Sunday, December 26, 2010

In Relation

When a tree falls in the forest and no person is there to hear it, yes, it makes a sound. The sound is just the sound of a tree falling. There is no qualifying the sound. The sound is without the context and history of the listener.

Measuring any social quality is the same. We can say I am 38 based on the wear of my teeth, bones etc. but 38 is just an age signifying not much more than that. The meaning of 38 is derived when I am put in relationship to others. Within very specific social contexts 38 means different things. It is when I am juxtaposed within specific settings and in relation to what/who is around me that my age takes on a richer meaning.

When we study age, or any other social attribute, we have to take into consideration the experience of the individual studied within the context of their social surroundings. We have to come up with ways to relate those meanings in a fluid way that allows for flexibility in those meanings across different dimensions such as time or setting.

The language we choose, as the describer, equally signifies our own history and experience. To me, the sound of the tree falling will reflect all the other trees I have ever heard falling. Your description will necessarily differ from mine, even if very slightly, because we have not inhabited the same space. We have not had the same experiences.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Things I Can't Tell You

There are moments in our lives when we do things that nag at us, that drain our energy. Things we aren't proud of and are afraid to share with anyone else. Generally, if you read enough comedy, you find out that you are not the only person who has done or thought this whatever thing that it is you have done/thought. (Comedians have a marvelous way of exposing their weaknesses so that we can laugh at our own.) I think these things are the blocks we have between each of us. They are why we over-react at times to others. I want to title my first book Things I Can't Tell You.  Or, maybe What I Can't Tell You. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

That's Completely Natural

No product, no brushing - morning hair.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Facility Dreams

I dreamt last night that the staff apartment at work had a fire. Poor co-workers were stressed to the max - one trying to study for a final, the other feeling responsible for the fire. I felt responsible for the fire. Felt like I missed something. Wow, I haven't had a dream like that in a while. When I first took on being house manager I woke up every morning thinking about what I didn't know about the house and what I worried I should learn quick. 24, 000 square foot facility with up to 24 families and at least one staff person over night leaves me uneasy at times. I feel so responsible for them all. It's so much easier when I'm there in person. I can jump in and be the one to take responsibility. But when I'm not there, I'm worried about what I'm not seeing. I intellectually know that I do everything I can to make sure the facility is safe, that staff are trained and supported, that I'm available by phone. I know the staff there can handle their responsibilities. I just can't help but have it creep into my dreams once in a while still!

There's some deep lesson here about what we can't see, my literal blind spot, and the beauty of how some Asian art intentionally obscures things or adds minor imperfections. I need a hot shower and another cup of tea before I go there though.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Buzz Kill

Wicked little one.
You think you're ruler of the morning,
Master of our schedule.
You think we jump when you say "jump".
We need to show you who's boss.
You're not in charge of me.
One word for you little creep, "snooze."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hot Cocoa Dreams

Dreams upon dreams. I often don't even remember any dreams, but I had dream after dream last night. Dreams about spiders and museums and trying to find my way through a city. Bits and pieces of conversations from the last few days extrapolated into stories with new meanings. Anxious, but not bad dreams. Dark hot chocolate with marshmallows must unlock or instigate something. Not sweet dreams. How can such active, movie-like dreaming feel like such deep sleep?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No Title

Sometimes I want to sit perfectly still on a mountain top. I want to be at the very top like the flat, barren peak of Church Mountain. I want to sit there and let the elements wear me down molecule by molecule. Sun cracking and drying me, rain spreading the cracks, wind scattering me as far as it can carry me. Sitting there, solidly, still, strong.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Om Lasso

Om can be a crazy metaphysical rope flung out there with intention,
Still my thoughts.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sister Love

I love my sister. I am so lucky to have an older sister. I'm so lucky to have a sister.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Body of Literature

I see your e-reader and it makes me lust for crisp pages,
The smell when I open a book to its center.
Letters pressing through, soft ridges under my fingers.

Monday, October 4, 2010


She’s awake. She’s up. Why so early? 
My body is in instant alert. This seems way too early and she’s gone out to the garage. I’m tense. Is she not sleeping well? Why is she in the garage? It’s still dark out. Adrenaline has me instantly, 100% awake, ready to react to what this day may bring. I’m hyper-vigilant these days. Please let my instincts be wrong. 
Colleen is here. What are you doing here? She is by my side, she is here to calm me, to let me know I’m not alone. The same calmness that she provided me during the “bubble test.” She brings the gravity of a friend who has walked through her own battlefields. The calm that emanates from someone who has made it to a place of peace with her battles. To whom the battles are no longer battles but “process.” Accepted, allowed and unplanned todays. 
Grandma is at the foot of my bed. This seems completely out of character. She always seemed so fragile to me in life, someone to be protected. Someone you want to wrap yourself around to keep out any hurt. Her posture now is erect, alert. I want to apologize to her, tell her I’m sorry I am who I am. I’ve kept her at bay since I came out eight years ago. I don’t want her to be disappointed in me, I feel panicked. Her glance at me says, “Nonsense, you do not need my acceptance. I’m not here right now to pass judgement on you.” That’s the end of the conversation and she turns back toward the bedroom door. She is here to stand guard, to defend and to protect me against sadness, disappointment. Things I am too aware she is an expert at battling. Her presence says, “No, not her. This will not happen.” I’m newly aware of an enormous strength that this little woman possesses. A strength that fills the room and surprises me. I did not know her fully before. 
I hear the sound of eggs whisked in a glass bowl from the kitchen. She is making me breakfast, knowing bad news yesterday will make it very difficult for me to get out of bed today. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Morning Dud?

Wow, I haven't posted since August. Does that mean I've had no significant morning thoughts? Well, no. I've just been lazy really. That and forgetful. OK, and overwhelmed at work by a kitchen remodel that had my Wednesdays jammed with work related activities instead of blogging. I'm back now. But, still decompressing so no brilliant thoughts. Ha!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Acupuncture Trip

Acupuncture has different results for me each time I am "stuck." Sometimes I am just pleasantly relaxed during it, sometimes I fall asleep, and other times I have a crazy out of body sensation. The latter is my favorite. It feels like all the energy of who I am rises slightly above and outside of me. It swirls around in a little heavier than mist river of color that I watch as if I'm not looking through my own eyes. The only way I have come up with to explain this sensation is to describe it as a "reorganization" of the energy in me.

I am a very logical person and I like to think there is a scientific explanation for that experience. I mean, acupuncture is meant to help move energy through your body properly. Well, a basic "what does acupuncture do" is usually answered by me this way: We are made up of energy, molecules of moving energy. Actually, any "solid" object is just an accumulation of attracted particles of energy that form a "whole." Acupuncture works to tap into channels of energy in your body, unblocking where they are "stuck" and helping make sure they move where they should and how they should. To me it's very logical and scientific. Even the "out of body experience" part is pretty logical to me. We are energy and we are not actually discrete like we appear. Everything around us is also moving energy. We interact with it. Our energy, during acupuncture, is interacting more, or we are more aware of it's interaction, with the energy around us.

That said, during these fabulous sessions where I feel like the energy in my body is doing a little river dance above me, sometimes I have images that come to me. That happened this last time and I can't get those images, or don't want to get those images, out of my head. That's what I've been thinking about the last few mornings when I wake up.

It hasn't really happened recently, but I used to have a single image that would come to me when I was in chivasana in yoga. My relaxation image was me beneath a large oak-like tree. There was a light rain all around me but not on me. The tree I was beneath was on a very small, warm island of grass surrounded by cool, dark-blue water that rippled outward. Everything around me was tinged a pale-blue, calm.

In my last acupuncture treatment, I could see the image of the tree before me, but I was no longer beneath the tree. I was in a wooden boat on the water and a mist kept blocking my view of the tree. When I tried to see through the mist to where I was going, it became thicker. I thought about my most recent philosophy of dealing with pain. When I try to deal with physical pain by tensing in order to somehow block it, it just doesn't go away. If I accept the pain, really embrace the pain and allow myself to fully experience the depth of it, it can dissolve away. I thought about this in relationship to the mist and I accepted the mist. I accepted that I didn't know where I was going or if I was going to get back to the tree. When I did this, the mist would clear.

Suddenly I was on the island, but not directly beneath the tree. The tree was now something like a maple crossed with a willow and all made of light. Amber, rust, rich red, and sunbright leaves of light floated around me. I was this light, but the long sweeping branches of the tree provided protection, enclosed me.

Then I saw myself. It was me as a girl, maybe six or so. I was tan, smiling, wearing jean shorts. My child self waved to me. I waved back and couldn't help but also smile. She had a presence about her that said, I'm always here.

I have been wondering what, when I work out all my grief in therapy or anxiety in massage, I will fill the emptiness back up with? I have wondered what I will replace the melancholy with and who I will be if I am not broody and dark sometimes? The child me, her smile and wave, her ease of presence, reassured me I am just making room for something that is already in me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Anxious Bones

That was one of the best massages ever yesterday. Cheryl is awesome. She is a healer. I felt like it was the perfect combination of muscle work and healing. It really felt like I was in the room of a healer and she was working magic. At one point I felt like she was talking to me without speaking. She was really listening to my body. She told me afterwards that she felt that at one point her third eye opened. I'm not really sure what the third eye is or if that's something that feels like my language, but we were definitely communicating about the same moment. I'm glad I went ahead and made another appointment already.

She was unthreading the tiny little weights from my bones. I was sore last night and this AM and I think it was from the release of that crap. I told her when I got there that I felt like the anxiety was knotted up in my bones. It and the grief have taken up residence there - made it their home. I hope I've caught them before they've eaten up all that I am. They are such a part of who I am that I'm not sure what will take their place or if I will just be empty. That's why it's hard to let them go.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dear Maurice,

It's time for you to leave me alone. You died. You left me alone then. I know you thought you have been protecting me by lingering over me. Your constant presence is like a weight I can't shake, like lead. I likely conjured you up when I found your obituary. I think I wanted to know you but you were dead and you scared me.

Don't get me wrong, I have wanted to know you. I have wished that someday I would run into you somewhere and we would recognize each other. There would be some story about a witness protection program or something similar. My life would change in an instant. I would suddenly be happy. We would talk for hours. You would tell me how proud you are of me. You would tell me my path in life - you would tell me what to do - my life purpose. We would laugh. You would fly me somewhere. You would hold me in your arms and sing something only I could hear. You would be young. You would be liberal.

You would say that I could be anything because I am your daughter. Just like that I would know what I want to be and would become it. Seeing you, meeting you, would solve all my problems.

Maybe it is these thoughts that have kept you lingering around me. Maybe you think of them too. Maybe you believe you might will yourself into my presence and do those things for me.

We need to accept this isn't going to happen. I want to call you dad, but I can't do it. I hope you understand. Larry is dad, you are Maurice.

Having you around has been painful too. Being introduced as Maurice's daughter was painful. Having my mom, my grandparents and my brothers think of you each time they looked at me, that made me feel invisible. It was painful. I've felt as if I have no personality of my own. No presence of my own. Wherever I went, you were right there with me. It made me something painful for everyone who knew you.

I think your energy sucks life from people around me. Mourning has followed me. It's a vacuum that sucks away joy and energy and I desperately try to fill that void.

I know you and mom think your presence protects me. She's convinced you are the reason I lived through that car accident. Maybe it's true, but at the time I wished I hadn't lived through it. Maybe the reason I didn't want to was because of you.

I don't say these things to hurt you or the people who loved you. I don't know how else to convince you to leave. You need to. I know this now. It's not good for me for you to linger. Yes, I would love to see you, to be more convinced of your presence. That hope keeps me in the past and the "what could have been" instead of the now and real.

I need to start living in the now. We were not meant to walk here together. I would have liked that. Really. Please take that with you. I would have liked to know your touch, to remember what it felt like to be in your arms, to smell you, to know your voice.

You didn't take care of yourself though. I've been angry about that too.  You knew you shouldn't have smoked and should have slept more. You didn't and that left us alone.

Your regrets are like a million tiny fishing weights tied to me. My whole life I've worn them and thought them armor. I want to shed them now. This means you have to move on. Forgive yourself. Know that I'm strong. Know that my mom did her best

I think the only way for me to know you now is to know myself. I will always carry who you are with me. I have things you've given me such as lanky arms, my grandpa's ears and brown eyes, my grandma's cheeks and curly hair.

If I can have the weight of you gone though, I can breathe better. I can move better. I can look at myself and see you through me.

You can go now. You can go to whatever it is that you need now.

Maria Christine

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


That breeze feels more like fall than summer. No sunny tree reflections on my curtains. The way they are billowing reminds me of a sail and the air filling them feels crisp. Thinking about therapy. Thinking about connections that seem so obvious and yet have eluded me for 30 some years until now. Thinking about connections pointed out to me that I don't actually get yet. That makes me anxious. If I don't understand something, it seems that much more important.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


There is a bottle of valerian root by my bed if I start to get anxious. I have water too right? The stuff works, I'm so surprised by this. The melatonin I figured out on my own, and it also works, but the doctor suggested the valerian root. They both make me sleepy, but the valerian seems to be calming more than sleep inducing. I can take it at 3:00 AM and still get up at 5:50 AM. This morning I slept right through to about 5:30 though. That felt good.

I have the entire morning to myself. Maria time. Seems the perfect temperature in bed. The sheets are slightly cool, the air outside is crisp. I can breathe when it's crisp. Jovi is still sleeping. That is good. She even went back to sleep when I asked her to turn her alarm off. The dog is barking. I'll let him out so she can sleep more. The morning is all mine.

It's 7:30 AM and the sun is out. I've got to water the garden! A morning in the garden sounds perfect. No thinking about what the afternoon might hold. The new medication seems to be taking care of some of her manic behavior. The  morning is mine.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pet Noises

Should my rabbit snore?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dandelion Greens

I dreamt this morning that my brother was adamant I let his boys try to find dandelion greens in my back yard. I kept saying to him that I thought the boys wouldn't like them, that I'd heard they were too bitter to just eat. He got frustrated trying to convince me that they eat them all the time and they love them and would I just let them try to find some? I told him I would, but we'd already gotten rid of them.

This perplexes me. My Monsanto buying, Round-Up spraying, weed killing brother trying to convince me that his children find dandelion greens delicious? I've wanted to try dandelion greens since the time I saw Colleen frying them. For some reason I just haven't done it. What did my dream mean?

There's sun outside. It could be gone any minute now.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Yeah, um, no thoughts lately when I wake up. In fact, I usually wake up several hours earlier than I have to and lay in bed ruminating on things. Not lately. Sleeping until the alarm goes off, waking up groggy and stumbling to work. Hmm. What's with that? OK, so this morning I did dream that I overslept and people showed up to our house expecting us to be gone already. Well, at least I seem to be sleeping through the night, but I do miss my brilliant AM ideas. Sleep or "brilliance"? Sleep.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Breast Stroke

Why is it that I can't get my legs in sync with my arms and adding my head is an additional complication? Swimming lessons as an adult who loves swimming are harder and I think it's mostly due to muscle memory. When you have no idea how to do something, it's so much easier to learn to do it correctly. How frustrating to be able to visualize how to do something, but your body says, "No this is how we've always done it!"

Monday I became absolutely convinced of the truth of muscle memory. When I tried to share my login for a database with someone and couldn't do it. I tried 4 times to login on his computer with my login and couldn't get it to work. When I went and sat down in my chair and at my own computer, I typed it in correctly first try. If I tried to slow down and pay attention to what I was typing, I couldn't do it! I couldn't generate my login. When I just started typing without thinking, I got the damn thing right each time.

Muscle memory. Amazing.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


3 AM. Not time to get up. What wakes me up at this hour? Thoughts about going back to Missouri for Mother's Day weekend quick trip.  I've been excited to go and I want to go. It's so easy though to think things are on the up and up when I'm all the way out here. It's easy to focus on work when I'm out here. I don't want to see mom and see how much weight she's lost. I don't want to doubt the progress she's made. I want to keep believing whole-heartily. I know I also won't want to get back on the plane when it's time to return. I know that's going to be difficult. I don't want to go to work this morning. I don't want to get out of bed. I don't know if I'll be able to get out of bed. I don't want to face the barrage of my typical day before a four day weekend. If I go to work I don't get a chance to think about anything else. I could go to work right now. I'll just count. Focus on the numbers and the breathing. A little meditation on numbers to distract my mind. I'll just count.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random Things

Today is treatment day for mom. She's probably already up at the hospital getting her blood check and such to determine if they will "let" her have treatment today. I'm hoping to also hear from her that she hasn't lost any weight since her last treatment. That will be a major milestone. I hardly even want to articulate that I also hope she maybe gained a few pounds?? That would be a touchdown against her cancer! Well, I'll be very pleased to hear she didn't lose any. I'll have to text her soon. We text on her treatment day while she is in the hospital. That way we can keep in touch when she feels like it and without disrupting other folks getting their treatment.  Crossing my fingers this treatment goes at least as well as the last. One day at a time, but these are big days. Pump on today, off in two days.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Real AmeriCorps

So I woke up thinking this morning about something I woke up two days ago thinking about. I think our country needs a way to galvanize folks who serve their country other than by going into the military. Not because I have anything against the military. I just think it would be great to highlight and support ways that you can support your country by supporting your community and the members of your community through service.

There's AmeriCorps, which is great, but I've been in the non-profit community sector for over 15 years now. I'm not quitting my job to earn a small stipend and college loan relief. I don't have college loans. I still serve my country by working in my field. I make sure that people who have a child in the hospital have a place to stay nearby to their child. There are tons of people like me to do work for much less than we might earn in the for-profit world because we believe in working to help others in our communities. We aren't going to go work in an entry level internship to be a part of AmeriCorps.

However, I would love to join an expanded AmeriCorps that provided recognition, networking opportunities, maybe insurance pools (because folks who work in non-profit are often underinsured), educational opportunities etc. I would love to join an organization that recognized professionals in the service of their communities and provided mentorships. I would love to see a national service organization that proudly highlighted how its members serve their nation through various works.

I think an organization such as this would be an excellent way to bring together people of various backgrounds over a more compassionate, more active way to be a patriot. In my mind it could work to redefine what it means to love your country and to serve your country. It could redefine what it means to be patriotic. It could put an emphasis back on community and how we can transform our communities through good works.

I would be very proud to proclaim membership in such a group, a group that proclaimed with pride the good works of it's members to their communities.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Super Pup

He needs a cape. He jumped all the way up to a bird on a wire. Then he dropped the bird on command.... eventually. He's super dog in my dreams. Come up here pup and get in bed with mamas. Good dog. Let's go back to sleep together. Love it when all 125 lbs of you snuggles up as if you could still fit on my lap.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010


It's kinda funny, I just realized, that I had my talk on listening as a gift yesterday with a man who is a Jehovah's Witness. Only because I was talking to him about my thoughts on listening as witnessing and I hadn't even thought about the fact that witnessing is important to him and probably defined a little differently.

We were standing in the kitchen at work and he complimented us on everything we do. How did we get on the topic of listening? I can't remember really. I remember telling him my belief that listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give.

I really believe this. A lot of times I feel like I might not be doing enough for others and I focus on actions I might do to them or for them - like helping someone at the grocery store or making dinner for a neighbor etc. I think we often overlook the power of listening.

Listening seems passive to most people, like an inaction, like we're not doing - that's why most people are not good listeners. We get impatient listening because we want to be doing. We don't realize that listening is an activity and it requires skills. It also requires a good deal of energy and can be as exhausting as a marathon if you are not in good condition. Being a good listener requires practice, attention, and skill. Listening is an art.

I told this guest my theory on listening as witnessing. I told him about the professor I had in college who sat in on war crimes tribunals and how she spoke of witnessing. She told us that witnessing means actively being present to someone's story. That allowing someone to share with us a difficult story is a gift to the speaker. What she meant was that sometimes what someone is telling us is painful to hear. When people have something painful to tell, often times they find it hard to find a listener. We sometimes tune out difficult stories to avoid any emotional pain ourselves.

Being present to someone's story means truly seeing them. Being an active listener to someone is like saying, "I see you, I see all of you, you are here." This is what we all truly crave when it comes down to it. We crave proof that others really see us, that they see all of who we are and not just the "pretty stuff," the "pleasantries." We crave to be 100% authentic and someone really hearing us is like being seen, like proof that we are here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

It's good to wake up with a little bit of dried chocolate stuck to your neck...


I woke up this morning with the singular thought, "I don't even want to be in this house." Fortunately, I was referring to a house I was in during the dream I was just having and not my actual house. I had dreamt that I was with my ex-husband and several old friends moving into a house together. Dave and I weren't getting along and he was completely ignoring my input as to which room in the house we were going to claim. My friends were claiming rooms left and right and I was looking for a room with a bit of privacy. He was so excited to be living with his old college buddies that he really didn't care where we stayed. I was so frustrated with the whole situation that I really felt like none of the rooms would really do. One had several beds and a curtain up around a corner with a bed in there. Another room, that my old friends claimed, had two twins in it. I started thinking about the many times I wanted to go off on some little excursion with just Dave and he'd only wanted to hang out with his friends or go off on a kayaking trip without me. I woke up thinking to myself, "I don't even want to be in this house." You could have a Freudian heyday with that dream and I usually like analyzing my dreams, but I don't think that's the point of the dream.

I heard a quote at a workshop not long ago that went something like this, "Fear is the shabbiest room in the house. I'd like to see you in better living conditions." For some reason, around 4:00 AM this morning this quote made sense to me in relation to my waking thought, "I don't even want to be in this house." A few years ago, I walked out of that house and I'm in better living conditions. To me, our happiness is sometimes just a matter of recognizing our surroundings and how they make us feel. The hardest work is choosing to walk out of those surroundings when we've tried everything to change them and to step into the unknown. Stepping out the front door seems like a much easier concept to grasp.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


If I just lift the covers up a little, she'll show up and curl up next to my chin.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Rocket Man

And I think it's gonna be a long long time
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I'm a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone.

OK, what was really in my mind was, "Rocket man, nah nah nah nah nah na nah nah naa, Rocket man...." 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Pick-Up

Sunday garbage pickup. Sunday. Of course the music went later, that makes sense. I can't deal without at least five hours sleep. I can function quite well on five hours. That's normal. Six hours is great. Three for two nights in a row doesn't work. I'll just go down and ask for a new room right now. Oh wait, maybe not in these PJ's or in this hair. My Bob Dylan morning hair. Trip Advisor here I come. Is it right to give a bad review without complaining to the hotel first? I would have asked for a new room yesterday, but I know mom and dad don't want to move. Mom sleeps right through it all.

Library access. I love journal access. This is one of the main problems with our higher education. Access. I can purchase a community card to a local university library, but it will not get me online journal access. Argh. You have to be a student or employee to get that access. I need that access. If I go back to work at a university and they ask me why I want to return to university work, I will say, "online journal access, I need it."

I am up, but I am not awake, this is NOT a good combination. This is where my reputation for not being a morning person comes from. I might bite. I could bite right now. I desperately am counting on a nap in the sun this afternoon. Please universe grant me a good long, restorative nap in the warm sun this afternoon. All would be good. Kitty wouldn't bite nor roar with a nap in the sun under her belt.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who needs to sleep in?

Garbage trucks on Saturday morning? Mom and dad are still snoring so I know it's EARLY. WTF? Alleys make garbage trucks ten times louder than normal. If the band hadn't played until maybe midnight and then the crowds going home hadn't come through the alley and then if the stragglers hadn't decided to fill their ice buckets from the machine just on the other side of the wall.... If I lay here for an hour maybe I will fall back to sleep. Oh now there are guys out in the alley yelling across to each other from their respective doorways. Really, what city has garbage trucks next to hotels on Saturday morning?? I think they gave us the loudest room in the hotel. Would it be bad if I went to request a new room in my PJ's?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cat Scan

Wide awake and yet I feel as tired as when I'm sleepy and ready for bed. Mom's still asleep, don't want to wake her up. Follow-up appointment today. CT scan results. Deep breath. Am I clenching every single muscle in my body? I forgot that I have muscles in my toes and forehead and finger tips and ears... How do they know from the surgery that her lungs are clear? Her lungs are clear. That's "the plan." That's the way I've been rehearsing how this will go. That's how it will go. So far, everything's gone according to plan. I should get up and exercise or read or get ready so mom can take her time when she wakes up. Dad didn't even wake her up when he got up. She's resting, that's good. It was a long night. We shouldn't have walked in the cold like that. We did have fun.... She's up. I'm up.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hope I don't get the flu. I always think this now when I fly. People right in your row coughing a nasty productive cough - covering her mouth with her hand. I hold my breath for a little bit knowing that probably makes no difference, I can't help myself.

I never worried about the flu until this year. This year, I am more worried mostly because we have a little one at work who is so vulnerable. Also now we worry about giving something to mom. Don't want to be the one to give her the flu or a nasty cold when we're so anxious for her to start her treatment.

Last night, right before going to sleep, I actually was able to get to a point where I thought, "Thank you, cancer." I felt able to greet her cancer and just say "OK, thank you for the gifts you have brought us," and really mean it.

The other night Jovi and I were talking about the genetic testing that is now available and how conflicted we are about it. On the one hand you have to think, "This is cool. We could find out our family ancestry just like in that show with Henry Louis Gates, Jr." On the other hand, "Hello Gattica." Yikes. I also think, disease is such an important part of nature. I told Jovi that in no way, given a choice, would I want mom to have cancer. I don't want to be going through this and I especially don't want mom going through this. That said, it has already given our family a wonderful gift. My brother, sister and I know how much we care about each other and how much we will put aside to care for our parents. We know this before they really need it. So many families fall apart during medical crises. I feel a sense of belonging in my family that I've never really felt. We also know how much mom and dad mean to us. It's hard to capture what I'm trying to say here. Again, I wouldn't choose this, but I have to admit that there has been one wonderful benefit and I'm not going to pretend there isn't.

There are many quotes and philosophic statements about how difficulty highlights what we have to be thankful for. I am glad to have heard some of them.

Friday, March 5, 2010

From the Heart = Anxiety

I made a decision from the heart yesterday and it's probably going to come back and bite me in the ass. I know I should have gone with my instincts, with reason and made the tough decision. I know that sometimes a hard decision now is a better decision in the long run. Why am I always the one though to make the tough decisions and why don't I get to be the one to go from my heart. I want to give this person a chance and maybe it will be more work right now, but there's a chance and so I wanted to take it. What can I do to set the expectations right now. That's going to be so important.

I want to check the time but the cat is so nicely cuddled in my arm and I love when she cuddles like this. She seems so happy and comfortable and that's not quite as common as it used to be. OK and when I do lift my head to peek at the alarm, she's going to wake up and start meowing her old kitty "feed me" meow. Oh crap it's 4:30.

Hey I have my "when I woke up" thought though, I can go back to sleep right?

Nope. I think there's a chance still it was an OK decision. Maybe not.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

...this morning I discovered that God is a verb.

This morning it occurred to me that God is an action, a verb. This morning the sentence, "God is the effort of connecting compassionately to others," came to me as my first thought. God is when we actively work to be connected to other people - to other family members, to neighbors, to coworkers, to people in an earthquake in Haiti or Chile. When we try to walk in the shoes of others, when we listen with compassion and are truly present when interacting with others, when we think about the consequences our actions have on others, we participate in the creation of and the experience of God.

Of course, I also believe in Martin Buber's assertion that, when we try to articulate God, we lose the essence of God. I think this is because God is a verb that is more of an action than a noun to be described within the vocabulary of our limited experience of the world around us. This makes me think of the "Allegory of the Cave" too. It also makes me think of the whirling Sufis and an experience of God through motion. We are kinesthetic beings meant to also experience the world through action and not just through our eyes.

The rabbit sounds like she is rearranging our kitchen, time to tend to the pets.