I am writing from a hospital bed on a phone. Please forgive typos.
I went to the emergency room early Tuesday morning, was admitted, and had a surgery scheduled. Very much a surprise and very unexpected. I am on the other side of surgery now, recovering well, and hoping to go home today.
In the hours before surgery I absolutely contemplated my mortality. No matter how routine, surgery is scary business and there is always a tiny chance things will go wrong. I hastily scribbled some information and brief final arrangements to friends, told people I loved them, and then went into pre-op.
Constantine’s deathbed conversion is famous, and I have always been curious what my reaction to facing mortality would be. When no one but the Gods are looking and your soul is on the line, who do you turn to? What is your plea? Do you revert to the faith of your childhood? Do you abandon faith and embrace nothingness? Do you embrace conversion to a new religion? Do you dig deep into the faith you have been devoted to?
Prior to this week, I did not know the answer to this question myself. But as I lay in pre-op waiting to be taken into the operating room, my heart was clear and earnest.
Sobbing, I pleaded with Hermes to carry me to Elysium, so the Dread Queen could carry my love to family and friends each spring as Kore.
Thankfully, Hermes made no special trips for me. But I have my answer. I am satisfied with it.
When the spiritual volunteer came by and asked my faith I gave her a bad elevator speech fogged by drugs with bits of the Tenets of Solon tossed in with an emphasis on prayer and ethics. “Is there a God in your belief system?”, she asked. “Multiple!” I said cheerfully. Although she was surprised by my response, I think she might have Googled Hellenic polytheism whrn she got home. At any rate we had a pleasant chat.
So I have been sick, and not writing, but I am better now. I have had spiritual confusion and distress but I am surprised at the peace and clarity that facing the possibility of death brought about. And despite every Heliogenna (solstice) plan falling through, I am glad for my own dark night and brighter dawn.
My sun sets to rise again.
Happy Holidays, everyone!