15 June, 2020

Spine Recovery

After more than three months, my health ordeal may come to an end tomorrow. My final surgery is scheduled for 7:30 am, and it seems to all appearances that within a week I should be well enough to once again live life as I did before.

It feels a little weird to think that the world around me might share in this prognosis. COVID-19 has caused my friends and family to self-isolate for the past three months, and while they get to come out of their shells due to what our governor is calling phase one of the recovery, I will be doing the same in terms of being able to move around and be myself.

It was only last week that I received the good news that my doctor would not need to remove my damaged organ. Up until then there was the distinct possibility that I would be heading toward a major surgery, and most of my fretting had to do with what I would write in my last journal entry before the day came. But then the imaging turned out to be positive, and I learned that instead the surgery would be relatively minor. This relieved a great deal of stress, yet I nevertheless continued to oddly feel that considering what I would write in this last journal entry before the surgery should take precedence. After all, no one reads these blog entries. I write them fully with the expectation that, at best, some future person might one day be interested in genealogy and end up browsing one or two entries on this blog -- and even then I suspect this wouldn't actually come to pass for decades upon decades hence. Yet this blog, and, in general, the rest of my various journals, all seem to be a very real part of me. They hold me together like the headband and footband holds together the spine of a book.

I can't help but to continue to feel as though the phases of my life are demarcated much more strongly than how other people seem to feel. Each chapter of my life buzzes with life in its own moment, but appears (from my perspective) to be but a past self to the me of today. Even each individual page from day to day has a more tenuous connection, though it does cling somewhat. It takes special effort to visualize these divisions as illusory, just as the book spine keeps the book together. And so it is through the writing down of these stories of my life that I am able to help fortify that spine. My journal entries are, for me, the bands that support the spine that holds together my very life.

I'm not a solipsist. I care about others, even when those others are myself of yore (or sometimes the myself to be). Yet I can't help but to feel terror at the idea of losing my own existence over time. Events like this upcoming surgery compound these feelings -- though it does so somewhat less now that I've learned that it will not be major surgery after all. Still, a risk remains. That risk continues to occupy my mind as I watch videos of EAGxVirtual 2020 from this past weekend. As Toby Ord speaks of the precipice, surprisingly arguing that you don't have to care for the welfare of future beings to care about what we contribute to the greater entity that is the universe coming to know itself, I keep hearkening back to the series of mes that consist of my own greater entity, and how I should act for those who come after. How much more true is this idea if, [I] forbid, my personal greater being's line dies, and all that is left are the connections to those I love and care for most?

To those beings, whether it is myself or my friends or family or even that far-off future student of history who haphazardly came across this scrap from the dawn of the internet age, I say this: we have a kinship. Whether through the happenstance of a friendship grown upon being thrown randomly together in school, or through my having sought you out specifically due to your answers on okcupid, or through the vagaries of birth, or through the common ideals we found by mutually committing ourselves to a cause, or even, so to speak, through the common goal that unites us by virtue of us just being persons, I want you to know that I care about you. Some of you I love. Some of you I enjoy the company of. Some of you I maybe have not even seen for a very long time, or even maybe I have yet to meet. But all of you, all to a one, all that could have the capacity to read these words at all (yes, even you): you mean something to me.

Thank you for taking the time to read my words here.

And if it happens that no one ever comes to read this, perhaps because I die in surgery tomorrow and no one who mourns me thinks to read a journal that they probably don't even know is there, then that's okay, too. Because I'm writing this for me. Or, rather, for the greater entity that is me. I'm writing this to keep my metaphorical soul threaded through the thoughts of my life. To attach the who I am of today to the silly, deplorable bastard that held sway here over two decades ago. Yes, he feels separate, but he is my kin more than any others who would read this save one, and as I write this entry for him, I do so knowing that he no longer exists and has no capacity to read any of it. So if it is not read, then that is okay, for that was sufficient reason for it to be written in the first place.

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