A Synchronicity (The Timing Was Perfect)

My youngest daughter was born in 1971, with Down’s Syndrome and the congenital fatal heart malformaton common to Down’s children. My pediatrcian told me there was no cure for it, and over the first few years she would grow steadily weaker until she ultimately died.  We were living in Atlanta, Georgia at the time and I felt the need for a small, protective living environment for myself and my total of 4 children.  I had heard of Celo, a small planned Quaker community in the mountains of North Carolina,  and called ahead to check out the possible availability of a rental

skinny

086cabin there.  There was one cabin available, and  I was given the landlord’s phone number.  The year was 1976.

I called and described my situation and it turns out the landlord was a physician who inquired about the

nature of my daughter’s heart defect.  He told me that surgery was now available for the defect, and as it turned out she subsequently underwent  and survived reparative heart surgery at Eggleston Children’s Hospital at Emory University, about three blocks from our home in Atlanta.

About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
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