I came down with another cold! Two in one month! What a way to start the new year. The last time I was this sick was about three years ago- I remember standing in line at costco so feverish and dizzy I began to pass out before bracing myself against the conveyer belt.
I was feverish and miserable new year’s eve, spent as much time as I could in bed which I don’t enjoy doing. I’m not exactly a productive person but I hate sitting (well laying) around doing nothing. I read Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die, compiled by Sushila Blackman. The book gives vignettes of how gurus and zen masters leave their mortal coil. Most will predict the exact day and time of their death, and sure enough on that day and time they pass away. Occasionally they throw in a zinger: don’t touch my body for three days! And after three days he starts breathing again, only to really die this time. There were also reports of bodies remaining warm to the touch after death, particularly at certain chakra points.
In retrospect this was perhaps not the best book to read while sick. One passage struck me- when ramakrishna was dying he would say, O mind, do not worry about the body. Let the body and its pain take care of each other. For some reason that resonated with me.
That night going into the new year I continued to be feverish and in pain despite hefty doses of advil. Let the body and its pain take care of each other. It got so bad I thought of how lokenath brahmachari promised to protect anyone from the dangers of war and jungles.
Baba lokenath, I thought inwardly. I’m not in a war or jungle but could you please make me feel a little better?
Right away I ‘heard’ a response: get a wet cloth and place it on your forehead.
I hadn’t done that since I was a kid! I scrounged around in the dark for a rag, wet it in the sink then collapsed back in bed with it folded over my forehead. A little water dripped onto the pillow.
Within five minutes my body was cool to the touch. It was the craziest thing! I couldn’t believe it myself. I touched my face, throat, stomach, legs. What had been burning up was now ice cold. Was it divine assistance? A magic washcloth? Did the advil decide to kick in? I don’t know but I managed to get some sleep- only to wake up that morning feverish again. But at least I was rested.
Despite feeling like death warmed over I had to do some birthday shopping for the almost 16 year old, then it was back to bed. I reread some Graceful Exits then watched a very funny episode of the IT Crowd where Douglas learns the truth about his new love interest. Reader advisory: if you’re easily offended, you may not want to watch these highlights. Why is british comedy so much better than american stuff?