I painted this picture before I had any children, way back in 1969, in Tucson, Arizona. This was to commemorate my earlier escape from the Gates of Death for I was one of the THREE first Americans to get the Hong Kong flu and I nearly didn’t survive that ordeal. At one point during the night as my temperature rose above 104 and the nurses of the Free Clinic where I worked part time were covering me with ice to bring it down, one of them said, ‘Our coffee machine broke!”
I came out of my coma and said, ‘Put the coffee on me. I can heat it up.’ This startled everyone.
At 3:am I came back to the surface and turned my head to the doctor standing over me and sighed, ‘If a bird lands on the bush by the window, and sings the dawn song, I will live.’ Went back to the Gates of Death which lies in the setting sun and then, a few hours later, the dawn came and a small sparrow alighted on the bush, the staff opened the window just in case a bird came…and it lit into melodious greeting to the Eastern Sun who keeps all of us alive.
I woke again and sighed, ‘Now I can sleep’. I was turned from a active, hardworking very strong mountain climbing 19 year old into a skeleton but I cheated Death again!
This visit this summer at my familiar stomping grounds, aka, the Gates of Death, was not as dire but has harmed me. I did lose a lot of weight. I had sufficient insurance to spend a total of 6 trips in an ambulance or car and around three weeks in hospital. But the medicine that is fixing my internal organs is very expensive: $300. And it had to be made by a chemist. But the minute I started drinking it, the stabbing pains ceased and I generally had only 3 hours sleep a night, now it is still annoying to sleep but I get at least 7 hours a night. Only the last three days have I eaten solid food.
My fingers are still numb and my hands shake and I am sadly easily confused because the Watchers, if you visit the Gates of Death (they are basically Vultures of the Gods, ask Promethus about them!) messing with my brains. My memory is coming back bit by bit and I am still very very weak and typing is torture due to the many mistakes,tiring. Will talk tomorrow after I have another day of restoration.
Love you all, Elaine Supkis