Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Vertigo in Amherst

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.

5 comments:

susanstinson said...

Yikes. The saturated weather can be helping. Hope you feel much better.

Mim said...

Strength, you bet! I hope you'll be better soon. Vertigo is frightening. When it happened to me, I thought I was having a stroke but it was just a little virus. I wish I could import some strengthening brew into this little comment box.

BarbaraS said...

Some strength being sent your way. It's terrible when we are felled by things we don't even realise are wrong with us - better soon, no doubt.

Carol Peters said...

Yikes, Mark. Same thing happened to me three weeks ago, same cause. I wobbled for a week. All better now. Is this the sign of a new pandemic?

Mark Doty said...

Thanks all, I am much better. Someone else here had it too; I think it's this endlessly rainy weather provoking allergies...