I am in bed with pneumonia, taking an unplanned vacation from my life during a New York City blizzard.
With impeccable timing, a friend posted a quote on Facebook from Plutarch, which appealed to my pneumonia-induced-thinking:
“Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time [they] thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer.”
These ancient words make me think that pneumonia might not be so bad. As long as I don’t die from it. (Thank you, O science-world, for antibiotics!)
Yes, the pneumonia has jiggled my system; it has rendered reality ridiculous; it has produced middle-of-the-night-hallucinatory-conversations with long forgotten relationships. Weird. Scary. Kinda like drugs in the 60’s. (Though I was never a druggie, my friends always got a kick out of the fact that my vicarious high made me seem more stoned than anyone in the room.)
Which brings me back to the frozen words. I am staring at the 2011 calendar, on which “one month plus” of bed rest has been prescribed by my doctor. In pneumonia-zone, time is slower than the clock by far. So it is comforting that my thoughts and words might freeze for a while – it seems perfect, in fact – that they are frozen as we are snowbound in the city.
Come spring, when I am ready to venture back into the world, my words will have melted. And I will be ready to hear them.