April 28, 2009

A Request for Assistance

I'm kind of, sort of settling into a regular routine now, after my recent health scare and very brief hospitalization. I don't feel well exactly, but at least I don't feel too terrible. I did have a few very bad periods over the last month, lasting from several hours to a couple of days. For at least a few hours on each of these occasions, I was afraid the fibrillation might have returned, but the symptoms eventually went away. Unfortunately, I've been experiencing some new and rather unpleasant symptoms. They don't appear to be very serious, just unpleasant as I say, often extremely so.

But I'm very happy to be writing again, and to be able to write again. As you can tell from the first two installments of the new series, I've had a lot on my mind. I already have the rest of that series outlined in full, and I hope to get it done very quickly, in the next several days. There will be three to four more installments. It's easier to move through this material, even though I find parts of it exceedingly difficult to express with the precision and accuracy I aim for, but at least the subject is comparatively delimited. I use "comparatively" advisedly; this new series obviously is very complex in many respects. But the subject itself is not seemingly endless, in the manner of the issues to be covered in my tribalism series, which will explore psychology, the mechanisms of obedience, politics, culture, religion, art and all manner of additional areas. As I've noted before, I already have close to 20 further installments of the tribalism series in mind (often outlined in significant part), and I continue to have still additional thoughts for further issues I'd like to discuss. All in the fullness of time, I dearly hope. Oh, I'll be 61 on May 5. I tell you frankly that there were too many days in the past year, and particularly in the last few months, when I truly didn't think I would see this birthday, and I am fairly astonished to have arrived this close to it, albeit in diminished and weakened form. (I hope mentioning my birthday before the fact doesn't jinx it. Well, fate, not that I believe in such, knows what it can do with its usual bag of tricks.)

But drat and damn the luck. My computer, which had been typically sludgy and just minimally usable for the last several months, but at least dependable on a rudimentary level, started acting up again late yesterday. It's resumed its old habit of crashing every few hours. I'm trying to rectify it as best I can (being shockingly ignorant of computer matters), by duplicating what I did eight months ago or so ago to get it running on its basic level of minimal competence. But after it crashed again this morning, I began to fear that the problems might go on for a while. Hopefully, they won't get worse, but who knows.

And I realized that a new month is almost here. I loathe having to do this again and again, but since I have no other source of income at all, I have no choice if I prefer not to be evicted in the near future. (By the way, for those curious about such matters: inquiries I made in connection with the hospital stay and the ensuing bills in excess of $14,000, and consultation with a hospital billing administrator with reference to same, led to the determination that I am not eligible for any of the standard government assistance programs. The reasons are not mysterious, and regular readers have doubtless ascertained what they are by this time. When you don't follow the rules and comply with those requirements most dear to the government, which refusal can, not incidentally, land you in jail, the government tends not to want to give you money. But I knew that was the choice I was making. Given the nature of our government and its actions at home and around the world, I do not regret that choice in the least.)

So I must ask for donations still another time. I don't need much this time, about $600 in addition to the small amount I already have will take care of rent and a very few basic bills (telephone and electricity being the most pressing). My small head start is due to a handful of regular contributors. My blessings are always upon everyone who is kind and generous enough to help sustain my efforts here (meager as those efforts have been recently), but special blessings go to those who think it worthwhile to donate regularly, especially in these difficult financial times. I'm deeply grateful for your consideration; as usual, the PayPal donation button will be found at the upper right. (PayPal still indicates that you're donating to The Sacred Moment, my other site and the location of my earlier Alice Miller essays, among other articles. I've never been able to determine exactly how to alter that short of going through the entire PayPal signup process again, which I've never felt moved to do, and the donations all come to me in any case.)

My very grateful thanks once more. I'll continue to coddle and sweet talk my computer to keep it from exploding or imploding or whatever, and try to publish the next installment of the new series later today.

P.S. I also offer my most grateful thanks and appreciation to James Wolcott, for his exceedingly kind words at the end of this entry. I'm especially thankful, for that essay about Maria Callas remains among my two or three personal favorites among the many hundreds of essays I've written over the last five or six years. I've always regarded it in the manner of a personal credo.

I admit, however, that I'm not entirely sure who this "posterity" person is of whom Wolcott speaks. But she or he sounds completely swell. I would say I'd love to meet her or him, but that would seem to be singularly inadvisable. In any event, the day of that meeting will surely come for all of us eventually. But I do hope, for me and for you, kind reader, not for a good long time.