What happened?

It was the day after Boxing Day and all was supposed to be quiet. The night before I was due to fly back home to Mysore.

I’d been in Hebden Bridge Yorkshire for a Poppy Christmas with my son Ben, Alice and their daughter Poppy (age eight) , staying with big ex, his mum, known as wife number one by MAnjula.

Manj and Liz were good friends.

Liz created a warm welcoming family Christmas for us all.

I’d received my visa to get back to India and on this day had travelled back to London to prepare to fly back.

There had been so much uncertainty on leaving India at the end of October. After two solid steady years we were suddenly in turmoil. There was three months of extreme uncertainty whether we (foreigners) could stay or had to leave which created extreme stressful cliff hangers. Once I was told to go with only three days notice and no available flights, only to be given n extension after I’d overstayed my welcome, flights cancelled, general kerfuffle.

Nightmare.

For the first time in twelve years I was leaving my adopted home, uncertain when and how I’d be able to return.

I came back to the U.K. at the end of October.

….

Back to Monday of this week.

I’d had a ‘PCR’ COVID test the day before and received by midnight the negative result required by the Indian government to allow me entry. I could prepare to fly so completed online forms for the Indian govt and British Airways.

By 7 pm I got a response from BA to say I could fly. I booked a taxi to take me to the airport, the next morning and had something to eat. I just had to fit ‘a quart into a pint pot’ that’s cram my clothes etc and a gift for Sowbhaghya into my two bags.

Then it all went a bit weird.

I was on video call to my brother. I couldn’t remember where I was or what I was doing. He called Ben worried that I’d completely lost it and the look in my face was completely blank. Some might say that’s a regular occurrence 😉 but this was unusual.

I was in Ben’s flat on my own but didn’t remember. Ben called me.

I was confused. I knew who I was and was walking around but had no idea where I was or what had happened that day. …. Nothing about my train journey down or that I was due to fly back to India.

He telephoned an ambulance and a friend Matty and his wife. They all arrived together and after a few simple tests I was taken to the hospital.

Two days later. The flight has been cancelled and I’m back at Ben’s having been discharged from hospital

I’ve already had a scan but return today for a more sophisticated MRI to search for my brain. 😉

They think that I’ve had a ‘transient global amnesia’. The initial tests indicate that it wasn’t a stroke but the MRI is to make sure.

Stress? anxiety? What and where from? 🤔🤭 I often joke … but we’ve all had to deal with the awful strains and unpredictability of the pandemic.

There’s not been guests at Mysore Bed and Breakfast for two years. At those times, we’d have a full house of positive energy. People from around the world making new friends, telling their stories, sharing our home created by Manjula. That’s the biggest all encompassing stress and strain. I’m parted not only from our home and Lucie, our local community but from the woman herself. This is my third winter without her, the grief will always be with me and sometimes it’s as if it was only yesterday her warmth was still hugging me. In a way it always will be.

As a result of the unprecedented changes, we’ve not had the usual hustle bustle of our busy welcoming Mysore home. That was brought home to me at our Poppy family Christmas.

I’m not saying that losing Manjula has created this brain incident it’s just helped it along.

Maybe It’s an overload, and release of a safety valve.

Assuming I get the ‘all-clear’ I’ll rest and go through the rigmarole again to be able to fly back.

It’s all ok now I’ve got my grapes from Alice.

I’m ok and look forward to being home, hugging Lucie and seeing more of my good supportive precious friends.

Thank you for being one of them.

MARIA POPOVA’s brain pickings

Whom We Love and Who We Are: José Ortega y Gasset on Love, Attention, and the Invisible Architecture of Our Being

How our loves reveal who we are, an illustrated serenade to aliveness and seeing the world with newborn eyes, and a great forgotten love story

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity,” the great French philosopher Simone Weil wrote shortly before her untimely death. An epoch after her, Mary Oliver eulogized the love of her life with the observation that “attention without feeling… is only a report.” Looking back on centuries of love poems by people of genius who dared to love beyond the cultural narrows of their time, the poet J.D. McClatchy observed that “love is the quality of attention we pay to things.”

Because our attention shapes our entire experience of the world — this, after all, is the foundation of all Eastern traditions of mindfulness, which train the attention in order to anneal our quality of presence — the objects of our attention end up, in a subtle but profound way, shaping who we are. 

Because there is hardly a condition of consciousness that focuses the attention more sharply and totally upon its object than love, what and whom we love is the ultimate revelation of what and who we are. 

That is what the great Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset(May 9, 1883–October 18, 1955) explores in a series of essays originally written for the Madrid newspaper El Sol and posthumously published in English as On Love: Aspects of a Single Theme (public library) — a singular culmination of Ortega’s philosophic investigation of Western culture’s blind spots, biases, and touching self-delusions about love, that is, about who and what we are.