Monday, March 14, 2011

"You ready," she asks?

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Nodding, I close my eyes to focus on relaxing my arm. A needle finds it’s way into a vein on the back of my hand. I could’ve had a port installed. But in my chest!?! Nooo thank you! Between pain and the possibility of an infection that close to my core, I’ll take pain any day.

“Here goes,” she says opening the drip valve.

I feel a cold burn creep into my vein and up my forearm, followed almost instantly by the “taste-slash-smell” of the chemo entering my bloodstream. It smarts a bit so the nurse slows the drip and the sting subsides. I can hear the incessant bleeping of some daytime talk show. It sort of pisses me off, but since they’re in this room, whoever’s watching it probably needs the distraction. So I just sit silent, eyes closed, focusing on the pulsing sound of the IV pump.

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burn this moment

Hours later the side effects kick in. Lasting about a week, and ranging from a glowing (though chemically induced) sun tan, to incessant bodily pain, to weird mind things that are difficult to describe. This will be my bi-weekly ritual for the next six months.

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suffer this moment

When it all feels insufferable I close my eyes, focus upon some latent detail in the environment, and center. Always with the thought, “Live this moment.” Sometimes issued as a battle cry, shouted in defiance; other times as a directive, like a quiet statement of fact. However it’s delivered, it’s the best advice ever.

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focus on this moment

That was ten years ago, this month. In retrospect, the whole experience was one wild ride!

For me design’s a lot like that; tuning latent details to transform complex inputs, into coherent streams of consciousness. Streams that when focussed, produce spaces that both sustain, and are sustained by, living.

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don’t speak this moment

The object of focus need not be of lofty purpose; It may just be pragmatic and simple. Either way, the fewer the words required for someone to “get” it, the better the “it” is.

These words may already be too many. Whatever ride you’re on, make it wild. Live this moment.


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