Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Update on the skyway way

I was stunned to see that I am still getting hundreds of hits on this blog a month, despite my absence.  Let me explain my absence a bit.

Last year I began to feel crappy in July.  It persisted and got worse.  While I, as any good middle class hypochondriac would, expected cancer, etc, the doctors were baffled.  Each specialty I consulted with had their favorite problem that they tried to attach to my odd list of symptoms, but none were convinced and none tried to push me to really invasive procedures.

In January after six months of increasing misery, I contacted Mayo clinic on my own and through a series of fairly rapid encounters was told I had constrictive heart failure.  This is not classic heart failure, which occurs with the blockage of arteries.  This is an odd duck disease that can elude accurate diagnosis for years.

Long story short, I was unable to walk much at all due to extreme shortness of breath by August last year, and my final post in July was written sitting in a coffee shop in Edina.  After that, I was lucky to get up and make it to the car from the sofa, and to my desk from the car, and back home again.  I was swollen with fluids in my torso and legs.  It precluded my skyway adventures completely. You might say I couldn't put my heart into it anymore.

March 6 I showed up at St. Marys for an operation that removed the scarred tissue that constricted my heart.  I have been convalescing for a bit over six weeks now.  This involves walking the treadmill a couple of miles a day when I can.

Now, the funny thing is, that I started walking the skyways to get a mile or two in a day without having to use the treadmill we had just bought.  That was the reason for this blog in the first place.  Now that I have experienced full-on open heart surgery, I was grateful for the safety and convenience of the treadmill in the basement as I regained my balance, stamina and general mobility.

Soon I will be returning downtown.  Maybe in a week or three.  When I do, I will definitely hit the skyways again, with a fresh set of eyes and no expectations/

Since this year marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first skyway, which crossed Marquette between 6th and 7th Street S, you might expect to hear more about them. But you probably won't.  I suspect the topic is embargoed by the local powers that be, who have published the Minneapolis plan out to the year 2025 and who seem to find the skyways a bit of an embarrassment these days.


But another inspiration for "The Way of the Skyways" were the observations of the Chinese sage Lao Tzu.  He didn't write his Tao Te Ching around 300 B.C. to promote retail and entertainment in the provincial capital where he lived. He addressed the deeper issues that human soul will encounter in their journey on this planet.  And for me that journey can continue in its full mystery on the elevated walkways of this city.

In his own words:

"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving."
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