Monday, July 27, 2009
Haiche, you delighted and amused your humans for well over 10 years. Play in God's fields in peace now.... and may the Divine be the ever-present companion to this spirit furry creature as well as his now sorrowing humans. This is my hug to you all. I am sorry you have lost your friend.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
...to Roswell, Georgia, in fact, safe and reasonably sound. Blessings to Klaus and Susan for being at the Atlanta Airport close to Midnight to come and get me! These two are angel dears.
This is from April, a week spent with these friends here en route to Scotland. I am attempting to coax Camden, to no avail other than our continued joys of staring at one another. My hair has not only grown out more luxuriously but benefitted from two very posh trims from my "secret," in-house hair stylist! I swear, it doesn't get much better. It helps to have someone very talented to ask - Ali!
The goodbyes in Scotland wrenched my heart over and over, and yet filled me with awed gratitude. Little gifts given that have made it unscathed, from the carved "God Box" from my Forres Friends of Bill W. (I cried at our last meeting while we all read Chapter 5 from the Big Book) to handmade beeswax candles from Barbara (her own bees!) to cards and other waves of givingness.... Thank You All ever so much!
Much remains to unveil, unpack, reroute, invoke... day by day, breath by breath. What an adventure is this Life!
In Christ I have Hope. This life is indeed worth Living.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I leave bonnie northern Scotland today. I awakened early enough to see the "haar," a dreamy coastal fog in lands bordering the North Sea. This morning it's over the farmer's field of sheep. In 24 hours, God Willing, I shall arrive at Atlanta Airport, greeted by Susan and possibly her husband Klaus. I will try to remember my name after the long long day ahead.
This photo was taken on my birthday this past Sunday. We walked along the Moray Firth from Cummingston to Hopeman, and on the other side of this wall is the sea. I could walk along its windy, narrow ways as long as I paid attention to each step. Posing at the end with dangling legs was lots of fun.
Help me pray my way back to America, if you would... and to say farewell with loving gratitude to a holy and juicy 3-1/2 months here in the Highlands. The Grace of God unfolds.
It is present today.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
This is of course my father David, my mother Helen and little me in Venice Beach, California - by the size of me, it looks like sometime in 1956.
It's nice to celebrate a birthday. It's nice to contemplate and breathe in life.
I'm getting loads of love and good wishes today - thank you all who send kind vibrations and virtual chocolate!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I've changed my travel plans once again, which I very strongly suspect shall be my last major tweak. Fortunately I have an "H" Class fare that accepts doctor's notes as a reason to refund the change fee (in theory, anyways). I unwrapped my pre-trip disquietude and gave it as rational a voice as I could with the help of those close to me. A significant change was releasing a brief visit with one of my most cherished friends in London. My head and heart had said, "Yes!" when I'd first booked the 36-hour layover. And yet the scratchy filter of my health limitations began to grate. I listened, I spoke with all of those involved, I sought agreement.... and only then made the changes. My dear friend Eva in London understands and forgives me. I hope that she's smiling if she reads this.
I will arrive three days earlier in Roswell, Georgia. Susan is graciously picking me up at Atlanta Airport at 11:30 pm. I really did offer to take the shuttle! By the time we hit the hay perhaps two hours later, I will have been up for 24 hours. This is a remote part of the world and it takes many many steps to leave here and make my way to the American South. We'll leave the bothies by car at 7:15 am to arrive in time for the 8:29 am Aviemore train. It arrives at Edinburgh Waverley Station at 11:15 am, and I scramble with heavy luggage to catch the shuttle to Edinburgh Airport, where I am just maybe possibly early enough for my 1:35 pm departure for London Heathrow. Whatever the case, I'll do my best.... arriving LHR at 3 pm, and then hopping another flight at 4:20 pm for a 7:25 pm arrival at Washington Dulles. I'll wait for the 9:50 pm United Shuttle to Atlanta, and .... voila! One bedraggled traveler being welcomed by a loving friend. My body will think it's 5 hours later. I'll cope.
I arrived here in Scotland on April 6th hoping for 6 months and dreaming about more. I am heading back to the USA after 3-1/2 months. And as they say in many corners, more shall be revealed.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
While I continue my loving fascination with Camden, my very favorite owl at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, Georgia, Susan & Klaus keep their arms and lives open to lovingly welcome me again by Saturday, July 25th. A journey of friendship that began in 1993 at the Findhorn Foundation here in northeast Scotland has grown in ways unexpected and marvelous.
Granted, I am eager for the day when the too near presence of leukemia ceases to be a part of the picture. There is wholeness and complete healing that I am invoking, hiccup'd by the shards of my humanity.... fear, doubt, uncertainty, worry. Right now - right now! - I sit by a window where birds ignore the afternoon drizzle and feast on seed. I'm still here at Fisherman's Bothies with Tony & Ali. I arrive with my welcoming beloveds Klaus & Susan in 13 days. My daily awarenesses grate with edginess and spending just a little bit too much time in my head.
Later this afternoon, a small group of us will gather for the long-awaited Crossword Puzzle Movie Night. Aligning stars, schedules and health has taken far more time than I expected. Ali has just helped me create a masterful Jamie Oliver Mega Chocolate Fudge Cake (from his Ministry of Food Cookbook - there's a plug, as if the lad needs one .... not!). Deej is making an organic chicken casserole which probably has a fancier dancier name than this brief blip. Ali 'n Matchy will score some manner of vegetarian entree. I'll also make roast vegetables later on. We'll feast, we'll gab, we'll watch Wall-E.... which I've been waiting to do since my former Bay Area voice coach par excellence gave me the DVD as a going-away gift!
Yesterday, the Forres Highland Games were resplendent in brilliant sunshine. Today the temperatures have dropped and the wet has returned. Clothes dryer, I think. Damn but I miss having a clothes dryer. Soon..... soon.....
My sinus and respiratory unwellness from June still taunts a bit. I refuse to take any more antibiotics, as too much will just further crater the immune system. Right now I'm sipping organic apple cider vinegar and honey in hot water. Ali may set me up with her personal stash of goldenseal. I have rest and prayer. Yes, the committee between my ears gnaws at my peace and presence. I was far less paranoid about symptomatology before the AML lurched into my life. Am I tired, which is okay sometimes? Or am I stressed, which I can change? Or Does It MEAN Something? I have some choices. Finding the one that's real and which I can LIVE with in PEACE is a dance sometimes!
I am betwixt and between places. I preferred being here in the spirit of getting to know folks and finding my way, even in-between medical visits. Now I'm saying goodbye again. I can begin to taste the joys awaiting me back Stateside. I wish I was there now. I don't like saying goodbye.
Breathing in and breathing out, I watch the birds eat their seed.
Friday, July 3, 2009
We've had a searing heat wave here in northern Scotland for the past several days. My Mac weather widget may say 75º F. but it's an easy muggy mid-80's. Blessed be that I brought a whopping two pair of shorts here for the summer! Most of my true summer warrior gear is with my dear friends Susan & Klaus in Georgia. 100º and thunderstorms - that's hot and that's the American South.
Recently I was able to drive to tiny Findhorn Village in the heat of mid-day and take the local water taxi across the bay to the fair beaches of Culbin Sands. For a mere £5 return, a college lad ferried me across to this beach ordinarily accessed by a long drive and then a very very long walk or bike ride. Culbin Sands' history is pretty intriguing if you want to click on the link. The normal route through the Culbin Forest is exceedingly twisty and turny. Not carrying a map would be seriously asking for it.
Along that theme, four us of spent several hours last week creating a Mind Map. This is like brainstorming except with more colors. Ruthie came by with armloads of large white sheets of paper and fistfuls of colored pens. After a delicious picnic luncheon together (thank you, Tony & Ali!), the four of us sat down in the living room. After Ruthie's brief guided meditation, we began. For over two hours we drew, linked, joined, mused, clarified and created. We uncovered, discovered and explored. We then put down our pens, sighed and hugged. It was time to let go and incubate.
And so it has been. Since then, a shift in direction has become manifest.... after days of ruminating, more drawing, sharing, dreaming, putting the Mind Map sheets up in my bedroom, breathing in, breathing out and praying. While Scotland is and ever shall be the home of my heart, it is time to return to the USA while my health is not only stable but, even after June's unfortunate illnesses, growing slowly more robust.
Depending on one's outlook and how valid are the medical world's numbers, not having a bone marrow transplant is considered waiting for a relapse. Having a heads up for a relapse is impossible. AML does not give advance warnings. We all agreed that the former comfort in having been called "stable" just a month ago was nearly obliterated by being referred to as a "ticking bomb" only 2 weeks ago. The other clear sea change was that continuing to receive medical care in the UK shifted from graciously possible to something that would eventually bankrupt me.
I have the type of leukemia whereby doing absolutely everything that the allopathic world dictates still gives me at best 45% chances of survival, which is defined as not dying before five years are up. These numbers do not address quality of life nor whether I become financially impoverished in the process. So if I stare too hard, I can get very grim very quickly.
I continue to study natural healing modalities. I study them slowly. I have embarked on several. I believe I have made a most profound shift in my self care and it has been by coming here to stay with abundantly loving and supportive friends in a land that I adore. And the truth is that I am a visitor. I can only stay past my six months if I choose to become an illegal alien. That doesn't resonate with me.
My friends and I have shone our collective flashlights on our perceptions of the message emerging from our Mind Map session. We all have agreement, tinged with sadness that it is, that returning Stateside sooner rather than later is wise and prudent.
I am blessed beyond words to have the love of friends like Tony & Ali here in Scotland and Klaus & Susan in the USA who have said, "Come. Be with us." I ask that you pause as you read this and send them a beam of heavenly Light. They are angels on earth.
Yesterday morning I made the mid-week Eucharist at St. John's here in Forres. I have only recently been asking Jesus that I draw close to Him because He is Who He is and not only because I'm there with my hands out and a fairly edgy shopping list. Good people live and good people die. I am trying to breathe into some manner of spiritual authenticity and Acceptance without white-knuckling my way into a whine of "Gimme gimme gimme what I want, God!" I know perfectly well what I want and so does my Lord - it's vibrant health, a complete cure, happiness, a long and joyous life, creative purpose, financial abundance, music, sobriety and being of Service as He asks me to be.
May it be so.