‘Viejo y lento’ but still moved to dance

Aug 26, 2017 | 3 comments

My eye and I are ready for the surgery to remove the oil so I can once again have vision in both eyes. However, without mentioning it earlier, my doctor has decided to take a long overseas trip and if he does the surgery now, he won’t be available for the follow-up afterwards.

So, I’ve scheduled my next appointment for October 16 with surgery to follow shortly thereafter, when the doctor is “in” again. It has been a year since he injected my eye with the oil and another two months is no big deal, so I shrug and accept the new reality, although I can’t stop a little fist-shaking and a string of profanities pops out.

I was really looking forward to binocular vision.

Despite the setback, I feel that I’m coming out of a long-standing general funk (depression). A week ago I suddenly felt more alive and energetic. The internal tenseness that had been with me was gone. I was more reactive and animated (by my standards anyway), and just felt more alive. I found myself at the computer working on my book which I hadn’t touched in over a year. Then, at Charlie’s Bar & Grill one night the song about having fun in the bayou came on. The waitress, Adriana, was snapping her fingers in time to the music and suddenly I felt like dancing and we danced. I had been bothered by my non-reaction to music for some time now – I know it’s dance music and people are dancing but was not in any way moved. Finally, I was in the mood.

The escalinata: It’s a long climb to the top.

The news that my surgery is being put off until October has had its effect but hasn’t changed my underlying aliveness. It demonstrates for me that my internal attitude has more to do with my reactions than outward circumstances. On the other hand, what do I know? So I do the best I can to fully enjoy life and all the tumult it brings trying always to be present and alive in each moment.

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Helpful Cuencanos. Climbing the escalinata is a chore, with neither my legs or breath as good as they used to be. On a stop to get my breath the other day a woman stopped with me and I used my “viejo y lento” phrase (old and slow) and as we started up the next flight together. She offered her hand for me and I was amazed at the difference that very light touch made as we went up the stairs. It really helped me keep my balance and the walking was much easier.

A few days later, stopping again on the stairs, I used my “viejo y lento” description again when I met several teenagers sitting on the steps. One of the boys popped up, put my hand on his shoulder to help me the rest of the way to the top.

* * * *
On one of my walks last week, came upon a four-door pickup with a mother in the back seat holding her bright eyed child, probably less than a year old. I stopped, bent down and gave the child a big smile and, in return, received one of the biggest grins I’ve ever seen. Then, it was time to talk to the older children and mother, to exchange names and ages and to share more smiles.

Friendly Cuenca.

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