Reflections from the month by David Johnson. A letter head for my monthly newsletter. Black writing on a blue background with a drawing of a tree to the left

August 2023

Well after a run of 14 newsletters, the last one being at the end of April this year, I have not sent a newsletter for three months now. April and May found my wife and I in Portugal, based in AlcΓ‘cer do Sal where we have a town house. At some point during our two month stay I became unwell. Initially it appeared to be hay fever, allergies which I escape here in Hawai’i. While the hay fever was upon me, I think (I am still unsure), that I got food poisoning. What happened next, I am still do not know. All I do know is that I did not get any better. I won’t go into too much detail here. I am writing a blog entry to capture what I experienced just so I do not forget about it. Suffice to say that I lost a lot of weight and energy along the course of a month. At one stage I was unsure how I would have the energy to get home. But get home I did, and went straight to the hospital. It turned out that I had pneumonia.

I was warned that it would take me a couple of months to recover from pneumonia, but I guess that I found that hard to take on board…until the reality struck. The next couple of months were a slow recovery process. Indeed recent weeks have seen minor symptoms holding on. All this gives me some anxiety for when we return to Portugal. I don’t know how or where I got pneumonia from, and I do not want to catch it again.

So the last three months have seen me distracted, or simply lacking the energy to get a newsletter out. With the end of August here I am hoping that I can get back into the rhythm of getting newsletters back out on a monthly basis.

The other big news for me are the devastating wild fires on Maui which struck the island on August 8th, whipped up by the strong winds of Hurricane Dora which passed well south of the island. The devastation caused to the town of Lahaina are the images that have gone round the world. As I have said in one of the posts below, I don’t believe that there is anyone on the island who has not been effected or who does not know someone effected in some way by the fires. The sense of collective and individual grief feels omni present on Maui. And then there is the added economic shock of the mass exodus of tourists from the island, followed up by few visiting. The wrong messaging got out at the time of the fires, not encouraging people to come here. The island is still open for visitors.

Finally, I have not published a new podcast episode for over a year, and so decided to close down my Behind The Thoughts meditation podcast. Not wanting to loose the work that went into the podcast, and so that people can still benefit from episodes, I have archived the whole podcast on my website. Find it here.

As ever, thank you for reading.