My dears, (written on 1/16)
I came to Esalen with a cold, one I brought from Seattle. I bravely followed the retreat schedule, meditating in the morning and evening, eating greens picked the same day, soaking in the hot springs.
My cold turned to bronchitis with fevers that ran up and down the fever scale. I was burning up, then freezing, then lying in a pool of sweat. During the fever night, I went through my familiar catastrophies: I have AIDS, I have cancer, I have AIDS and cancer and pneumonia. I wanted to wake my roommate to take me to an ER but and ER is far on winding roads that, as you might recall, fall into the ocean. And my roommate is sick too although she's not dying. I could go next door and get Kelly or Terry, plead with them. Perhaps I should just wait til morning when they find my cold dead body, eyelids not quite closed. I lived to morning and my roommate drove me to the nearest clinic where a nice nurse-practitioner listened to my lungs and gave me antibiotics and sinus stuff and cough syrup.
I still sound like a TB ward but I feel better.
Then there's Esalen. The monarchs have arrived and they're swooping everywhere. 'Their' tree is close by, where hundreds of them have gathered.
At dawn, from the hot pools, I saw dolphins in pairs having breakfast among the kelp. And sea otters. And a lone whale came in close to breech. A necklace of pelicans flew along the cliffs in formation. Just now a young woman from the retreat brought me homemade tea with comfrey, limes and ginger.
Ok, there was a naked diggeridoo concert at the baths last night. California ridiculous, I haven't lost all my marbles or sense of the absurd.