Friday, October 7, 2016

Leaves

Attached to their twigs
secured to branches
that grow from limbs
strongly supported by the trunk
given life from the roots
and the rain
and the sun

Some leave their perches
when the breezes blow
through the green
in the summer
before the fall

Some clap
Some wave hello
Some sway like a slow dance
Some quiver with excitement

And they smile

If you take the time
to listen
they will speak to you
as guardians of the earth
until Autumn

Then Evergreens stand strong
as protectors and witnesses
through the winter
even when the rhododendren leaves curl
to stay warm

Walk consciously
or roll on wheels
among the trees
and feel them cradle you


Loss and Lost

I sit
Exhausted
Reality again staring me in the face
My body wracked and broken

Tears pour
And I wail
And wail some more
A chasm in my soul

A too-often recurring scenario
In the past five years
In the past thirty years

I tell myself, I will heal from the recent surgery
Even though it feels like I'm stuck in this place
In this state of disrepair

I remind myself, I will heal from the surgery
But the nerve damage, the nerve damage
It may not go away

My heart beats faster
Fear, worry
Sometimes I feel I'm just waiting for the next bad thing to happen
For more bad news

It's horrifying as I recall just how bad it's been at its worst...

Body -- fatigued, heavy as if steel shards course through my every cell while Earth, like a giant magnet, tries to suck me into her very core
Limbs -- heavy as iron, lame
Arms -- strengthless, unable to rise past the 20 degree-mark
Biceps -- pain shoots like a lightening bolt deadening movement in its track
Forearms -- heavy, wet sand moves within like mercury, sinews pulled back and forth, side to side
Wrists -- weak, inflamed
Fingers and hands -- swollen, unable to grip, numb, tingle
Palms of hands and soles of feet -- swollen, tender
Legs -- heavy, deadened, feeble
Knees -- inflamed, stiff
Ankles -- pain shoots
Bones -- porous, about to buckle
Organs -- feel as if they are on the verge of failure
Brain -- soupy, fogged
Neck -- stiff, inflexible
Head -- weighted, a cumbersome ball
Jaws -- unable to fully open or clench and chew
Throat -- swallows slowly, deliberately
Mouth -- tiny pools of spit gather in the corners, but not enough to drool, except when the boiling cauldron erupts
Belly -- seethes, a cauldron filled with fiery juices, bloats like a pregnant guppy
Spine -- weak, collapsible
Dizziness --  as I rise or sit, the room jostles, but not enough to cause a fall
Dreams -- stolen, lost
Self -- dismembered

It's horrifying as I recall just how bad it was at its worst...
The key word -- was

I have felt improvement in the last year
This surgery is a bump in the road
More like a mountain
But I've climbed mountains before

*~*

I peruse the books I'd pulled out a few weeks ago
When I thought I might do some reading during recovery from surgery
When I thought I'd have time and energy and inclination to read an actual book
That hasn't happened
But maybe something will spark in me this morning as I read the titles

One book stands out -- Good Grief: Healing Through the Shadow of Loss by Deborah Morris Coryell
I bought the book years ago at Borders
As I searched for an understanding of the overwhelming losses I felt after leaving The Way
Some that had been suppressed for decades gurgled at first
And then spewed like a geyser
This book helped me then
Maybe it will help me now

I open and begin to read
As I read, I cry

Coryell puts into words what I've been feeling
Not just from the nerve damage
Not just from the surgery
But from the repeated pounding of one loss after another
Of losing my sense of identity and purpose
Of trying to rediscover those again
Only to have them bashed and pulverized
Then to arise again in a different space
And then that too gets robbed in part or whole, temporarily or permanently

*~*

Page 5
...Within the idea of "lost" is the feeling of being alone. Are we saying "I have lost" and really meaning "I am lost"? When we are attached to someone or something and we become unattached, we lose our sense of being connected: of knowing where our place is in the world. We've lost our place. Whether it is temporarily lost or permanently lost is up to us. Part of the task of grieving is finding our place in the world again. Who am I if not Jim's wife? Laura's mom? Bob's daughter? Suzanne's friend? Head of the maintenance department? Owner of the beautiful home?... 

 Page 8
...The capacity to nourish ourselves with our memories is vastly underrated... 
...When we want or need to be with someone or something from which we feel disconnected, we can call upon our stores of remembered experiences... 
...from a biochemical standpoint, the organism's experience of being hugged by the self is no different from being hugged by another. In hugging one's self the same rise in T cells, immune response, and endorphins are experienced...

*~*

Yes, yes...
I've done this before...
I can do it again...
I will rise again and be stronger for it...
I will find my path again...





*~*

Friday, May 13, 2016

the to-do-without list

i recently read
that minimal to-do lists
which i've naturally employed
for years now
can reap
greater productivity

sometimes i list
one thing
sometimes two
sometimes more

depending on what i feel i can
accomplish, so that
at the end of the day
i can feel successful

on the really rough days
with energy too low to do
but not low enough to not care
life has a pointless pointness
it's like limbo
existing in an eternal state of waiting

today's to-do list:

something
anything
nothing
something

sans



Thursday, May 12, 2016

exhaust fumes

there are no words to describe the utter exhaustion

but here I go, trying to give it a try

it feels like my bones are going to collapse and that all my organs are going to fail

when i first experienced this, it was scary

now it's routine

it becomes difficult to put together sentences, other than with elementary language

socializing becomes exhausting, except with nature and animals

we socialize in a different way, on a different level

the simplest of tasks take all the concentration i can muster

sometimes I cannot muster

so i just sit, or lay

and ceiling stare

unless i'm outside, then i sky stare

and cloud watch

they move so effortlessly


[penned may 5, 2016,
1-1/2 weeks pre-epidural #12]


Clouds. Salem Lake. From the bridge bench. 5/04/16. 4:35 PM.

Friday, March 18, 2016

djembe

between my knees
i hold you
palms open
i stroke your skin

circular gestures
warm
awaken

i tap
timidly
unsure

you respond
vibrational whisper
baritone

your reply
coaxes me
for more

i relax
more confident
tap again

around me
others echo
bass, tone, slap

eyes close
body sways
breath flows

hands beat
wrists pulse
feet tap

tempo quickens
euphonic tapestry
dulcet harmony

rhythms of the earth
colors of the rainbow
celestial crescendo

aural prisms beckon
voice of our origin
ancestral choir
together one

language of djembe


january 20, 2oo8
judithpiper