Sunday, May 19, 2013

An Oasis in Beijing

I found a pleasant park nearby my hotel for escaping from Beijing crowds:

As I was taking in all this peaceful beauty, I enjoyed a few minutes of not seeing double before my eyes started acting up again.  I am fighting to be brave and to only focus on the positive possibilities, but for a few minutes I couldn't help but contemplate what will happen if the surgery is unsuccessful.  How long would I have left of being able to use two eyes?  How would my daily life work out?  I would try to stay in China, certainly, but how much longer before I just needed too much help or couldn't be at all useful?  It was terrifying to think about it.  I need my eyes so much . . . the thought of them failing me completely and forever is a nightmare that catches in my throat.

Fortunately, I'm usually able to keep my mind on the 75% chance that I'll soon be back to seeing only one park instead of two.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"