The Spring Equinox, A Conversation Blasting Preconceived Notions, and Flying South to North Amateurishly
Today marks the Spring equinox as I was told by a man this morning. The invisible line was crossed at 9:15am PST and it’s officially Spring. Yay! Right? Yes and no. Yes because I love sunshine and fresh growing foliage. Spring can be a testy time for those who are subject to shifts in energy processing algorithms outside the ‘normal’ range and thus are labelled as ‘bipolar’.
My first experience that was later labelled mania, though at the time it felt extremely spiritual, started officially on March 5th, 2011. I learned yesterday that there are more solar flares happing in March and urged to watch a documentary called ‘The Solar Revolution’ which I added to my ‘to do’ list.
As I wait to fly from South to North, as sort of adjustment in physical polarity, I am reflecting on a conversation I had with a man on the shuttle ride to the airport. It started before this. I was talking with a man who drove me to the shuttle bus. He shared about how he dropped his preconceived notions about a man, and the man immediately came up to him and shared his life story. Before this, there seemed to be an unseen barrier keeping the two from meeting, an unspoken agreement to write one another off with ones own thoughts scribbling the signature of this understanding not to understand. I boarded the shuttle bus and sat in the very back, anticipating the joyous bumps of concrete blocks of highway. Across the isle and one row forward sat a man. It didn’t take long for the man to start talking in a friendly manner.
I could feel my brain initiating the ‘I wonder why he’s talking to me’ program. Does he want to be friendly? Will he talk to me the whole 2 hour ride? Is he wanting to flirt with me at some point? Does he need a reason? All this social conditioning, but I refused to let the invisible wall warp the possibilities of our shared time together.
We talked of shared experiences from our travels. He talked of biking up huge hills and being very active. He seemed like a hard working guy. He told me that he was ‘recalibrating his compass’ and doing the important things. I paused and then said that I like the word recalibrating. There was a silence that was broken by his declaration that he had ‘got some bad news’. My heart sank as the possibilities of his next statement narrowed to a few sad predictions. ‘I have cancer’ he said. ‘I’m sorry’ I said, my braincells reconfiguring is preconceived wonderings to be completely open. He said something about stage 4 prostate cancer that was in his bones and spine. ‘Oh my, you can’t be more than 45’. ‘I’m 41’. It started with back pain and he hadn’t been to a doctor in 30 years. I almost asked it they told him how long he has to live, but he started saying something else, as if we couldn’t go there. He had one round of chemo, after which he experienced hours of agony. He has 5 more to go. As he talked about getting his boat ready for the sailing season, my heart felt his dwindling life, sitting here in front of me in a seemingly healthy body. My fear of the approaching flight shrank, as I wished that the invading cancer in his body would.
Did he talk to strangers because he doesn’t have that much time left? He is a world traveler and loves to immerse himself in the culture he’s in. He is a friendly guy. He warns me of using Uber as a female. He pointed out certain landmarks as he’s been on this shuttle several times before. I shared a Pecan Pie Lara Bar with him and he gave me some processed popcorn. I was wrong about possible flirting or a tedious unwanted 2 hour conversation. He said that our conversation made the time go by fast, and as we said goodbye at terminal 1, I wondered how if his remaining time would fly by, and if he was terminal.
I was dropped off at terminal 2. I waited in a long security line up. I’m not much of a traveler. At points on my journey it popped in my mind that I had water in my Sigg water bottle. I had put some in to have water to take my vitamins and supplements on the shuttle trip. The richness of contacting another life was more prominent than the vitamins rattling in my backpack. I wanted to opt for a pat down but I bought the security guards sales pitch of having to wait 5 minutes or more for this, so I betrayed myself and got zapped in an airport, caving under the heavy invisible pressure of ‘nobody else is opting for a pat down’. ZAP. Okay that’s done. I went to get my stuff and they had one of my trays. The officer told me that I had water in my water bottle. Amateur mistake. He said that if I wanted it back I had to go out through security and go through the whole process again. I’m not sure at what point they’d give me my bottle back as I’d stopped listening since I knew I wasn’t going to do that again, even though I arrived with plenty of time to. I asked if I could drink it there and the guy seemed to empathize for my situation, even though it was a question that was innocent and dumb. The other option, surrender the bottle. It was a nice fancy Sigg bottle, aluminum, BPA free though probably lined with something that will turnout to be just as bad. It was a greyish pink with swirls and patterns of other colors that I can’t bring into clear focus in my mind, even after only a couple hours without it. I walked away feeling the waste of losing a bottle that is super handy and probably costs $25 to replace. $25 feels like $50 since I would have bought it twice. Do I even need to replace it? I have glass bottles and a bigger size Sigg that is not nearly as pleasing to the eyes.
I watched two scenarios suspended in consciousness. As I walked into the airport mall, there was the sick man, wasting away and dying, fading from my mind and the wasted bottle asserting its importance. The attachment to the bottle seemed to signify reattaching to my own life story, and feeling a loss that more closely relates to myself, however insignificant.
I sit here and I can’t forget this man, as the bottle pops in here and there, reminding me that I don’t know what’s important in life.
I recall now, he pointed out that when I shared I said ‘I used to snowboard, I rode a bike for the first time in many years, and I used to do this and that’. I used to.
What do I do now? I didn’t tell him I have a diagnosis of bipolar that is a death sentence for 20% of those by ones own hand. I didn’t tell him that I just lived a dream, living life as I want when I can, according to the strange waves of the bipolar biorhythm. When the rhythm goes up, I fly down south sometimes. I make time for what is important for me now, and that gives me something to taste when the rhythm goes down. I recently struggled through a winter with suicidal lows and the outer cold mirroring an inner cold so bitter, I’d like to disown it as I can disown part of winter by flying south. In the worst moments it felt as if I’d never fly south again. I imagined how grateful I would feel to sit in a room quietly that I’d known before. I could taste the previous time of wellness and what I was able to manifest by not being afraid of myself while I was on an upswing. I could taste it and I soaked in the sweetness of that scene just hours ago. I made it happen again, even though the bitter darkness made it seem bleak. The impossibility of darkness has nothing to do with the capacity of light.
And as I return home, I will be preparing for a cataclysmic event of my own. I will prepare for the implosion while expanding and then implode. How I experience bipolar, what expands must implode. Everything new dies. But unlike the man on the shuttle, I may survive this and start again. This creative energy destroys what it creates, like throwing out a painting and starting with a new canvas.