Category Archives: OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PLACES

CLOUDY AND GREY

Saturday mornings are no longer very beloved of me. I have entered the phase where the things I will no longer be doing or wont be again doing keep coming to mind.

Anyways, I had only one thing I was supposed to be doing today and I didn’t want to do it. It was cancelled so I don’t have to. Its grey and slightly damp today and the yard is mega disaster really. I simply didn’t expect all that to be under there. Sheets of corrugated iron and old sticks and old carpets. What the hell am I going to do now ? The kookaburras seem to like it but truly its a mess. I have a few problems seemingly.

Let me think upon them.

I am certainly feeling a great deal better this week and the cessation of the paralysing cramping has made things much better. It allows me to sleep and move around without fear. There is more energy and more flexibility.

One of the questions I asked myself last week was ” what am I getting out of this illness ? Do I actually want to be free of it ?”

And of course – I didn’t entirely want to be free of it and taking care of myself again. It got me out of a lot of things I didn’t want to do, or didn’t think I could face.

I don’t need to be sick to refuse to do things I don’t want to. I can continue to develop a life that I am capable of living.I don’t need the sympathy vote.

I don’t have to add activities out of “duty”. I can live a life as a healthy woman. I can grieve in the way I choose and/or the way it comes to me.

Today – I return to bed. I am someone who heals well in sleeping. I have many years of crafting my own life and many years of feeling and acting my way through all manner of situations. This time – I do know what I am doing and do it I will.

So – a morning pottering. And now some Pratchett and sleeping. The afternoon NA meeting remains a stretch for me and so I will not stretch to it today. Not only a stretch but I am in need of the Faith Filled AA meetings at the moment.

Its a lovely day for snuggling and snuggle I will. A surrendered and pain free woman with mobility.

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The Best Australian Poems 2007 | Club Troppo

White -Water Rafting and Palliative Care

for my late wife, Gloria

If I had understood (when down the river

you and I went swirling in that boat)

that there were those who knew the ways of water

and how to use the oars to keep afloat

I might have been less deafened by the worry,

less stunned by thoughts of what lay up ahead

(the rocks, the darkness threatening to capsize daily),

if I had only realised instead

that help was all around me for the asking

I never asked, and therefore never knew

that such additional comfort could have helped me

in turn to be more help in comforting you.

via The Best Australian Poems 2007 | Club Troppo.

via The Best Australian Poems 2007 | Club Troppo.

Grieve Project – Hunter Writers Centre

Saying goodbye at the airport, trying to understand suicide, loss of mobility, loss of a baby and loss of a hoped for future. These are just some of the experiences that can bring emptiness, a sense of futility, darkness, pain, grief. And these are some of life’s experiences described in Grieve 2014 – Stories and Poems for Grief Awareness Month.

via Grieve Project – Hunter Writers Centre.

via Grieve Project – Hunter Writers Centre.

PEACE PILGRIM

“The Attainment of Inner Peace. “There were hills and valleys, lots of hills and valleys, in that spiritual growing up period. Then in the midst of the struggle there came a wonderful mountaintop experience—the first glimpse of what the life of inner peace was like. “That came when I was out walking in the early morning. All of a sudden I felt very uplifted, more uplifted than I had ever been. I remember I knew timelessness and spacelessness and lightness. I did not seem to be walking on the earth.There were no people or even animals around, but every flower, every bush, every tree seemed to wear a halo. There was a light emanation around everything and flecks of gold fell like slanted rain through the air. This experience is sometimes called the illumination period.

“The most important part of it was not the phenomena: the important part of it was the realization of the oneness of all creation. Not only all human beings—I knew before that all human beings are one. But now I knew also a oneness with the rest of creation. The creatures that walk the earth and the growing things of the earth. The air, the water, the earth itself. And, most wonderful of all, a oneness with that which permeates all and binds all together and gives life to all. A oneness with that which many would call God. “I have never felt separate since. I could return again and again to this wonderful mountaintop, and then I could stay there for longer and longer periods of time and just slip out occasionally.” From “Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work In Her Own Words” – page 21

And that is how it has been for me since 1987 despite appearances to the contrary.

FRAN SHACK

Memento Mori – NYTimes.com

I would not have chosen A.L.S. at the Pick Your Disease store, but there are worse things that can happen and worse ways for a life to end. The very fact that it was happening to me and not to my family was itself a relief. Navigating one’s own pain or fear is much easier than navigating a loved one’s.

By last spring, the diagnosis became hard to deny, but as a retired grief therapist I knew not to spend more than a few minutes with “No!” In that regard, as in many others, Buddhists have it exactly right: Getting enmeshed in a resisting “no” and in the unanswerable “why me?” is a recipe for self-inflicted suffering. I knew to focus instead on “what now”? What do I need to address — with myself and with others? How do I respond to the reality of a terminal illness? (A year later, “no” still makes infrequent appearances, but it remains unfed so the visits are brief.)

via Memento Mori – NYTimes.com.

via Memento Mori – NYTimes.com.

The Most Awesome Playlist About Aging | Next Avenue

A few years ago, as I began working on what has become Next Avenue, and pondering a gray hair that somehow showed up uninvited in my eyebrow one day (more on that later), I began to collect songs about aging.

Who can forget when Simon and Garfunkel came out with the album Bookends? I was 15 and remember closing my eyes and singing in an achingly heartfelt falsetto:

Can you imagine us years from today? Sharing a park bench quietly

How terribly strange to be seventy

via The Most Awesome Playlist About Aging | Next Avenue.

via The Most Awesome Playlist About Aging | Next Avenue.

FORGIVENESS DAVID WHYTE

David Whyte

FORGIVENESS

is a heartache and difficult to achieve because strangely, it not only refuses to eliminate the original wound, but actually draws us closer to its source. To approach forgiveness is to close in on the nature of the hurt itself, the only remedy being, as we approach its raw center, to reimagine our relation to it.

It may be that the part of us that was struck and hurt can never forgive, and that strangely, forgiveness never arises from the part of us that was actually wounded. The wounded self may be the part of us incapable of forgetting, and perhaps, not actually meant to forget, as if, like the foundational dynamics of the physiological immune system our psychological defenses must remember and organize against any future attacks – after all, the identity of the one who must forgive is actually founded on the very fact of having being wounded.

Stranger still, it is that wounded, branded, un-forgetting part of us that eventually makes forgiveness an act of compassion rather than one of simple forgetting. To forgive is to assume a larger identity than the person who was first hurt, to mature and bring to fruition an identity that can put its arm, not only around the afflicted one within but also around the memories seared within us by the original blow and through a kind of psychological virtuosity, extend our understanding to one who first delivered it.

Forgiveness is a skill, a way of preserving clarity, sanity and generosity in an individual life, a beautiful way of shaping the mind to a future we want for ourselves; an admittance that if forgiveness comes through understanding, and if understanding is just a matter of time and application then we might as well begin forgiving right at the beginning of any drama rather than put ourselves through the full cycle of festering, incapacitation, reluctant healing and eventual blessing.

To forgive is to put oneself in a larger gravitational field of experience than the one that first seem to hurt us. We re-imagine ourselves in the light of our maturity and we re-imagine the past in the light of our new identity, we allow ourselves to be gifted by a story larger than the story that first hurt us and left us bereft.

At the end of life, the wish to be forgiven is ultimately the chief desire of almost every human being. In refusing to wait; in extending forgiveness to others now, we begin the long journey of becoming the person who will be large enough, able enough and generous enough to receive, at the very end, that absolution ourselves.

‘FORGIVENESS’
in “CONSOLATIONS:
The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.”
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press 2015
Now Available http://davidwhyte.stores.yahoo.net/newbook.html

Photo: © David Whyte.
Misted Light. Buckholt Wood,
Cotswolds. England. September 2013