, but soaring (metaphysically) through the air doesn’t frighten me anymore. It feels like my spirit travels in space and around the world. And, really, it does. My spirit lives in these words I write. Anyone anywhere on the planet (with a computer) can read them, and her/his spirit meets my spirit. We meet in space, an intangible place. I like to imagine my words printed into a book, and future humans reading my words. I like to imagine future humans regarding the images I create, my graphics, drawings, paintings.

I am ill. I feel all right, except when I get a headache. They aren’t severe, though I’ve experienced severe headaches in the past. I must say I’m glad I’m still alive, and I hope to live much longer. On November 6, I’m having surgery. Apparently, I have three aneurysms. My neurologist has an excellent reputation, and is a very nice doctor. He explained in detail. I declined to see the images of my brain, so he asked if he could show me pictures. I said, “Yes,” of course. He drew a diagram, then showed me pictures (drawings) on his

Graphic of woman weeping. Black one third down, then gray. Blue lines for hair, green for face, blue tear drops, black line for mouth.

Sad Estela, graphic by Estela.

computer. He was gentle when he saw tears quietly run down my cheeks. I know I’m in good hands. It’s my fate of which I’m uncertain. Who knows what fate will dictate. And that’s what scares me most. I told him, “I don’t want to fear death, but there are still things I want to do, so I want to live longer.”

He said, “That’s why I do this. I want to help people live longer so they can do those things they wish to do.”

There is 3% risk, but not having this procedure increases the risk. My grandmother died of an aneurysm. My niece was saved by surgery, though she has seven, and some are inoperable. A cousin drove herself to the emergency with a severe headache, and dropped dead as soon as she arrived. Like my grandma, my cousin’s aneurysm burst. Coincidentally, the therapist I recently began meeting with, to work on my agoraphobia and anxieties, told me she has an aneurysm and she had this procedure done. “We have to live with uncertainty,” she said. “We just have to carry it.”

I’m more sad than scared, but of course I’m scared. I want to live more deliberately, now.

I have no desire to change the world. The world isn’t going to change. It’ll shift. That’s what it does. Always has. In spite of fools like Trump, Hitler, Nero, or some “old, mad, blind, despised and dying king,” (um, Shelley’s words, in case you don’t know), in spite of some sick or inept misleader (I hesitate to use the term “leader”), in spite of anyone who wants to rule the world (for better or worse), the world continues. You can look up the stats that science claims about the age of the earth and how long humans have been here, their educated guesses. I don’t know that I believe in evolution, and, no, I don’t believe in Adam and Eve either. I believe in some kind of evolution, but not that humans were once monkeys. Humans are humans, and apes are apes. That’s what I believe. (You don’t have to. I’m not asking you to.) I also don’t believe we live in a civilized world. Doesn’t seem very civil to me. People rise to power, and fall. “Civilizations” and regimes rule, and fall. Technologies change. That’s what history seems to indicate. Sometimes the earth wipes out masses, through volcanic eruptions, tsunami’s, earthquakes, etc. And humans keep on keepin’ on.

I believe the world (the universe) tends toward chaos. The Earth came to be, and from what I read, one day the sun will eat it. I read in Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, that the sun will swallow the earth in something like 6 billion years. (Or was it 60? I didn’t memorize the number, but it’s a hell of a long way from today.) As Dr. Tyson says, we are made of the stuff of stars, the same stuff as the rest of the universe. We are stardust. Isn’t that awesome?

I don’t want to change the world, but I’d like to contribute to it. With art. So I do hope it has value. Artistic value. Art matters more to me than anything else. Art is the spirit of humanity.

About Poet Dressed In Black

Poet. Artist. Grammy of one, a granddaughter. Mom of three, son and two daughters, all grown. Individualist. Care-taker of Isabel, an agoraphobic, fear-aggressive, very nervous, delicate flower, Chihuahua mix.
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