“And Now What?”

“CRITICAL MASS”, 24″ x 24″ x 2″, 2005, wooden matches, naturally pigmented earth from Abiquiu, NM

I have a friend I met through this blog.

He has a highly refined aesthetic gleaned from years as a graphic designer and photographer.

We hardly know one another at all,

And yet the particular landscapes we’ve both walked: MS, the art/design world, students-of-life, appreciators of Beauty,
‘Gratitude’ practitioners, personal point-of-view watchers, ‘Truth’ questioners,

Give us license to call one another a friend (I think..).

It is his quote which titles this post.

Living a life steeped in the sometimes placid and other times turbulent waters of a creative existence,

I have come to know a few tid-bits

Which translate well into my everyday doings in the world.

Change is the constant (the ONLY constant)

Of a life in partnership with MS.

One moment, I am getting dressed to go to the dentist

And the next, I have my head resting on my desk; unable to do another thing toward the end I desire;

That of putting on some lipstick to get to the dentist who will take away the pain of the pending root canal.

“And now what?”

I have to surrender to the reality of the thing

And call the (new, to me) dentist.

Tell him I am aware I have an appointment in 20 minutes

But I can’t walk because I am dealing with MS.

May I reschedule?

The irritation is there in the office manager’s voice

And I wait on the phone, prepared to have to pay for my missed appointment.

I am met with relief as she returns to the phone with a lighter lilt in her voice

And I reschedule.

In this tiny little life episode

There were a number of “And now what?” moments.

I care deeply about showing up on time

And also leading a life free of searing tooth pain.

The plans I had for this little snippet of life

Changed. And then they changed again.

I think, because I am well tuned to NUANCE

Having ‘listened’ long and well

To the promptings occurring

Within a particular art project,

I see I now use that very same skill to make decisions.

In this case, I had been non-plussed by the dentist I have used in the past

And- in the process of choosing another,

Picked the one I felt decidedly urged toward (the NUANCE thing..).

His response to my ‘situation’

When I finally sat with him, yesterday,

Was pure kindness and compassion.

He even had cool state-of-the-art machinery

And a gorgeously appointed office.

I do recognize at this point

That my choice of this new dentist was no accident.

It was my response to the question: “And now what?”

I can’t seem to help wondering

When I write a post about what seems like the smallest of thing;

Does this make MY life small?

The answer for me is decidedly NO.

I believe what I’ve talked about here,

ARE the things WE CAN TAKE WITH US when we go…

But until then..

I love and depend on this skill I have

Which is pesky in it’s refusal to be ALWAYS at my beck and call.

I like that I consider it my companion in life;

Dependable (sometimes)…

Inspiring (always)…

Attentive (maybe)…

Valued (highly).


2 Responses to ““And Now What?””

  1. Barry on May 14th, 2011

    Wow, I’m flattered! A whole post devoted to my little comment. Actually it was your post about falling and sitting in the gravel that reminded me of being down on the kitchen floor with two broken ribs, a possible broken hip or femur, no one due home for seven hours and no phone near me. After the initial pain subsided “and now what” showed up. I just want to make it clear that even though “and now what” mostly seems related to some “negative” situation, having examined it over time, I’m finding it is actually an invitation to being purely in the moment. So I now consider it a supportive friend with a broader welcome.

    your friend, Barry

  2. Laura Hegfield on May 19th, 2011

    the now whats…yes, yes…they just keep inviting us deeper into the moment.

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