Saturday, August 1, 2009

the ordinary steps of settling in

Well, this isn't too awful for a bit of web-purloined artwork... a colorful map of the State of Georgia USA (not to be confused with a country in the former USSR in which I could very well have distant relatives). Yes, it's a small image. Getting small is art sometimes and when I can do so, I am happier.

One of my challenges (character defects, if you will) is laboring under the psycho-yoke of projection. I can lose present moments faster than a hummingbird jets past the bright red feeder in the yard here.... all by becoming lost in a miasma of and then and then and THEN and then and....!

The Sacred Now then goes POOF! without even the opportunity to hear its little pleading bleep. It's all I have while I whirl past it.... hey wait, there's fresh sugar water in the hummingbird feeder, suppose we stopped in the summer swelter and had a nice, cool sip? No no no, gotta run run run....

That's one of the reasons I so love to sing. It makes me breathe and brings me into my body indulging in an activity I love like few others. And I did this today in a manner for the first time since last April - I sang Sacred Harp at what I was told is the oldest Sacred Harp Convention in the South, The Chattahoochee out at Wilson's Chapel in Carrollton. Since attending last summer's Camp DoReMi in the North Carolina mountains, my kinship grew with this old time singing. (I know I know, I'm mixing metaphors here by lumping Christian Harmony and Sacred Harp all in one paragraph!). In the first flush of new love, I felt a little naughty, since it was SO un-choral. "How will this help me sing better in my Church Choir?" I moaned.

How about, "... because I LOVE to do it, it's communal, it's deliciously fun, you can check your 'shoulds' at the door, it's heart-building and these songs ARE all about JESUS?"

Thanks to John P. who generously went out of his way to pick me up and drive us 75 miles each way to this glorious rural singing. I saw a few faces I remembered from last April's Atlanta Bi-Weekly singing (Matt 'n Erica's, we call it) as well as last summer's Camp DoReMi. And for those who dedicated songs to me while I was in the hospital or just staggering around right afterwards, bless YOU!

If this is "the ordinary," then what a life I have that is worth living, yes? It's a big smackin' yum yum YUM part of it. Tomorrow morning I return to a Church I had happened to stumble upon last Sunday and became quite smitten with for reasons deserving of their own post. They even have a little drop-in summer choir to coax in any shy congregants. Weekdays while my money-making work remains on hold consists of the admin of a healing life: Wrestling with a mountain of medical bills (some bogus, others not); organizing my California medical insurance policy into a live one in Georgia (don't get me started...); finding a fitness club since sometimes I don't feel like jogging (I've gone twice in the past week, woo-hoo!) when it's over 85ยบ outside; finding an affordable and reliable car; and my 12-Step meetings, 99% of which I am finding are absolutely awesome in this neck of the woods. My host-friends Susan & Klaus are away on a well-deserved New Orleans trip, so I get to look after Fiona, Kelsey and Skye, their three sweet cats, two of whom get twice-daily meds! I tell ya, the skills I'm learning....

As well I continue my research into natural healing modalities that don't necessarily include dripping poison into my veins and destroying my current immune system while injecting another's into me and hoping it takes. I spend several hours every day exploring holistic healing. I've been taking some of these remedies for months now. I'll tell you all about them when I have 10 years under my belt and can crow with some justification. For now, it's faith and work and prayer.

When I went to Scotland in April, the possibility of death could not be pushed away. Since last October's AML diagnosis and traumatic treatments, I have had to create a way to breathe in death's possibility without awfulizing myself into a martyred crater. I'm still working on it. Unless I can release my stranglehold on my idea of God which is basically the laughable attempt at emotional blackmail - "if You REALLY loved me, I wouldn't be IN this mess, God!" - I cannot walk in peace. I don't get to escape death or even suffering. I do get to make choices however that bring me closer to Him.

It's daily intentional work, this. Today I am not only alive but feeling stronger and more vibrant than I have in a very long time. What IS it? Is it this herb? That glass of organic juice? Your sacred prayers? The Blessed Sacrament every week, which fills my heart with grateful abandon?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. I think it's best however that I don't point a rigid little finger; "I know... it's THIS and I'll BOTTLE it so I can be SURE....!"

I can loosen the grip. I can breathe. I can show up.

Thank You, God and thank you, my friends.


  1. Diane
    I posted a few responses to your blog, as a casual reader...until I was diagnosed with a metasticized tumor in my neck a week I await a PET scan and a more definitive diagnosis. Three things...

    1)your blog is ever more meaningful to me...and I think it not an accident that I stumbled into it a month or two before my diagnosis.

    2) Since my diagnosis...the two verses in Psalms that ring in my heart are...
    "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Psalm 73)... And "...your love is better than life (Psalm 63)

    3. You inspired me to have a go at a blog of my's two posts old, and still awkward as hell...but I am going to keep at it.

    God bless you


  2. Steve, I will pray for you daily. Thank you for your honesty... and if you choose, please post your blog URL. I will follow your steps. Here's a {{hug}}.... oh what a life this is sometimes....!

  3. Diane,

    yes, what a life this is...

    thanks, and know I pray for you daily as well. Here is my URL: