Friday, September 11, 2009

Raymond, Scott, and Kurt work on show in SF, sister Linda reports she fed them spaghetti dinner

The header above kind of reflects how I feel at the moment. I think the horse represents Raymond getting ready to do still another show with more wear and tear on his system. He has not really had a steady job which must feel rather scarey. I am thinking that eventually he might want to return to Phoenix for the winter months, a city he knows well, as his health problems might worsen and he will need to find jobs he can do until he is to the age of retirement or is disabled, whichever comes first. These were my circumstances when I was in my late forties. I have been talking to some of these younger guys living here who had to seek disability. My neighbor is 49 and back problems plagued him until it was suggested he try for disability. He just moved in here a few months ago. Until then he drove a cab, did whatever jobs he could find between being down with his back.
There are hard times to be struggling with health problems, but life goes on, and things happen no matter whether the economy is good or bad. My neighbor lives in a one room apartment and is happy to have that. Some of these apartments are quite small, which male residents find quite adequate. I had so many books and manuscripts I requested a one bedroom.
I think everyone past fifty has to think about what they might have to do if their overall health does not last until retirement age. For many I know it is panic city. At first. But it is not an uncommon thing to have health problems before sixty. I would say the fifties can be quite precarious. Some workers might feel they are barely making it with what they are contending with. But once problems are faced and dealt with, there can be a measure of relief. The important thing is to recognize that this too will pass, as depression can be just as crippling as anything else.
I do think we have to deal with the cards that have been dealt us and take an optimistic attitude about what lies ahead. We will get through it!
I have told Raymond should he get to that point he can always come and live at the Westward Ho with me! This is where disabled guys his age and younger want to live. It is in the heart of the city, a place with ambience and a rich history.
I know he is still raring to go now, but I also know he cannot carry the heavy load that full time teachers get to shoulder regardless of age. That got to be too much, so he has to be careful now about staying within his limitations. Once you have had health problems, that becomes very important. You can go on quite a while, if you work using moderation!
So I am hoping that insomnia and panic attacks will not plague him during this two week run in San Francisco. I am sending up a prayer for him to prevail with a show that will touch people and help them to face the uncertainties of old age. Raymond's dad, the subject of this show, hit panic city I am sure when he disappeared into the desert nearly four years ago and has not been seen since. He had gotten his truck stuck, all four wheels, and having known him so well, I think he would have gone into a dreadful mental state over a relatively minor crisis. His reaction to crisis could become a bigger problem than what had originally gone wrong. Raymond cannot help but have inherited some of his characteristics as well as some of my own. If his dad got upset enough he would go into kind of a fugue state and just start walking. If he headed out into the desert, he could have walked miles before he came out of it.
Of course Raymond doesn't have fugue states! He stops short.
But anyway his show is very realistic about how a man can just disappear if he decides he can't solve his problems. We don't want that! There is a lesson to be learned here about keeping calm, talking, staying connected, and never ever thinking you have become too much of a burden and just as well end it all!
So I am offering up a prayer for calm here and moderation, and faith in the art of theater which Raymond has studied so many years. Experience will help him to find the excitement and the power once more in a play. He is good.

7 comments: said...

Very well said. I too am offering my prayers.

Rhapsody B. said...

Blessings tp upi as up read this, i hope you are well and life is being kind to you.

This was a very interesting and important piece you have here, you are so right many do not have adequate resources etc and many i know are suffering and some sink into deep depression.

I knew of one woman who has since passed, she became very bitter, angry and resentful of all her trials, health issues and lack of resources to ease her way. Trying to encourage her was challenging.

Your piece has me considering my own needs and asking myself what sort of things i have in place in the event there are unforseen challenges.

thanks for posting,...
have a great weekend

Have Myelin? said...

Oh wow. You said so much.

I have found you cannot prepare for the future. Things take care of themselves whether or not you plan for it.

Resources are out there...

salemslot9 said...

father disappearing and all...

Anonymous said...

I think we all are nervous as Raymond goes into another production,hoping all we go well. He has chosen a challenging life very different than us 9 to 5 crowd. We had or have the security knowing what to expect, living on your talents like artists do would demand alot of confidence.
After watching the conditions of the soldiers coming back from the war without arms and legs, I decided I had to be able to deal with my minor problem. There are alot of theories about dealing with chronic pain. Tom in Boulder says it gets embeded into your muscles and tissues and is very hard to get under control.
Each persons individual challenge is to find a way to take care of themselves as long as possible. People who get used to a life of mental, intellectual work seem to find it hard to adjust to the everyday challenges that come along that are not in that realm. Everyone sets a goal, Raymond has a lofty one, one that takes his creativity and years of practice to the highest degree now. Everyone cheer for him tonight as he goes on stage.

Bohemian Cowboy said...

My own response to this entry is not positive--I feel like you are projecting a certain overtone of focus on my 'issues' for all the world to comment on. I am far from disabled, and far from retirement. I do have some anxiety at times, but who doesn't? As for not having a job, I have a job, my job is this play. I still work as hard as anyone, and am adjusting to the 'kind of work' that I do. I feel like this is a true passive/aggressive entry, let me have my victories, as I share them with everyone, my personal issues I would rather keep off blogs, it only takes the wind from my sails... this entry 'took a real shot' at me, and I know is not lost on others as well...

Barb said...

I understand everyone's fears about their health as we start down that slippery slope. I am one of those staring it in the face & my DH who has worked for the same company for 38 yrs yet because of my health problems which are more than likely to get worse before they get better. We won't have the insuracewe have now. So at 60 hr is still working while he fights arthritis & chronic pain every time he gets to work. I am diabled but supposedly cannot get disability. Hopefully Raymond will achieve the success he deserves and take care of himself in the meantime.


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