I missed blogging last Sunday, which was the day following the 3-day whirlwind of AWP. By Sunday I was sick with a cold and fever and exhaustion. That was also the day I drove from Tampa to Miami to visit my son and his family, before driving back to Tampa on Tuesday to catch a plane back to Seattle, to then to drive home to Sequim, and get up on Wednesday to go to work. I get furious with people who come to work sick, but there I was, over-medicated and wearing a mask, seeing patients. I like to boast that I never get colds, obviously untrue, even with seeing patients in clinic all day who come in with one bug or another. It is true that I rarely get sick, for which I am enormously grateful, but should stop boasting about.
My secret weapon against ordinary viruses is sleep. I get 8-9 hours of good sleep most night of the week. I also add cinnamon to my coffee and use echinacea tincture at the first sign of a cold. The cinnamon trick comes from a story I’ve heard that during the 1918 Flu epidemic, which killed members of my own family, the folks working at the cinnamon factory in NYC, suffered remarkably few flu deaths.
I am feeling better today. Which brings me to AWP itself, almost forgotten in the tumult of travel and the misery of an ordinary cold. This was my third year attendin
g AWP for my press, Headmistress Press, where I sell our Books and Lesbian Poet Trading Cards and put temporary tattoos that read “Lesbian Poet” onto body parts of strangers who stop by. I always miss all the good stuff, but I was able to attend a couple of off-site events in the evenings and hear poetry read by some of my favorite poets.
Feeling so run down by travel (this was my third trip in three months) it would be tempting to say I won’t go to AWP next year. But it’s in Portland in 2019. Nothing will keep me from being there and catching the Pacific NW vibe at AWP. See yous guys there next year, I hope!
Glad to hear you’re on the mend.
On the radio a huckster sells cinnamon extract
and counsels against vaccinations.
In the 1918 flu pandemic
the black angel passed over
the cinnamon grinders who worked
in the dust of a spice factory,
and their families were spared.
At the pharmacy, “Purple Haze” plays softly
behind the rattle of pills in bottles.
(Which isn’t to discount the curative properties of cinnamon. Herodotus has an interesting account also, though I don’t have it at hand.)
Yes, someone told me echinacea was bogus too. But why stop doing what works? The most important contributors to not getting sick in my case are good sleep and frequent hand washing. I got sick when I was sleep deprived. Thanks for the charming commentary!
Ah, here it is: According to Herodotus in his The History, the cinnamon bird inhabited Arabia, the only country known to produce cinnamon at the time. The giant cinnamon birds collected the cinnamon sticks from an unknown land where the cinnamon trees grew, and used them to construct their nests, fastened to sheer cliffs. The Arabians employed a trick to obtain the cinnamon. They cut oxen and other beasts of burden into pieces, laid them near the birds’ nests and withdrew to a distance; the birds were then tempted down to carry the chunks of meat back to their nests, where the weight of the carcasses broke them from the cliffs, leaving the Arabians to collect the fallen cinnamon.