Could it be? It seems strange to believe it, that I’m almost done. What if I don’t want to be? What if there’s more to get, to experience, to enjoy, to be revealed, if I were to stay longer?
But… to tell another truth… I don’t think I’d want to find out if my body could handle it. Sure the results came back and liver and kidneys are functioning great, but now I’m chewing on my muscle and it looks like it’s going fast.
At 118 pounds, I’m pretty skinny. I’ll get below 115 before this is over, anyway. Need I remind anyone that I wasn’t a big guy to begin with?
A little over two years ago, I came to this island, freshly brokenhearted, at one hundred fifty five pounds. Having no appetite to speak of, pushing meals away half-eaten, I dropped fifteen pounds during my first three months. It was at one-forty that the idea for Tree was concocted. I had ambitions to gain weight. And I did, too. I hit one-sixty-five (I even had a little pot-belly) just before traveling to New York in December to spend time in the Occupy Movement and the cold and the skipped meals dropped me down again to one-fifty, which I maintained through January, but with the diet shift prescribed by our doctor, down to one-forty-seven I went by the end of February. The Ides of March saw me drop another couple of pounds and there I was, one hundred and forty-five pounds in stockings for the first day of filming.
Need I remind anyone how big a brick a pound of butter, is?
I’ve shed twenty-seven of those since I’ve been here.
I weighed one-fifteen as a sophomore in high school. I’m forty-two.
There’s something perverse about this.
Now, my back has started aching, again; the lumbar area might be beginning to protest the hours of sitting meditation. It had stopped hurting the last three weeks, but has begun again. I have reason to believe that the pain in my back might come from the detoxification of the muscles, of the toxins being drawn out as the muscle gets consumed as fuel. When I was munching just on quinoa and green veggies, my back – just there at the kidneys – hurt like this for a week. My research says it’s something that happens but there doesn’t appear to be any study of it.
Tomorrow will be day forty. And although my program is different, my time in the wilderness will have been as long as Jesus’. My temptations different – but not much – and my goals different – but not much – yet I’m not here trying to redeem the world… just myself.
I keep thinking about how I want to celebrate this strange accomplishment of ours, but I just don’t know. I want to drink some vegetable broth, some rice milk made with sprouted short-grain rice. I want to go to the thrift store and buy a pair of shorts and a pair of pants that fit… probably from the boys’ section.
Let’s pop a bottle of sparkling cider, friends, and pat each other on the back. Let’s spend a few hours proud of ourselves in paradise before we head back to our lives. Mark has months of work ahead of him, yet, so the final celebration must wait, but my experience with the tree will have ended and I’d like to raise a glass to all of us who have come this far.
Heavenly Father, When I wander…
Heavenly Father, when I wander,
Shepherd me back to Thy path.
Seek for me when I go astray
And recover me to Thy fold.
Take me to safety when
I stray into danger,
As a sheep among wolves,
And show me The light of Thy Lamp
When the darkness closes in.
I would not be devoured,
Or lost among thorns, but would hear
Your voice calling me home.
Far from you is despair,
But in your nearness, I rejoice, so I pray…
My Lord, my Father, my Tender,
Shepherd me when I wander,
always back to Thy path.