Mississippi Moments

Monday, September 29, 2008

No lumps of concern here. Just this body fighting off some infections and the nodes doing what they are designed to do.
This is good news. The surgeon told me to have a good year. I enjoyed hearing that.

I am having a good year. And a good day. And a good week. And a good life.

Went to the funeral of my neighbor, Betty, who died of lung cancer. She attended a Lutheran Church here in Ballard. I liked seeing a woman pastor up there. And five other pastors in the front row. Betty used to adopt pastors like some people adopt cats. It was a life-giving celebration of her life with her family and friends.
Catching up on sleep and energy has been another major goal.
Getting ready for my expert sub was also a focusing kind of task. I hope her day went well today. I don't have the energy to talk right now but I will shortly.

Brigie and I worked on the garage all day. I did some yardwork, too. I'm beat but the primer is up on two sides. She will finish this week and I will work with her as I can.

Looking forward to getting back into the classroom tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be beautiful. I plan to enjoy it. And walks with my silly dog.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
It's about learning to dance
in the rain.

Saw this today at the end of an email. Says it all.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just woke up. After a fitful night's sleep. Cedar came and snuggled around 4:30 am when it was time to get up and I couldn't. He's busy with a chewie and I'm working on my first cup of coffee.
There was hot water this morning (haven't had a chance to get the water heater fixed yet) so I have a bath drawing. Some things are coming along to give me chances to practice #4--being open to outcome not attached.
*I am still going to teach dance this year--with an open heart, with professionalism, and more than a little joy thrown in. I made a commitment. Cedar gets to go to dogcare because of this good work. I get smiles from good people and the chance to improve my own technique. I see my sister/s. And their children. There will be changes at the right time.
*Yesterday, my new-to-me adoption consultant (yes, another one) emailed and offered me a chance to switch to the Ethiopia program which, according to their last email letter, was "all sunshine"--meaning things were open and flowing for adoptions and that they were making special openings for families from the stalled Viet Nam program. I thought to myself---Here we go! Open heart, open to outcome.....The Program Director had reviewed my application and homestudy and voila! So, I emailed back that yes, that sounded great. An infant is not possible anymore with my age but a child of 4 or up is...and to make sure, I emailed back that I was checking that they had in fact looked at the details of my recent health history because Ethiopia has very strict rules about past health history and my situation was still alright within those parameters. I emailed with my new, clear voice that I appreciated knowing that my information was being carefully communicated between my new and past adoption consultants because this process was painful having to re-explain everytime and all the other emails were about unknowables and roadblocks. The next emails that came back were--NO, they hadn't had any of that explained to them. NO, I was no longer a candidate for the Ethiopia. There was no record of my having conversations AT ALL with the other consultants and program directors.
For now, I could fill out some more paperwork, free of charge, of course. And they were sending me the attachment. Oh and take care.

I have another important decision to make--probably today. My heart is breaking. Shattered more likely. I don't understand ANY OF ANYTHING. And that's on the "outside" of this new wineskin. Deep inside, there is Peace. An 'All is well' kind of vibe. Balance. Rootedness. And Smiles that mean something. It's just in there somewhere.

Running away isn't an option and it won't solve anything.
Neither will selling the house and moving.
I can't seem to Breathe. And I will...mindfully practice.
And please don't call me and tell me this is God's will. It's Someone's and it ain't Mine. No matter what I say, I am still holding out that I will have a family of my own someday, someway.
Time for a bath. And a walk. And a love on my dog. And some camping coffee. And some clean underwear and socks. I have 4 left.
Adoption agencies suck. People don't realize how much they hurt us.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Grandfather, Great Spirit...You have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each other. You have made me cross the good road, and the road of difficulties, and where they cross, the place is holy. Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things."--Black Elk

The following principles of healing are called the "Four-Fold Way"--
1. Show up. Choose to be present.
2.Pay attention to what has heart or meaning.
3. Tell the truth without blame or judgment.
4. Be open to outcome, not attached to outcome.

Sounds an awful lot like Don Miguel Ruiz and the Four Agreements. Either way. I'm gonna try these. Been working with #1, #2, and #3 quite a bit already. Looks like #4 will be needing some attention, intention, trust, and do. Ok, then.

I don't know about you, but I get so bummed sometimes about things that I think are coming down the pike to hurt me. They are not actually here yet. They might not be here-ever. But I still think this way and I still start the contraction dance, the harden-up and squeeze it tight dance, the pull away before they do dance, the get so busy you can't find time to pee dance, the complaining dance, the lose your breath dance, the forget to pray dance, the bad food dance, and the forget to listen dance. And this is what's happening now around the updated homestudy. It's coming down the pike. I am afraid that this is the real end of the adoption process. Could be. And I've made a brave face of "I'll be okay with whatever happens" and on one level, this is true. Deeply true. But on the top-no way. I am afraid. I have started the contraction, tightening, trembling fists and jaw steps....my body can't take it. I don't want to take it. And so this 4-fold way called to me earlier this weekend. As I was resting. As I did last night. A bit strange when you go to bed when it is light and get up when it is dark. But that's the way of things here.

Soooo, here we go. Being open and not attached. Simultaneously. Believing in the Abundance. Accepting it. Seeing it. Up to your earlobes and nosehairs in it. and then not. Or is that I just forgot to inhale, exhale and open my nose. Well, I can't at the moment because I got another round of some crud from secondgradeland. Third round of antibiotics in 6 months. Before that, maybe three rounds in 6 years. Someone said to me yesterday "immuno-compromised". I don't know what that means. I would like to get to "right as rain" in the new wineskin so I don't have to keep running out to a doctor's office. Don't get me wrong. I would just rather have been digging compost and smelling the salt mist coming off the jetty at Shilshole.
I am having the abundant, rather glorious, nourishing experience of contacting two of my Village every week to connect with face a face. The joy of this continues. Makes a difference. In the Now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

THIS is what it's all about!

Finding God's grace in every mistake ( rom a song by Rascal Flatts)...
and in every moment...oh yes.....
And I got the fire stirred up again and got me some good drugs for my little u-problem and t'ings are looking up. I have to figure out how to keep unstressed enough or how about we shoot for not stressed at all so I don't catch any and everything that floats my way. Here are some photos that speak to God's grace in the moment.....
Make that 6 pairs of clean undies, 2 bras and two more pairs of black socks!
nd it dawned on me while I had myself up to my elbows in warm, soapy water that what we call "parenting" is when folks get ideas and practices from others and then make their own decisions about whether or no to apply them to their children and their situations. So what in Heaven's name am I getting my knickers in a knot about? Don't really know. Sort of like when you get on that spinny thing up at Little Howe park and spin around a few times until you have to get off or you ralph. And when you get off, you still spin and feel like ralphing...but you can think awhole lot more clearly in a minute or two after you weave around like a Pioneer Square drunk for a bit. I'm heading for the kiddie pool with a stick, my pink wellies, and a handful of leaves to damn up the drain.

Everybody gets down sometimes...and you don't what you want. And what you don't want. And then it seems you do. Know. what you want and don't want. And you can't seem to get well. Again. And you have another damn UTI. And a cold with a chest craptastic cough thing. And you had your period early again. With the full compliment of those lovely cramps, aches, moodswings. You might not believe this---but I am supremely thankful that these things are here. I "GET" that I am not taking the best care of myself as I try to reenter my previous life activities in the same ways as before. I also am thankful that I can't find the lump in my armpit that was there on Wed. and neither could my massage therapist who has been working on my body since 12 years ago. And she is a cancer thriver. Several times over. And I am learning about the role of fear in my life, fear of cancer recurrence. I am resting a bit easier today knowing that 70% or more of "survivors" have issues with this. I am not looking for more issues but I am struggling with ALOT of things on the inside that no one can see. I am not fine. I never will be again. Like I was "fine" before all this happened.....well, I wasn't. AND I am MORE "FINE" than I have ever have been. I am just different. And I don't mean that it in a crazy, "4-egocentric-I-need-to-be-special-to-be-loved-and-have-power-and-a-voice-and-to-be-enough". It isn't that at all. Things are more clear than ever. And they aren't. And the things that you trusted turn how to be illusions. And the world seems to be spinning crazier than ever. And you lose interest in the things that have defined you. Forever it seems. And those things don't define you anymore. Not even remotely. So what do you do? When this happens---again?
What you know.
Bath. Fire. Candles. Music. Coffee. Another bath. Rest. A walk in the dark with your dog. And coffee. And your headlamp and gloves and scarf and winter jacket which has seen 12 winters and is falling apart. But still works. Laundry. Some pruning. Cleaning out under things. You rejoice at the five pairs of clean underwear that present themselves as you put away laundry from the drying racks which work well and the load of laundry that you forgot about that was in the new dryer you still thank your family for every time you go down in the basement and see it there. (Do you know that this year if I get lice, I will be ready as I plan to USE that dryer. and to shave my head.) And there is more rejoicing still as you find a Care Place that opens at 10 on a Sunday. And you found a pair of clean black socks, clean matched brown socks, and a clean bra so you are set for the week--at least in the underwear and bra dept. (If you are a guy reading this, substitute your favorite undergarment or balls-cup or whatever it is you people of the male persuasion consider important, essential, and needing to be clean in order to get by for a week.) I forgot about soup. Pho. Veggie. Potato. Navy bean. Tomato. Tortellini. You name it. It works, too. I just started reheating some of what was in the freezer to see what we get and to have the smells surround the woodsmoke smell and the pumpkin candle scents in this house.

I have discovered some important things in the past five or six days that I have really known for some time but which are now out on the plate. I won't make any abrupt changes but the changes will happen. I have already decided about my present job and begun the steps for that transition. And going outside my box to do something I have wanted to do for awhile. I went to a Equinox Celebration of the Divine in All with Lisa McL. It was a special celebration. With fire and music and prayer(things I love). It was just perfect. I am getting used to this kind of response to my Heart-Prayers and Intentions.
And other parts of me are grieving, reeling with unbelief and fear and distress. How do we go on with all of this? I want to BE HERE NOW. And I got what I wanted. Now, like the words of wisdom last night, how do we strengthen our inner life, inner light, inner quiet so we can be in this side of things and reach out to share the Divine Breath and Healing? I'm going to go find more clean underwear and have a bowl of soup for breakfast and think about it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

So I just want to "steal" the second paragraph of the quote Coli put in her latest blog from the Fountainhead and out it at the beginning of this one. I have never read that(I was at HNA in the dinosaur days and they were making us read Jane Austen and Joseph Conrad...and Oscar Wilde. I will get it on audio books from the library. I need something new to engage my thinking.
I just finished Plan B by Annie Lamott this morning. Wow. Had to relisten to it in several sections. Esp. the parts of fear, terror, change, faith, truth, and how it all relates to cellulite, cruise ship buffets, our animal companions dead and alive, teenagers, and our struggles with finding clean underwear and our promises to never wear ill-fitting pants ever again. You can Youtube her reading from this latest book on further thoughts on faith. She is the one in dreads and with glasses. This book nourished me.
I needed it. The Universe is sending me some pretty drastic opportunities to practice staying in my Core (not corpse). I found a lump yesterday in my left armpit. It has been "hurting" me for awhile. I called today and made the appropriate appointments. I have been taking long, long, long walks with anyone who wants to. I don't talk about my hurts. I try not to. Sometimes are better than others. But walking is balm for my head, Heart, hurt, and Breath. I am missing all of my Sisters of Origin and Sisters of Choice-YOU--from north Ballard to Fremont to Edmonds to Phinney to Port Hadlock to Burien (excuse me, Normandy Park), to Renton, to Ballard Center of the Universe to Mountlake Terrace north of there whatever that neighborhood is by Martha Lake and Edgewood and Queen Anne and Sultan and Mukilteo and Bothell and Magnolia and North River and Olympia and South Carolina and Across the River and Under the Trees....and we are connected. There is Love here. That's all there is...and anything else we bring in our purses or fannie packs with the used Kleenex.
So I started this blog last night. I woke up (sort of happily with a sore throat and coughing this morning--colds make for lumps in places.) What's going through my head this morning has been fed from several sources. On my walk, I breathed and sifted through it some more. I have made some pretty big decisions in the past five days. If you ask me about work, I will tell you that next year I won't be working where I am now. I do not know what I will be doing. I cannot stay. I am not afraid. I am relieved that I have finally made the decision. Now I will take a look at what ducks I have, what row I wanna put them on, and how much water is needed to hoe it.
I have also been able to learn that I can trust my own decisions and boundaries around some pretty important things that used to suck my life energy out with my permission and submission...you know like relationships, stupid people, work. I have also learned that the things people tell and teach you to trust about security is all bullshit. The only security is that there is none and if you need a TOUCHSTONE, go climb into Father-God's Lap and snuggle in there. You will be Held. Or whereever your spiritual practice takes you. To whatever Source.

Our stories are very important. Everything else around us, the crap, the chaos, the failing this and flailing that---all nothing. NOTHING. It is not real. What is real is who is in your Heart and who is in Mine. And what lives between us.
In a nutshell (and my hazel that I whacked back last year is producing up a storm again this year for which I am thankful because the squirrels are enjoying them)--isolation is a choice. Standing by the side of the path is also a choice. Resting is a choice. Not resting is a choice.
Laughing and holding someone's hand is a choice and so is going to a cool place with lots of salads and ice cream called "Zoopa's". Recognizing Fear is also a choice. Letting run your life is also a choice. Listening to it is a choice. Recognizing what is behind it is a choice and a spiritual practice. Fear is not actually my friend, and I hesitate to say "my teacher' but it is what it is. And my choice is to make my choices. And not be stupid. And if I am, well--"Mistakes are how we learn."

I do have some funny stories to share from secondgradeland. Later. I do want to remind gently anyone who is reading this that YOU are driving your own train. Yoga works. I need to learn how to do it. Today is a lovely day, a gift actually. Mist works just like expensive face lotion. And to ask yourself "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Better Day.
Fletcher is home from the hospital. Thank you to the "Calvary" (aka Val and her Fearless Attitude) for collecting him from Good Sam in Puyallup. I don't understand everything (she does) but it seems like he was already dehydrated to begin with, took his regular highbloodpressure meds which include a diuretic (sp?) and these took and lowered his heart rate even more...or something. He also has something going on with his kidney and with his GI....put'em together and what have you got?...a very short trip to the Fair and a very long weekend in the hospital. He is on to the next steps of follow-though and care.
I picked up some stuff that a woman from Curves needed help stewarding.
I did yard work today.
I went to Mass with Miz Sister Teresa.
I have a lovely time with some bookgroup friends.
I sat in the full moonlight with my dog.
Time for some rest and then up to do lesson plans.
Thanks for all the offers of support and check-ins. All is well. It really always was...a lot of sh#@ just hit my fan at once. Good thing I have pink wellies.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A CRAPTASTIC DAY...and an interesting couple of weeks
In a nutshell...
* I put down Amore Horatio Flatnose Ace Laverne Orange Cat today. LIttle Feather was there, too. FLetcher drove us to the vet. He had clawed his way out of the screen on a bedroom window last Sunday and I didn't see hide nor hair until Thurs. Then he was waiting in a usual spot down the block. I brought him home again. He was a mess. He wouldn't eat. He wanted to be loved on outside on Mother Earth. He was purring up a storm but not walking well, smelling like death (same acrid smell that Sadie had when her liver quit working)...he left again and then showed up this morning. IT was time. And it was the right thing to do. And it was hard. And I am thankful that I am a woman of my word--that I did what I said I would do regarding his care. He was loved and knew it until his last breath.

Fletcher is still in the hospital in Puyallup. That is where I have spent the rest of my day. With him. In er. He collapsed at the Puyallup Fair 15 minutes after we arrived. The doctors still don't know what is wrong--causality wise. Nutsandbolts--he is anemic, dehydrated, passed out twice, and the firefighters couldn't find a pulse atone point and then when they did, it was 38. Then 64. Then back down again.
I am not complaining. But I am not rested. I did not have a good day. I missed some really important family time and some serious quiet walking time with my dog and my Heart. Oh well....
School and the world there is going well. I am finding my rhythm.
Dancing is on its way.
Working out is coming along.
Creating time for nurturing friendships is more challenging. And I have a HUGE village. And I am making contact with one or two at a time and planning quality time. I am thankful for all of this circle.
And it was heartbreaking to have come home from the hospital the first time (almost 2 hours on the road each way) and walk Cedar only to go by a yard and have a kid start screaming bloody murder and then I look over at the kid and she is massively COVERED IN BLOOD and then to hear her parents scream O MY GOD over and over and then see them wrap her in a towel and hurtle her to their car and head off. I walked Cedar home and just started to shake. On top of that I was pissed that there was a loose pit bull on the same street as the bloody, screaming kid.
It has been a terrible, horrible, no good,very bad day with a lot of little blessings.I saw a huge crane moving a honeybucket off the top of a growing skyscraper in downtown Seattle and I thought to myself--"There really IS a lot of crap in the air today!"
I took a moonbath and I am going to camp in the living room tonight-again.
I just left Fletcher at the hospital. He is hooked up to a heart monitor. He is being hydrated. He is on some meds. The calvary is going in tomorrow to bring him home and ask the right questions. It was a scary day. And we are safe. home. fed. healthy. loved. and love.
And Amore-HOratio is all of those things, too.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Okay, so we made it through to here.
Guess it's been awhile. In a nutshell---I worked really, REALLY hard and finally got it mostly together--with help from a lot of sources. Much appreciated. Took a break from the incoherent, unimaginably craptastic-nothing-works technology situation at work to go for a bit to the Point--and it was lovely. Slept in the Subaru which I loved. Plan to do it some more. Easy way to camp. Can't bring so much stuff. Caught up with old friends and played games with family. Ate good food. Took a long walk and am contemplating a field trip out there for secondgradelanders. This week has been fine. The students are sweet. Today the gloves should come off and we can get to the business of being ourselves. Not sleeping much myself but I will. I am enjoying the time with the students and I have also managed to grow myself a shield, a way of being detached, from the drama and posturing and tight energy swirls that sit like dust bunnies in the corners and around the mouths of some people who work there. Me, I've got my organic green tea with ginger, a bucket of tennis balls (my latest tool for fun and learning), and a group of people who are happy to be there for the most part----except Legolas Boy who made it clear that he really doesn't like school and pretended not to like it when I caught him with an expectant smile on his face as we were cominginto the building yesterday and I happened to mention that it was P.E. day, Music day, and Library day and we were going to be working with the modeling clay while we listened to stories about an amazing kid named Timothy. He also was kind of into a new read- aloud about a kid named Horace who is the Cupcaked Crusader against a group of second grade attackers...we will have to read more of that one. Today we get to begin our learning journey about Japan. It will begin with "Do you know where Japan is"?And we will take it from there. I just love the Burke Educational Kits you can get from the museum--full of hands-on artifacts and other exceptional materials for our use. Brings things to life. Also received the Rick Steves catalogue for European Trips -just dreaming. Nothing will happen in that realm for 2009 but maybe 2010. Who knows?