We're in Amherst for a week of teaching at the Juniper Institute. I woke up yesterday morning early, to get ready for the first day of workshop, and when I stood up I felt strangely lightheaded. A few minutes later the room was starting to swim. I lay back down and the room kept moving, especially when I moved my head. I thought this would pass in a moment, but every time I'd muster the strength to sit up again, I'd feel the world start a sickening slide. It wasn't long before I felt the responsibilities of the day just fall away; who could do anything without balance, with a head that felt nauseatingly liquid?
Lisa Olstein was kind enough to take over my class; Paul fetched necessities; by late afternoon I made it to the Health Center to have my worst fantasies (Lyme disease?) allayed. I have an ear infection, related to a sinus infection -- maybe something to do with the summer's wild wave of pollen, or maybe all those books I've been sorting from storage, with their accumulation of dust and molds? I'm medicated and much better, albeit not well. Dara Wier's second floor guestroom feels like such a haven: blue window frames, up in the treetops, outside a slow-eddying tide of green. Inviting books, a pierced tin ceiling lamp, a Scottie dog with an infinite interest in giving and receiving calm affection. Something appealing about recuperating there; I'd like to just lie up in that room all day and read, say, George Eliot. But I'm going to teach poetry workshop instead; send me strength.