Seizure - Spilt Milk

Last Tuesday night, July 16, I experienced by fourth seizure. In reflection, I had been feeling “off” for two weeks prior… as I lowered the dose of the initial (and operational) anti-convulsant… I started to lie to myself that the physical and psychological nuances/changes/tics that I started to re-experience were accidental. Which is why, on the night of the recurrence, relapse if you will… I have only myself to blame. On the tail end of poor sleep and mental agitation… I petrified my wife in bed at 1am in the morning by first seemingly experiencing a panic attack/cardiac arrest, then quickly and completely hard resetting my brain.

It was described to me as foaming, bloody, lip chewing, spasms - but worse - that upon first awakening - a disconnect from my “self” and lack of recognition of my life… including my wife as an individual.

Without going into too much more detail… tonight’s thoughts, so many nights after, come after 2.5 days of… well… bleh. The guinea pig guesswork methodology of even modern neuro-pharamcology means that I have to basically reset my self-confidence and self-awareness… and rebuild whatever “groove” I had found prior. One that had culminated in an incredibly spiritual experience the weekend prior at a “glamping” site with my family.

Our first camp trip.

Where I dutifully (at least for narrative sake) stared and stoked a fire for 24 hours. Reading so much spiritual work lately, the metaphorical conceptualization of building, feeding, then fighting to kindle/rekindle/keep alive glowing embers… was electrifying. At one point my wife asked why I had become so absorbed… And I could only answer: “fire good”. OR perhaps more literally - that I just needed to be part of that fire. Nothing mattered any more.

What a release. What an escape. An Eden.

And now, reset.

Where to go from here?

We occupy a strange place right now, my wife and I. And by extension our son Emerson. On a path driven part by passion, part by fear… nothing we do can be truly separate and distinct from external and negative influence… from awareness of the “Other” or perhaps more poignantly, awareness of the “Self” or “Ego”. Somehow surviving (perhaps a strong denial element here) on Helen’s stronger business approach, monthly bailouts from my parents in Toronto, odd jobs from my work both as artist and curator…. friendships, bartering, community… and lines of credit. We move forward each day… trying, like the fire, to shape and tease enough good kindling so that each spark we send into the hearth might ignite what we imagine to be our perfect future.

Except, like a real fire, there’s no such thing… is there? The manicured and presented imagery of “good fire” we imagine come from… special effects. movies. television. paintings. imagination. But as I stoked the fire on Sunday - the intricacies of heat, moisture, fuel, etc… reality is different. IT’s not about planning and getting something right and living happily ever after… even when a great dancing spirit emerges and heat bathes the onlookers… it is temporary. And the brighter and more glorious it burns, the more it demands in payment. It is not distinct but part of a cyclical, evolutionary, cutthroat reality. Fire requires fuel. Heat. Sweat. Direction. Air. So many different attributes - to finally create a living moment… that in itself is uncontainable.

So after the seizure… my embers glow… but the flame is out. I stare at the charred effigies of my good intentions… the structures that kept my work alive until now… but that are now not adequate. I need new wood. ever. To continually, carefully, and daringly place onto said embers before they go out. To try to ignite the next chain of flaming reactions… the next chain of events that gets me to…

The next seizure. apparently. I’m epileptic. It’s time to hear the doctors. Embrace. And consume.

David Youn