Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the burning sun

In the days before the heat wave, I was replanting things in my yard. I love the brief time that I spend holding the roots of  a plant.  There is something intimate, private, and special about putting my fingers into the dirt that holds the roots tight and loosening them up.  I have garden gloves, but for this task nothing but bare hands will do.  Over and over on Saturday, I noticed how much I enjoyed this experience. 

Yesterday began  phase two in my daughter's treatment process.  She is type 1 diabetic and things have not been going well with her management.  We were referred to a special program and yesterday was the assessment.  I was ready for the new diagnosis.  I was ready to fight for a three to five day inpatient stay--the recommendation came back from the doctor.  Two to three weeks inpatient.  We can get her in today. 

This is not a blog about my daughter--there are many things about my daughter's story that add layers of depth to my current sea of truth. Those parts I hold dear but are not mine to tell.  It is interesting my selfish parts that come  up when a change is about to happen that will change the fiber and the grain of how our family lives.  It doesn't matter that it may be for the better.  In this moment it doesn't mean anything that on the big picture level this is what we want.  I am scared.  I'm scared of the work I have to do.  I'm scared of the patterns of our lives that will be changed.  The timing is bad.  If there is no state budget in the next three weeks I will not be working  come July 1st.  I have not got the time to be super involved in a family program when what I need to be doing right now is work.

As much as I know this is the right thing to do, I still question exposing my daughter's tender roots.  Am I wrong, assisting with gently untangling the ball that has grown so that it might be replanted in healthier soil?  The plants I moved on Saturday took an especially hard beating in the relentless sun yesterday.  I worry about the unforgiving sun.  Beating down.  Life is not always gentle or easy, and I can never keep my daughter from the joys and pains of that truth.  I know this is going to be painful growth. 

Here is an opportunity to stay present.  Yes things are going to change.  Yes, we may even come out with a bit of a sunburn, but this too shall pass. Phoenix from the flame baby.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

living with Joy

Each of us carry burden.  Like a jar of rocks we each have our own collection of suffering to carry with us through life.  This morning I woke, thinking about my sufferings as rocks.   I imagined holding them in my hands, and i took time to explore some of my rocks and the pain and gifts that came from them.  Most of my rocks I have had long enough that I have come to have a relationship with them.  These sufferings morph, change, become sometimes smoother, sometimes edgier.

When people get a new burden, especially a sudden unexpected burden, it shakes our human connections.  What can we do? People reach out with words, "it will get better;" "everything happens for a reason."  Some people shut down and don't reach out at all because they don't know what to say.  We are taught that somehow if we say the right words, it will make things better.

The words we look for are the translation of our hearts wanting to acknowledge the hurt. We feel the black hole of despair as deep as the love we want to express.  Sometimes there are no good words to say.  What the fuck.  There are some things that will never be okay. When my sister died and people told me it will be okay, I remember promising my sister that I would never let that be true.  There are some things so unfair that my human understanding will never offer fate or reason to those who hold such burden.  All I can do is show up. And show up some more. Wash tables, sweep floors. Share memories. Crack jokes. And hold the space for "what the fuck" to be the only thing worth saying.

When the tsunami struck I went through a series of emotions and here is what I learned.  My heart broke open for all the loss and devastation.  I wanted to be part of the solution somehow.  I thought I had only prayer to offer.  As I held the tsunami stone with the rest of the world, three things happened.  First, I heard a statistic  that in March 2011, three million people died from starvation, a quarter million died from malaria, 100,000 died from car crashes, and 28,000 died from quakes and tsunamis (it was a tweet on twitter).  Second, in one week my partner's uncle committed suicide, my friend had a cousin who was hit by a train (and survived--many broken bones), and a fb friend lost her best friend's daughter to murder.  I had two friends somewhere in the process of hospitalization to ensure their adolescent's health and safety.  I too, was on the brink of hospitalizing my own child for depression.  It put in perspective that we have a world worth having a broken heart over every single day.

I am a student of Mother Earth.  I believe that when we sit with her and use our senses to absorb her intuition, we gain information on right action.  All that brokenness, and I went outside and I saw--buds.  Springtime.  Buds of life coming into my world about to be born.  I remembered the world I wanted my children to be born into.  I wanted this season's new life to experience the joy and beauty of life on Earth.  None of the stones I was holding were my own.  I had to put them all down--my job was to show joy and hospitality to this new life in my yard, and to my world.  Because I could do that.  As Mother Earth hurts from the attacks done her, still she stands in shameless joy where ever she can.  Still she creates and still she loves. 

I am a student of Mother Earth-- today my job is to show up when I can and to celebrate moments of joy.  Taking care of myself and having access to happiness is the best thing I can do for my daughter and for all these broken parts of our world.  Let's dance and show some joy. We all need it.