Order or Chaos?

image copyright Fred First

I was unwell at midnight. I was still awake at 3 with chills. I crimped my 6 foot frame onto the 5 foot loveseat by the woodstove and slept rounded like a comma, til almost 6. And now I don’t know if I’m over illness or just ramping up for it. And I need to decide soon: we’ll leave the house for Wytheville before noon, and I’ll be ON, need to be UP, ready, engaged. I feel none of those things just now, even after two cups of coffee.

I told Ann reluctantly that I was not quite well. Her highest priority is having the strength to get up and do what needs to be done for the gathering here on the weekend, and if means treating my like a leper for the remainder of the week, no doubt she can and will do so.

I’ve had episodes before where, in the wee hours I was racked by fever and violent chills, only to wake the next morning with no serious repercussions, and go on. So I’m going on this morning, assuming once again that the army of immune cells and the chemical warfare of self-versus-nonself has tipped in my favor.

It depends on how you hold your eyes when you look at it: diseased or eased ? chaotic or cosmicly ordered? creek ice or a place where stars are born? I chose to hold up the latter in all these dichotomies; we’ll see if things look different by the end of the day.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Stunning image Fred. Will it be one that you make available for sale – say yes please. I hate it when alien life forms decide my body would make a good home and I must spend an inordinate amount of energy to vanquish them.