Thursday, May 01, 2008

Balloon Liberation

My Mom sent me a bouquet of balloons in between opening weekend of War and PeaceMeal – The Musical and the Yoshi’s benefit on May 6. Now nothing makes me sadder than watching a bunch of helium balloons slowly die, the air sucked out of them until they sag. They are never as beautiful as they are the day of their inflation. They should always either be inhaled or liberated shortly after that. Mac and I did the latter though I wish we’d saved one for inhaling so we could sing a falsetto goodbye to them as they began their ascent. They were remarkably beautiful flying up into infinity….or the Berkeley campus…. becoming brilliant colorful dots against the blue backdrop of the sky. We attached a note to the last one in case it landed somewhere. A mystery for someone to discover. I would love to find a note like that. How much more beautiful things are when we let them go instead of clutching on to something that used to be.

It made me think again about what a mismatch this disease is for me. Not for me the slow, defeated deflation. I want to be popped so I whir in a wild zigzag jig through the sky like a Looney Tunes character, leaving only freckled skin and red hair in a perfect sheath once all the air as been let out of me, I want to have my strings cut like the happy face mylar balloon we watched cheerfully bounce it’s way into oblivion it’s grin intact. I want to be inhaled, absorbed, devoured, to spontaneously combust, to go super nova. Anything but this slow goodbye to my old life.

My right hand is starting to weaken now. I had two dramatic falls – one a full-on face plant. I’m not ready to give up yet but I can see how it’s going to get harder and harder to have fun. If it gets too sad down the road, I hope people will understand if I prefer to cut the strings and fly.

Tonight a few stalwart supporters and I are dressing in 1970s prom dresses, blaring Foreigner and Bachman Turner Overdrive and driving around in a stretch limo. I will report on the results and I will dance even if I take a tooth out falling down.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

The limo ride sounds like a blast.

I'm sorry your right hand is starting to give out. That must be scary. I can't imagine how that feels.

If you prefer to whiz out like a balloon set free rather than shrinking to the floor I think everyone would understand.

Kim

Anonymous said...

I cling to the idea that you, of all people, will always find a way to soar, somehow. And I will never see you as a deflated, defeated anything Carla. No matter what.

Anonymous said...

If you do decide to set the balloon free, I hope you'll have a huge so we can come from near and far and give you a rousing send off.

Patricia Ryan Madson said...

Hi,
Your blog inspires, teaches . . . is real. Thank you. I want to send you a book, if you haven't read it yet: Learning to Fall by Philip Simmons. If you email me your mailing address I'll send you a copy. Also, my best friend has a blog that you might find helpful. www.joyfulwrecks.typepad.com
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
A warm hug from El Granada,
Patricia Ryan Madson
improvwisdom@comcast.net

Patricia Ryan Madson said...

Hi,
Your blog inspires, teaches . . . is real. Thank you. I want to send you a book, if you haven't read it yet: Learning to Fall by Philip Simmons. If you email me your mailing address I'll send you a copy. Also, my best friend has a blog that you might find helpful. www.joyfulwrecks.typepad.com
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
A warm hug from El Granada,
Patricia Ryan Madson
improvwisdom@comcast.net

Alison said...

Hey Carla,

I understand what you are saying, and I will always support you in making whatever choice is most life-affirming, most Carla-affirming for you, no matter what. Unconditionally. BUT, having said that, and knowing you, I'm just wondering if part of your thinking about "when it isn't fun anymore," has to do with other people. Do you mean when it isn't fun for those of us who are close to you? Because speaking for the gang at large, it is ALWAYS worthwhile spending time with you, no matter your mood or energy level, you have tons to give which goes beyond "fun" and into other realms entirely...

Love, love, love,
Ali

Anonymous said...

Well said, Allison. And so intuitive about our dear friend's journey through this. A gentle reminder, you don't have to please, entertain, enlighten, motivate, inspire, impress, or delight us (although you mostly do). You just have to be you. We love you like you are.


Break a leg tonight!!!!
I am with you in spirit.

Kim

Gail Hildebrandt said...

Dear Carla; I love reading your blogs, you have such a wonderful sense of humour and a gift of the English word. Both your parents were in my Grade 12 home room and your Mother and I went to Sunday school together. (Wilson Heights United) at our last High School Reunion I was telling someone that, and your Mom said "yes we did and now we are sinners" And I said "well that happens". We had so many laughs remembering old times. Thank you so much for your blogs, I cry and I laugh as I suppose everyone does. I wish I could be there in San Fran at the big show, but one of our gang is, and she will let us know all about it. You are so fortunate to have so many wonderful friends and family. Life has so many humps and bumps, some very hard to get over. Every little kindness given to us during this life becomes like a big cushion that helps to hold us softly at the end of life.

Joan said...

Carla -- My love and good wishes to you. You are one of the most special people I have ever known --and now I now one of the bravest. I've been out of the country and missed your shows. Know I am thinking of you. Hugs ~ Joan Lisetor

Joan said...

Carla -- My love and warm wishes. I just returned from Switzerland and missed your benefit. I want you to know I am thinking of you and admire you.

Fondly ~ Joan Lisetor

Randilyn said...

Great work.