One Sardine

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ONE SARDINE

Emma ate one sardine.
Last night.
But it still lives.
That one sardine.
Because Emma
Seems to need
A warm
And wet
Washcloth
To wipe her mouth.
I forgot
To provide
This vital tool
And now
We suffer.
Sitting here
Talking to you
With well fed Emma
On my lap;
Curled and warm.
My current environs
Are exuding
A particular
Pungency
Annihilating
The expensive
And coveted
Coffee aroma.
Giggling a little
I write you this tale
Because Emma is my privilege
And as such
Even though
It pains me
To leave you
My dog needs me
To de-odorize
Our morning
together.

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CA 2016

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Giving

moon

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The very act of giving acknowledges we, as individuals are not and never will be the center of the universe.

We exist as a result of union.

All my siblings were here for a visit this week sans spouses.

We had not been in the same room as a family for too many years and through efforts on all our parts

It happened.

The greatest gift we gave one another was our individual beingness well dressed in authenticity.

As adults a great reverse tsunami carrying pretense, regret, shame, guilt, awkwardness, timidity, defense and fear

Rolled away from each one leaving the four of us standing together in Love.

It felt fun, fascinating, tender, curious, non-judgemental, easy, wide, accepting and inspiring.

I was easily able to keep my stamina intact for 6-7 hours two days in a row during their visit as opposed to my normal hour and a half!

It has been a long, long road to this picnic.

Yet we all walked that pathway; the one that turns this way and that yet got us all back together, in Love.

What greater gift?

What greater gift than dropping all armor and weaponry

In order to stand undefended with one another in Love?

I am giving thanks for each and every one of our efforts toward an undefended heart…all of us.

There is always something we have left to lay down in service of communion with “other”.

I promise to continue to hone my awareness and keep revealing more of my patina

As my gift to myself and each of you; extended family all….

Because of course, it has to begin with me.

Blessed Thanksgiving ….

The Sacred Invitation

creation
“FINE LINE” 11x11x4,m/m
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I have a little bit of experience with hopelessness.

Along with many others my heart is seared by the resultant seeming chaos ensuing post-election.

I say “seeming” because in all my chronic illness has taught me,

After all is said and done I really am sure of nothing.

When I saw DT’s face of weighty humility and what looked like fear sitting beside Obama in the White House

I took hope.

Not a one of us knows for sure how we will react under the deep press

Of recognition: THERE IS SO MUCH AT STAKE!!

For DT- a world beyond self.

For me- the fact my reality is dependent on my attitude alone.

These realizations have the capacity to alter everything.

The possibility is the invitation of Grace.

Grace is not bi-partisan

And is equally available to everyone.

Are we able-to-respond? RESPONSIBLE?

Or lazy and apt to assume another will likely step up in our absence?

My partnership with chronic illness is a life saving/altering tether

To my truth: I CREATE MY OWN REALITY;

Today that means I have the capacity to effect change in my own perception of well-being;

I breathe, my dog looks to me in trust for direction, my siblings all are arriving for a family reunion tomorrow after flying across huge swaths of continent to be together, my voice is here on this blog without restriction, the strong winds of Autumn reflect change as they always do.

Every time, as I deal with this illness I approach a time which I feel I haven’t what it takes to go beyond

I surprise myself and I DO GO BEYOND!

What I imagine to be my line is never my actual line.

I/we are so much bigger/wider/resilient than we think we are.

The really horrible fact is that we never know our own power and effect

Until we are asked to step up.

I can not think of a more sacred invitation.

Church At Starbuck’s

choosing healer
“CONNECTED”, 5’x30″, painting on wool flannel
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This morning

Emma and I wheeled our way to town.

I said: “GOD? I really could use a miracle. The world is scary and I don’t want to shut my heart down. Just tell me something….SOMETHING to keep the fires burning in me, ok?

Amen and all that..” as an unwarranted, snarky bit at the end.

A giant convention about languages is in town and has peppered the streets with humans of all shades and dress and language. National Geographic-esque in the best sense.

We weave to and fro to Starbucks.

Approaching the outer entry I see through the window a man leaping from his table inside to open the door for us.

“THANK YOU!!” I gush at him. We have a moment.

Settling in at a table to read the Friday paper feels just right joining the cacophonous early crowd.

Strangely, today I like the noise.

Emma has all her needs cared for and licks cappuccino foam from my finger and settles in for a snooze on my lap.

A lovely woman comes up close to me and breathlessly asks if she may sit.

She says:” I wear oxygen tanks and I see you all over town. I got up this morning and took pleasure in dressing well to go out in the world instead of staying home as I always do. I see you looking so chic and friendly and almost happy and thought if she can do it so can I. It was you who gave me the courage to come out today and I wanted you to know this from my heart.”

I reached for her and we cried.

She quickly rose breathlessly and disappeared into crowded throng.

Her eyes were so directed, present and bright with urgency as she spoke to me.

It was Church at Starbuck’s.

One Smile

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me with my beloved former dog, Livvy
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Pain…emotional, physical or spiritual alters everything.

In it…I fiercely war with my self and everything/one else.

Life gets VERY personal.

Sensing my “personal” finiteness as I do

Has me scrambling a bit to learn what I can learn. NOW.

There is a sense of grief as many of my coveted interests and inspirations close up shop and fade in importance; art, being part of a couple, fashion magazines, looking forward to finishing a project for the thrill of presenting it to the world, reading fiction, making sure my eyebrows are well plucked..

Beyond the doors of melancholy regarding these so-called losses

Is SPACE.

The space between all the stuff and discomfort and suffering of every kind.

It is me without the overlay of the precious personal.

Yesterday I sat in my favorite cafe window coveting my cappuccino thankful for my sunglasses masking a tear stained face

Unable to assuage the electrical jolts emanating from my tailbone.

The thing I hate most is the body-centricity I can’t avoid inside the pain.

I looked out the window and a sweet faced young man/boy walking by turned to me and as his eyes met mine

He lit up a moment and smiled a full smile lasting just part of a moment.

Then he was gone.

The power in that momentary light he gave me healed my weary and tattered “person”

And re-connected me to the much, much larger “ME”

Which actually is WE.

Instantly, I was out of my little personal me and I rolled out into my day full of the gift of freedom

Given so innocently by a teenage boy.

Every part of my “personal” reality remained the same

But in the face of his light..THE LIGHT

My values all intantaneosly re-arranged themselves like a genius with a Rubik’s Cube.

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photo: Sharon Rose Dozar

Dismantling Stoicism

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I know stoicism well.

My friends each try their best to get me to reveal my rawest states of being

Because they love me and want to know how to perhaps ease my challenges.

My stoicism is learned from early on.

A wee child is very keen on a mother’s reticence to soothe…

Choosing instead to ignore their needs.

My initial displays of vulnerability were met with a confusing, crushing void.

So I tried another tack: tuck my vulnerabilities away and act strong, independent, uber-capable.

This strategy saved my life from death by despair.

Sometimes, I find myself angry and feeling as if my wheelchair is my own personal tank;

“Get outta my fucking way! I have no patience and my needs are too great for me to bear!”

(Reaction clearly amplified by old tapes yet authentic too..).

In oddly lucid moments I see myself as having created a reality in which I am frozen in body yet still powerfully mobile in my chair; my own personal metal fortress keeping people at arms length.

My vulnerabilities feel hidden if I can put myself together well.

“I’m here. Participating. Connecting.”

I am stoic.

Not even close to what I used to be growing up but still…

This blog helps me find my raw center of authenticity.

So do my close friends and sometimes family.

My exceptional therapist continues to be smarter than me and reflect my strengths and poke at my tender spots. All with love.

Emma lying on my lap warming my belly allows me to release armor I hold there to access sweet tears sometimes.

Each time I ask for help erases some stinky stoicism.

Each day I rise and choose to enter life again with new resolve to bear my truth, forgive myself and choose again.

I am all this: stoic, guarded, grateful, courageous, alone, connected, angry, compassionate, impatient, loving, sacred, profane, healthy, sick, in a wheelchair and a ballroom dancer in my mind, insane and elevated.

I am.

I am.

I am.