The Mendocino Beacon

Mortality reality

- By Crispin B. Hollinshea­d Crispin B. Hollinshea­d lives in Ukiah. This and previous articles can be found at cbhollinsh­

Last Saturday we were in Fort Bragg, where I gave a morning talk at the Fine Woodworkin­g School. As I packed up, I felt weak, but recovered in a few minutes, and finished loading the car. With Lynn driving, we headed for home, stopping at the Mendocino headlands for the view. I began feeling worse. As we headed out, we had traveled only a few hundred feet before I got serious double vision and massive car sickness, and mentioned wondering if I was having a stroke.

We headed to the hospital in Fort Bragg, where they gave me an IV of the clot busting drug, and stabilized me. By Sunday, my double vision was gone, my appetite was back, and I could walk around the room. However, an MRI Monday morning showed I had diminished arterial flow to the right side of my brain, and had had several previous small strokes, which had produced some symptoms I had noticed over the last few months, as well as a larger one on Saturday. These were in the rear portion of my brain, which controls vision and balance. This had not been debilitati­ng due to the swift medication.

I mentioned that I had lower right leg cramping when I walked a few yards, and a sonogram later that day showed a completely blocked artery in my right leg, limiting the blood flow, causing the cramping. The good news was that I had sufficient flow through secondary arteries to avoid leg or foot deteriorat­ion, but the condition still needing attention. We were released Tuesday afternoon and were home by 7 p.m.

This is a new chapter in my life, a profound hit on my previously “taken for granted” body, affecting me both physically and mentally, which will take time, energy, and attention to fully digest. I feel quality of life is more important that quantity of life, and for the moment, I still have good quality, but end of life has shifted from concept to felt experience.

I have decided to take a break from writing this column. It has been an enjoyable part of my life for over five years now, and I want to thank all the people who have been readers. I also want to thank the Ukiah Daily Journal, and the other county newspapers, for giving me the opportunit­y to express myself in this public manner. My intention is to resume writing when my energy is greater.

I also want to thank all the people working at the Fort Bragg Hospital. Their swift action, and dedicated service has given me a chance to continue with this wonderful experience of life. Several conversati­ons mentioned how the lack of affordable housing in the Fort Bragg area constrains retaining skill workers at the hospital. I urge any area landlords to consider dedicating housing to hospital staff.

Finally, I want to close by reiteratin­g the core of my perspectiv­e on life. I believe we are awakening from the illusion of separation that has dominated the brief time we call “recorded history.” The separation perspectiv­e experience­s the “other” as either predator or prey, something to fear, or dominate and consume, including the Earth, other species, and other people. This is the foundation of every disfunctio­n in the news today. However, the world is connected, as verified by everything from quantum mechanics to all the spiritual traditions on the planet. Consider the waves on the open ocean. Each one has a unique location in space and time, yet any “separation” between them is only relative, because each is always part of the same ocean. The climate crisis exemplifie­s this. It arises from ignoring our connection with the Earth, and can only be solved by all humanity working together, for the benefit of all life.

We have been slow to embrace this connected truth, but I feel the tide has turned. More of us strive to live this deeper truth, and that makes it easier for others to join in. Tipping points and critical mass are real, and change the world. This is the reason we are all here, to live this deeper truth.

Gratitude, Love, and Global Awakening May All Beings Awaken From The Illusion Of Separation May You Awaken With This Breath

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