Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 11-02-20: (Much Gratitude) Everett and Christy Update, Life with Riley, Poetry Boon

 After writing about Everett's illnesses on Monday, a most welcome wave of Facebook comments, emails, text messages, and posts on Messenger deluged me. Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and best wishes for Everett and for your support and prayers for Christy. It's strengthening, it's uplifting to know we have so many friends and family members holding Everett's welfare close to their hearts and who understand that this is a very difficult time for Christy and that you are holding her close, right along with Everett. Again, thank you very much.

1. All things considered, Monday was a fairly good day for Everett. Christy can't see him, but the nurses' reports were positive: he is aware of what's going on (I was concerned he might be confused); he did some physical therapy today and spent time out of bed, seated in a chair; the planned procedure to drain infection from the two abscesses in his lower abdomen was successful and only required local deadening, not anesthetizing him; he is not showing any symptoms of Covid; his medical team forecasts, as of now, that his stay at Kootenai will be a minimum of two days once the culture comes back and they know with what antibiotic to treat it, via I.V. 

Christy wrote Everett a letter, had his hearing aids cleaned (the hearing aid center is close to the hospital), and brought him his phone and computer and the hospital staff delivered them all to Everett. 

The hope is that Everett can start consuming some liquids on Tuesday.

2. I took in Riley while Christy was in Coeur d'Alene. For about a half an hour he paced, cried, and howled, but settled down sooner today than on Sunday. The weather was mild today. I could keep the back door open. Riley liked that. He enjoyed dashing in and out at will and seemed to find comfort in sniffing around the back yard and in going to the chain link fence that faces Cameron Avenue and watching cars and people walking go by. I hope, if the need arises for me to host Riley more often, that he comes to feel more at home over here -- and, let's hope, his visit today was a move in that direction.

3. My collection of poetry books grew again today when the mail arrived. The British editor for Bloodaxe Books, Neil Astley, has compiled four sizable anthologies of poems. They comprise the series, Staying Alive. Today, three of those anthologies arrived in the mail: Staying Alive, Being Alive, and Being Human. The fourth, Staying Human, will arrive in December. I pre-ordered it. 

Periodically throughout the day, I switched between anthologies and, at random, read poems, some by poets I'm familiar with, like Mary Oliver or Galway Kinnell, among others, and I read many poets, all of them long-established writers, who are new to me -- for example, Catherine Smith and Gerald Locklin, among others. 

But, wait! There's more.

George Bilgere's book of poems, Blood Pages, also arrived today and I enjoyed reading a few selections from it. 

I've got to return to a former practice and keep a notebook nearby when I read poems, especially as I build my small collection of anthologies. When I was younger, names of poets and titles of their works tattooed themselves in my memory. That's no longer true. I read a new poet, and even if I love their work, a little later in the day, I cannot recall either the poet's name or the title of the poem. 

Keeping a record will help -- it's my only hope for being able to return to these poets and poems. 

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