f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 8, 2006

i’m just not that weird (honest)

Filed under: viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 11:11 pm

How embarrassing for a so-called “creative,” curmudgeonly pundit-
haijin: I’ve been Weird-Tagged and can’t come up with any examples
of “weird habits” of mine, much less five of them.  Although I just might
end up with a plethora of examples, I think I’ll email a few friends and
family members to see if they can help fill my Weird list.
Meanwhile, a little background on getting tagged: Ellen M Johns,
of the Coffee Granules weblog, reached all the way over from the
UK, and tagged me at dagosan’s haiku diary — apparently during
her very first visit there (yes, pretty forward, indeed).  Ellen was
tagged by poet and author Pris Campbell.  At Pris’ surprise-filled
Songs To A Midnight Sky weblog, I learned that Ellen is waiting to
see whether I, and the four other males she tagged, “have risen to
the challenge!!!”  Great, more performance expectations.   
boy writing flip
Reading about Pris Campbell, I discovered that she — like myself —
has been living with CFS/CFIDS (chronic fatigue immune dysfunction
syndrome) for many years.  On her website About page, Pris begins
her story:
“I didn’t start out as a poet. I wanted to be a novelist until a
major illness wiped out  that idea. On September 23, 1990,
I woke up with a severe case of what was later to be diag-
nosed as CFIDS. . . .
When this illness hit, I felt as if I had been transported to a
place I no longer recognized.”
Although I have talked about my having CFS at this website (mostly
in the context of having to stop posting or switch formats to conform
to the illness’ limitations and frustrations), I have not said much about
the great transformation this illness has caused in my life.  Of course,  
I bet my astute readers could figure out what it might mean to lose
one’s profession and livelihood, all financial security and most social
contacts.  Nor have I discussed the dispiriting aspects of having a mere
“syndrome,” that sounds trivial, doesn’t make you “look sick,” and offers
no roadmap back to good health.
                                                                                         napper gray sm
Prior to CFIDS, Pris had been a ‘health nut’ and former clinical psy-
chologist, who was an aspiring author.  She biked daily, kept a garden,
and was active with friends and in the community.  If you are at all
curious about this illness, which has greatly affected the lives of hun-
dreds of thousand of people (plus their families), I recommend that you
read Pris’ story — and her tips about how to relate to us CSFers.
One thing Pris and I appear to have in common: an appreciation for
the insights and values gained living with this illness.  When I thought
I had to give up “ethicalEsq” (the prior name of this weblog) for good,
I wrote something worth repeating (if only for my own edification): 
I know that some of the new friends I’ve made out there in
Web Log Land are a little worried about me and my health,
but they shouldn’t be.  I’m not seeking sympathy by telling
personal details in this public place.  I’ve learned some very
important lessons while dealing with a serious health condition
over the past decade, and I’m glad to have learned them and
lived them.   Besides discovering my own inner strength, I found
out that there are things far more valuable to me than the typical
American symbols of “success” — power, influence, recognition,
I still haven’t learned how to pace myself, to avoid doing my body harm
in a constant hyper-weblogging mode.  Maybe Pris can share some of
her experience with me. 
On the other hand, perhaps she can lend me a few “weird habits” so
I can get this darn List done.  Soon, Ellen (honest).
tiny check  Speaking of poets, here are a few
poems from Lee Gurga that fit my mood tonight:

arc of a rubberband
back and forth across the room;
winter evening
coyote moon sn
first snow —
little boy laughing
in his sleep
the sky black with stars —
coyote tracks up and down
the frozen creek
lee gurga from Fresh Scent (1998)   


  1. David,
    Thanks for writing me. Funny how the ‘weird tagging’ thing connected two more people with CFIDS. I’d like to add a link to your blog, if you don’t mind. Your post here was inspiring. It always helps to find somebody else who has this illness but who is still struggling to make the most out of the pieces of life remaining. Thanks for your comments about me, too. I wish I had some hints about not overdoing:-) Only somebody else with CFIDS would really understand that we can overdo cognitively or by listening to somebody talk too long. I wouldn’t have understood before. I don’t post a lot about CFIDS, either, but did run one long post a while back. After beating my brains out to try to explain the illness and the concept of hitting the wall, I still got a comment ‘I get tired, too’. Oh my:-)

    Comment by Pris — February 9, 2006 @ 6:08 am

  2. Hi David. I see Pris has already visited and now here I am. You poor man, hounded by us gals to make a weird list!
    I have mailed you back but glad I am posting here as I made two errors in the mail.
    I wrote that I loved the name “Short Breath Poetry” when I really meant to say “One Breath”…oooops.
    And I thought that the haiku you posted were your very own…ooops again. Thank you once again for being a good sport and for rising to the challenge.

    Comment by Ellen Johns — February 9, 2006 @ 3:43 pm

  3. […]   Earlier this year, I was cursed honored by a similar tagging at my dagosan’s haiku diary, where I was infected burdened blessed with the Weird-Tag — which requires a list of 5 of your weird habits your readers might not know about.  Because the dagosan weblog features only haiku poetry, I transferred that tag obligation to my multi-faceted site, f/k/a, where I wrote “i’m just not that weird (honest),” in an attempt to postpone making that list. […]

    Comment by shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress » Blog Archive » como (pro) se dice? — December 20, 2006 @ 11:49 am

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