Hope

gift of tears
porcelain, 5″x 2″
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What is hope exactly?

There really isn’t anything exact about the thing.

Hope and desire reside in the same country but speak very different dialects.

Hope makes you vulnerable.

Desire means there’s something empty that needs to be filled (in your estimation).

Hope is: ‘I HAVE MADE ROOM FOR THIS (healing, forgiveness, appearance, disappearance..)

And I can not do this thing by myself and need Your help.

Hope is a conversation which includes desire.

Desire is the powerful magnetic of ‘one.’

Only one.

Me, me and more me.

I want, I need….

As opposed to: “This seems like it would be good. How does that sit with You?”

The capitalized ‘Y’ holding the place for whatever you sense is larger than you; God, All-That-Is, Nature…

I WANT, I NEED has dryness to it.

I HOPE feels fertile and contains mystery and possibility.

I HOPE is looking up.

I WANT is looking straight forward.

I WANT, I NEED supposes we know best for ourselves (as in that yellow! cowboy hat I bought eons ago).

I HOPE reckons that is not always the case.

Amen.

We Don’t Choose

ten questions
“RAIN” installation, ceramic,nails 2008
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We don’t choose what is going to wake us up.

It chooses us.

Today, I rolled downtown under our impossibly blue sky

And heard a violinist.

Young and scrappy, he stood there and played.

I noticed the maturity of his soundings as I approached; I smiled as I slowed and passed.

A half block away as tears wet my cheeks

I turned around and went back to him.

What and mostly how he played broke my heart open and I wanted him to know.

I dropped in a 5 dollar bill.

He bowed and I left.

I was different. He was different.

He played scorchingly and brilliantly as I crossed the street; almost like a lover’s call.

Before my health challenges I likely would have heard him as back round noise; sweet but pass-by-able.

Today my ears were honed for devotion-worthy instances.

And it isn’t even Sunday.

Missing Out

renegade
ceramic, 6″ each
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Well- clearly I did not make any friends with my post yesterday regarding the choice to de-activate my Facebook account..

I alienated some folks with what seemed like flippancy around politics.

The name of my blog: LIVING UNDONE means just that.. letting you be privy to some of the process I go through to get my self centered in life by letting go of what was and opening into the path of no path.

The only way I see to affect change in myself is to try new stuff out and see how it goes.

Not accessing Facebook will mean I am out of the loop with family and many people I care for and learn from.

Not unlike people who do not have a TV.

I will miss out on interesting, important, funny and gorgeous things.

I’ll feel the sting of a broken addiction.

Maybe I just need to learn how to manage the beast better in order to access the peace I’m after.

Perhaps things are not as diametrically opposed as I think.

I’m just over here trying to figure stuff out just like the next person. The difference being you get to peek a little into my process.

What I learned here is that we humans are herd animals.

We (I) take solace in belonging.

If I turn to the river while you hop on over to the mountain we are separate and inherently more vulnerable.

But when we return to camp in the evening, you may have found a perfectly hewn arrowhead which will make me swoon in it’s beauty.

And we’ll both take pleasure in the discovery.

Groking the Grail

exposed
detail of painting on wool flannel
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A good girlfriend of mine has 2500 Facebook friends.

She uses Facebook well to market her work.

I asked her the other day how to stop getting posts from certain people who send me things like what they are eating and how scared they are of winter approaching.

She replied: “I don’t know how to de-friend someone. Click on to where it says ‘FRIENDS’ and see what they say.”

I had a visceral reaction to the word ‘de-friend’ which shocked me.

Was I bad to de-friend someone? Many people? All of them? (as in de-activating my entire account).

How had this new shame-based decision made it’s way into my fairly intelligent mind?

And how do I get it out?

I was reading recently about new technology being developed involving a photo being taken from the lid of a trashcan from which an alarm would sound every time a recyclable piece of trash was ‘mistakenly’ tossed away.

You can bet your booty you’d get that Starbuck’s cup sleeve out of the can in a hurry.

Where shame is concerned there’s nothing like it to beat the motivation possibilities for the human race.

And so.. I did de-activate my Facebook account.

I did it to save myself.

My personal litmus test for ANY relationship is this: IS THIS MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL?

Am I getting as much or more out of the dynamic as I give?

My grail is Peace with a capitol “P.”

Everyone has their own idea of ‘grailness’ but this is mine.

My blog provides me with plenty of ability to be visible, connect and create.

What IS enough?

Sigh……..

Sigh……..

Off-click.

Delightenment

matches2
matches,earth
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What is the thing that has a flock of birds or school of fish communicate with such alacrity that the entire mass can change direction in a nanosecond?

A biophysicist named Albert-Fritz POPP works with something called biophotonics which is the measurement of light emission in cells, plants and all living things. He has found fascinating results testing people affected by disease and has found people with MS are in a category all their own.

The following from this article:
–Quantum coherence means that subatomic particles are able to co-operate. These waves know about each other and are highly interlinked by bands of electromagnetic fields. They can communicate with each other. It is analogous to an orchestra where all photons are playing together but as individual instruments that are able to carry on playing individual parts.

Therefore, biophotonic emission is a perfect communication system that transfers information to may cells across the body and to other bodies.

Another important characteristic of biophotons is that they follow biological rhythms (i.e., daily, weekly, monthly and annually). In healthy individuals the biophotons are extremely coherent and in rhythm with the world. In seriously ill people (i.e., cancer) they have lost their natural rhythm and coherence. The lines of communication were scrambled and they lost their connection with the world. In effect their light was going out.

Interestingly, Popp found in people with multiple sclerosis, that the opposite was true. They were in a state of too much order. They were taking in too much light, inhibiting the ability of the cells to do their job. Too much cooperative harmony prevented flexibility and individuality. In reality, they were drowning in their light.–

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I really have no idea what this means but the healthy person in me wants to know..
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Looking

eye1
UNTITLED,m/m
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Often I find myself on Steve McCurry’s website

Because

His images never fail

To move me

Into the place

I long

To live.

Guest Post

onebluesquare
“BLUE SQUARE” by Cathy Aten 5’x5′ m/m
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Guest post provided by Cathy Chester of Healthline These are the people who voted my blog one of the Best MS Blogs of 2013 for which I am grateful.

Check out Cathy’s personal blog, An Empowered Spirit, for people in midlife and people living with a disability.

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Two cats lay at my feet, sleeping the gentle sleep of the pure of heart.

The soft raindrops fall in a sweet rhythm outside my window, bringing the new fall foliage quietly to the ground.

The sun has set, nighttime has fallen, and another weekend draws to a close.

I feel lucky that I am aware of the blessings that surround me.

All is right with the world in this corner of Utopia.

Or so it seems.

There are blessings that surround all of us living with an autoimmune disease. They are there for the taking.

It is your choice to hear them.

It is your choice to feel them.

It is your choice to believe in them.

As Jon-Kabat Zinn famously said, “There is more right with you than wrong.”

We cannot feel our limbs, but we can hear the ocean. We cannot recall yesterday, but we can see the vibrancy of color. We are no longer as physical as we once were, but we can think, feel and love.

Multiple Sclerosis does not stop us from being a part of this world. It only forces us to change how we take part in it.

We sometimes scream out loud in our dreams, hoping to be the person we were before MS.

Our screams fall silently into the night.

Sometimes we need to ask for help, to seek others we can trust to listen, learn and act.

Now we need to find for ourselves a new tact, a different path, an alternate way to fulfill our hopes and dreams.

A new light.

A new song.

A new chapter.

We stretch our minds to express ourselves. In art, in words and in deeds.

We seek answers to heal ourselves, through complementary medicine and being spiritually sound.

By speaking to others who are traveling the same path, we begin to heal our inner souls. From those who have gone farther, and those who have just begun.

All the while knowing that the best road traveled is the one that brings us closest to being whole. That road is how we will achieve the greatest happiness within our own unique abilities.

A life well-lived despite MS is a live worth fighting for.

It’s a life we richly deserve.
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Post provided by Healthline.

About Healthline:
Find trusted health information, free tools, news and doctor-reviewed resources to encourage a healthy living.

Costuming

capacity
“MAYA” 40×50″ m/m
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I was recently nominated to the MAYOR’S COUNCIL ON DISABILITY.

This week is my first meeting.

I think of all the various identities I’ve worn in my lifetime so far:

gymnast
secretary (bad)
hostess
gardener
Michigander
Virgin Island dweller
Santa Fean
artist
textile designer
painter
ceramist
married person
divorced person
yogini
granddaughter
daughter
sister
friend
middle-aged weird chihuahua-loving person
writer
disabled person
person in a wheelchair

and now disability advocate.

Each of these identities has had/ has a learning curve.

One may begin any of these knowing nothing and perhaps leave them behind having a sense of authority.

But none of it changes who you are.

I look forward to this new ‘me’ with the wisdom I’ve gleaned which tells me I’m not this

But I may have quite a bit to offer.

We’ll see.

The costume intrigues me.

I can only pray I wear it well.

Regrets

politics
hand-painted terry robe
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I am almost embarrassed by how often the words “I’m sorry” float from my lips.

The thing is: I truly AM sorry that I am the queen of canceling due to fatigue

Or I missed your birthday.

Maybe I have disappointed you in my self-centric healing process.

Tending to the self can make one unpopular at times.

Is it better for me/others to just ride out the life stuff stoically

And let silence reign?

Hoping against hope that the necessary re-knitting will happen quite magically without us doing anything at all?

I know I have tended to diminish myself at times with too much “I’m sorrying.”

But then again- there are those in my life from whom I NEVER remember hearing the words;

Sliding blithely along far from the tempering humility brings.

Being right costs so very much.

I am better these days at using an “I’m sorry”

When my integrity asks for the utterance

And not just to ease the waters somehow.

A good and true ‘I apologize..”

Is the grand leveler.

It can make alive previously dead zones between people

And provide food for hungry souls.

I hate going hungry.

The Teachings

tread
ceramic, 22×3″
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The Cherokee medicine man Rolling Thunder once said:

“The teachings don’t come like some people think. You can’t just sit down and talk about the truth. it doesn’t work that way. You have to live it, and be part of it, and you might get to know it. I say you might. And it’s slow and gradual and doesn’t come easy.”

I have what I call an infinite relationship with Santa Fe.

Infinite as opposed to finite defined by New York University professor of religion James Carse when he says: “..it can only be said that these persons played with each other and in such a way that what they began cannot be finished.”

I love this definition.

When I experience an infinite relationship with a person, place, creature, thing, fragrance, thought, piece of my own art or another’s

An open ended sense arrives with it.

This, in opposition to say-politics or my ex-husband or any sport or war or things where rules are followed.

I made a decision to get my business cards reprinted as I come to the bottom of the box in my desk.

As I wheel around town just looking, enjoying and being nothing other than myself

I find a good number of people drawn into conversation with me.

Often these are amazingly intelligent and sparkly folks with fascinating stories and history which interest me greatly.

Yes, I am no longer the artist-woman making objects.

Something else is opening to me and I have done absolutely nothing

Other than be myself

Which, lest I forget,

Has taken me half a century to embody.

Faith and Home

colorado1
“ALEXANDRA’S INFLUENCE” 14×14″ 1995 m/m
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The cathedral in Santa Fe stands tall and lovely as a beacon for believers and a testament to the values of some of this city’s occupants.

I find it soothing when I have no trouble seeing the center of a town marked by some edifice dedicated to the idea of something larger than ourselves.

I contract when the cityscape is forested with high rise buildings intent on sucking away all the light and plunging me into perpetual shadow.

I love and appreciate architecture and the quantum leaps of culture

But feel asthmatic when I have to search too long for the central town spire; when it is too hidden by the gods of commerce.

When I see Santa Fe’s old and lovely cathedral I sigh an involuntary sigh..

Not because I yearn to attend but because I do not have to look hard to locate it in my town and thus know many are lending their hearts to something larger…still.

This photo journalism inspired today’s post.

It softened my heart so deeply and I wanted to write about it.