Friday, May 31, 2013

We Are The Wounded (from "Obscurious", for Randy Bunde)

"We Are The Wounded" from Obscurious
The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book 1
Version 8: Page 114

In 2010, I met a man named Randall "Randy" Bunde. I tend to gravitate towards people that have a calm, sensitive presence. Randy was a tall fish in short water, with a gentle sensibility and pain-infused wisdom that you could read on his slight brow. He'd weathered much over his 48 years--a heartwrenching divorce, distancing of his kids, and Colitis, a chronic condition that limits the effectiveness of your gastric organs. Few realize how impossible life becomes when your pipes don't work. You can't eat well, drink well, sleep well, function well as a normal human being. Pain is your center and your constant; discomfort and internal stress are your daily truths.

He knew my path well, as he walked a similar road in the early stages of his declining health. While I was fortunate to find a way to achieve equilibrium with the curses, he was not so. He went from pouch surgery to cancer in various places, seldom finding the healthy plateau that the chronically stricken wish for.  Last March, he passed away from complications of cancer, initiated by the ulcerative chronic state that struck him years before. While I was healing, he was falling apart--the two of us true dichotomies of chronic results.

Today, my friend would have been 50 years old. I wrote this poem to him and about him while he was still alive, a tribute to the war that those people who have chronic health conditions wage every day. Every minute. Every second. Every bowel movement, and every glass of water that doesn't go down well. We are all wounded, in different ways, and it is true madness that we as a species can't find a way to take care of each other, as needed. We have become as disposable as our consumer mindset.

I had no idea that Randy would exit from my orbit so quickly--a second lesson to keep close: life is fleeting, so treasure the precious moments that you have with you true friends, family and loved ones.

Happy birthday, Randy. Lightspeed, my dear friend.

in sickness
or in health
is not a choice
we have, but
a bond we all share
to care
for the fallen
and the wounded
of our world
for we each walk
on either side of that
crimson line
where decay becomes
the color of our days,
where there is no detour
and there is no escape,
one morning risen,
the next mourning,
a wake,
we all break down and
eventually lose our way
and even the chosen
must pay with life
for their grace
you are no different,
no better, not great
and at some point
you too will fall
into sickness and
require assistance
to stand up

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