Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Body Genius

My months-long mystery of not feeling well is on its way to being solved. Answers couldn't arrive at a better time. I've got lots to do and my favorite moments of spring~ the wild, white cherry trees in bloom~ are coming. New direction is begging to be taken. And love is waiting at the door.

But before any new doors open, my body needs some balancing. Finally, a doctor said to me, "you have every symptom of hypoglycemia". That's the pancreas overreacting to sugar, causing my blood sugar to become too low. When it gets too low, it's startling in its capacity to render me useless.There is panic and hunger beyond anything normal and at its worst, sudden despair. I have not figured out, yet, how to help myself.

Tomorrow will find me at a lengthy glucose-tolerance blood test. The amount of time that I won't have any food in my system, before and during the process, is already making me nervous. I won't be a pretty sight. But answers will come and advice will be given and no medication will be required.

In the meantime, all simple sugars have left my home and the process of figuring out what keeps me properly inflated and happy has begun in earnest. On the list is Brewer's yeast, dissolved in sugar free almond milk. It's disgusting with a capital D. But I'll do it. Off the list are too many favorites to mention. (I will miss you dearly, Ben and Jerry.)

I have faith the eureka moment will come and balance will be the prize. New levels of understanding the genius of my body are unfolding. And without this body, there is no new direction to be had and no new love to drink in.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

the goodness of ordinary days

Let's focus on the goodness today. We all have so much of it. If we looked at the myriad ways we are each of us blessed, really stood still and examined it all, we would be blinded. Yes, there are unfulfilled goals, places we have not been, and financial levels that may never be met, but there are moments and hours of exquisite beauty in all of our lives that fill in the gap. If we took note of all those moments and hours, we would find there is actually no gap to fill. We would be more tolerant of grief and disease and accidents, knowing in our hearts that during difficult times we are still the recipients of grace.

If the end of winter and beginning of spring has been turbulent for me, it does not matter. If anything, my resistance to drama has weakened and I find myself withdrawing from most of it. What a beautiful thing. What a way to refocus on the important moments of life. Like planning for my return to the blue and white room, my favorite restaurant of all time. It belonged to my great grandmother, the inn and the restaurant on the shores of the north sea. This May, I will feast in that blue and white room with my mother. We will return to the inn and fond memories of her childhood in Germany and we will share a meal. On Mother's Day.

It will be a cluster of moments and hours we will never forget. It will fill in the gaps and carry us through and open our eyes more wide to the goodness of ordinary days.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

illness as opportunity

Amid the needles and indignities and loss of illness, there lies an opportunity. This opportunity has hovered, warm and ready for years or a lifetime, waiting and hoping for its moment to shine and bleed its way sweetly to the surface. It is the opportunity of liberation; liberation of the depths of connection, the depths of the human heart, and the marrow-deep meaning of life.

In illness lies the permission to stop holding back, to give and to receive with feverish need. Illness allows the rushing in of words left unsaid and a re-ordering of how time is spent. It brings down walls that have stood too long. It shines a light on things that don't matter. It gives clarity, like little else can, to the high-road of human relationship.

Illness, plain and simple, is an issue of love, often highlighting its lack. It is love's pained call to be brought forth into life, to be recognized as life's true meaning. Love is a feeling, an energy, an action. It is oxygen for the human soul. Illness, short or long, fatal or not, is an opportunity for all whom it touches to liberate themselves from the meaningless and focus more fully on a life lived with love.

{My mother at a chemo treatment in February. Always there is love expressed with flowers.}

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the resplendent swamps of march

There is so much despair in the world today. There are too many images of loss and fear. I have to turn away. I have to protect the spirit within me that knows there is more unbounded beauty and life than anything else. So, I went to the swamps, the cold and thawing swamps of March, resplendent with noise and wings.

It is my yearly ritual on the cusp of spring to stand before the joyful noise of Canada geese and blackbirds. Despite the cold, they are urgent. They know, on deeper levels than I will ever know, their purpose. I go to listen and I go to be consumed by the glory of wise commotion.

The color of old corn, the white and the blue~ the palette of almost-spring~ is the perfect backdrop, the perfect stage for incoming life. In that palette, on that stage a quiet, yet no less urgent player emerged. A beaver. My first one, almost up close, eating and swimming, eating and swimming, reminding me I, too, have purpose. Despite my love of all things winged, of lofty ideals and of stars, the beaver reminded me the way to go beyond the ideas of loss and fear is to be grounded and practical and acutely tuned to the care of myself. The beaver reminded, as well, that for me to fly in this world and to know its unbounded beauty requires a walk and a swim to begin.

Monday, March 14, 2011

the warmth will come

With winter quite reluctant to give up its rule,
I've had to make my own spring.
And like the season of spring,
there is uncertainty and change afoot. 

Yet seeds have been planted,
the warmth will come and
life will take on a fresh bloom.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Reason #1 To Get On With It

"Life insists on being lived and anything that belongs to life which is allowed to lie dormant has to be lived by some one else. If we do not accept our shadow, we force our children to carry the burden of our undeveloped capacities. They may become mediocre scientists or artists because we denied our own talents."

Irene de Castillejo

Monday, March 07, 2011

the sweet side of life

Because eating ice cream should be an event, and not one just for warm weather, we went in mittens and boots to Parkside Candies in Buffalo, New York. First opened in 1927, Parkside is still peddling sweets and serving up ice cream with white paper doilies 84 years later. If it's true that ambiance makes food taste better, then my peanut butter sundae was the best I've ever had.

Saturday, March 05, 2011


lest you think i'm terminal or bored with writing to you or a (don't-i-wish) drive through bride in vegas playing the nickel slots in fishnets and sequined shoes, i return to assure you i live and breathe. unterminal, unbored, and uneloped.

instead, i return with multiple tests under my belt and no answers to show for the money i'll soon be laying out for all the medical attention i sought. nice. i also return fully engaged in a project meant to squash my endearing attention deficit malady. you'll hear about that one soon, provided i actually finish the darn thing. and i return with an itch to bitch about this crazy winter that won't get over itself and give spring a hope to happen. but i won't, because it's too easy to whine about weather and i honestly love my almost-knee-high boots with the laces and pom poms and before i know it i'll want to bitch about the heat. so no.

but i've missed you, and i need the therapy of writing and obnoxiously taking pictures everywhere i go.

i'm back, then. uncured, yet happy, and looking for all that's good.