Christmas Haiku

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Deftly, the wide wings

Of hope gave us some shady

Ground to pray after all.

 

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– CA

 

.photo:  Dennis Chamberlain

Courting Security

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my garden

 

 

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I don’t know anyone who feels secure these days.

In a way I envy the street people I know because the state they are most familiar with is uncertainty.

What can we do to stabilize the boat as we wretch from seas too high and wild for our systems to manage?

I realize that I have discovered some ways to get back my sea legs when the toll of chronic illness and the utter uncertainty that comes with it

Threaten my core.

RADICAL RESILIENCE  is my clarion call.

  1. WAR PAINT-   A bright red lipstick applied with the same intent those football players swipe that black stuff under their eye before a game.  This is important for me because it helps me take up space instead of caving into invisibility because I am feeling rough or not fit for human interaction.

     2.  GIVE-   Instead of curling into scarcity or fear, my trusted antidote is too move my energy out;  smile or give a compliment.  Pay for someone’s coffee in line behind you anonymously.  Generally, switch              awareness from ourselves to other.

     3.  INNOCENT MOUTH-  This is a practice I use to return to my softer self.  I close my eyes and tighten my jaw as much as I can the release all muscle and bone and let my bottom jaw just drop and hang                 there.  It feels like you look really ugly doing this because no pretense remains which feels unfamiliar.

     4.  Remember that “GRACE ALWAYS BATS LAST”  as Anne Lamott says.  The hyper-stimulation we all are soaking in during this time of year makes it hard to remember that this is a created reality and not            really “US.”   Today, I closed my eyes and put my hand on my heart and thanked it for working so hard on my behalf with little acknowledgement.  This tiny acton got me right to peace.

     5.   Slather yourself in GRATITUDE.  Our interconnectedness is our best medicine.

Bearing Contraction

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Disability and aging both visit bearing a template of contraction.

We must learn to live with piles of losses, not enough money or energy or strength or interest

To engage as we are accustomed; with Life.

I think of it as THE NARROWING.

The discipline is more far-reaching than a budget;

Yet similar in the constant decision making of stretching the money we have in the bank to extend and allow us the necessaries for survival.

I found myself challenged this holiday season by the desire to show my appreciation to the crew at the coffee shop I visit so often and fighting within myself to decide if I could afford to gift them with a spray of lovely mixed pine greens, pepperberries and a lovely, golden bow

To brighten the front door of the shop.

This felt like somehow EXTRA giving.. meaning not family or good friends and for a few days I ping-ponged back and forth whether I should follow this desire of mine. 

It may seem pathetic to you that I struggle to make ends meet in this seemingly inconsequential expense but unless you are independently wealthy as you enter illness or old age…get ready, my friends…and if you should have the glory of “plenty” take a moment to bow your head in gratitude.  I am quite rich in other ways.

Yesterday, I found I could not bear the contraction of not giving what I wanted to give.

I HAD to do it.

In these dark times when it seems we will all be asked to contract in some way or other in response to forces bent on curtailing all manner of freedoms

It seems the urgings of the heart ;

When their scratching sounds won’t leave us in peace

We just must respond to them

By doing all we can

To love

And acknowledge

And forgive

And sing

Our praises

For the privilege

Of 

Growing Beauty.

Even

And especially

When it is

inconvenient.

Good Work

 

politics

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” A DIAMOND IS A CHUNK OF COAL THAT DID WELL UNDER PRESSURE.”

 

  • Henry Kissinger

Individuation

 

 

Individuation is the process by which an individual becomes distinct. Individuation distinguishes you from everybody else.

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A very good friend and I chatted recently about the  reality neither of us can tolerate noisy places.

Our list of grievances went on to include the seeming overnight loss of hearing and neck dropping.

We are sort of sick of information as a whole; “I don’t care about more apps!  I love my flip phone!  You say people no longer email but text instead?  TOO FUCKING BAD…my fingers don’t move the way yours do. I can’t swipe using my one good hand while holding the phone.”

“We’ve got to keep up” she says.

“What happens if we don’t?  I say.

There’s a palpable stigma if we don’t know how to use Pinterest or have a reasonably current version of smartphone

Let alone can’t hear if someone is walking away from us while speaking.

Or our nervous system frays beyond repair during happy hour joviality.

In my case, with the onset of MS when I was 40 the process of individuation (meaning re-claiming attributes, preferences, behaviors and beliefs personal to us outside the cultural co-dependency) has left me thrilled with the life I live complete with boatloads of silence, not driving a car which eliminates incessant errand doing, a VERY few grand and good friends; some of whom I see regularly and some not.

I haven’t the energy to go out much and am really very fine cogitating in my Lazy Boy lift chair in the sun.

How can petting a dog be so sublime?

Because I don’t really care (or have the energy to)  I’ve pretty much given up any shame I carried about not being a very participatory neighbor in my community.

I vote for myself most often when it comes to deciding what to do and how to be.  I’ll always keep the grace factor alive as well as exhibiting a connective friendliness steeped in civility.

I feel much more in-sync with my own soul and therefore others having turned in my “COOL NO MATTER WHAT COST” CARD.

Attending to individuation without a circumstance to blame unusual behavior (culturally outside the norm) on is darn nigh impossible it seems.

Illness and age facilitate becoming ones’ self nicely.

Eccentricity is somehow interesting where general aging is cutting too close to the bone for most and we turn away from the inevitable.

I keep a list of disability perks.  It helps me feel I’m still interesting.