Friday, June 24, 2011
This is my place holder 'til I rescramble my consciousness to catch up with the unexpected Tilt-A-Whirl that began only days after leaving the Clinic and those blessed praying Sisters. I had to look through a half dozen videos of people singing way off key to find this choice morsel from long ago.
I'm back in Novato. It's been a ride.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
I am presently in an internet wasteland of bandwidth starvation, east of Sedro Woolley, WA where neither satellite nor mobile hotspot can be roused for more than a hiccup. A simple photo I uploaded took 10 unsure minutes to make it. However it presses on my heart to share from my journal writings about a powerful experience on Monday night, June 13th.... that on a level I find difficult to quantify, is in another realm from "all that I do" in rebuilding my health. I share it unedited and from my heart:
"Last night the Sisters did Healing Prayer over me in their precious small chapel here. I'd asked if they were doing Evening Prayer, and Pat began to describe their "Faith Sharing" in a way that told me it was Lectio Divina. And THEN… dear Sr. Carol Ann asked me again if I would like to have Healing Prayer. "YES!" And it would take the place of the others.
It is one of the most powerful healing communal prayer services I have encountered. Sr. Carol Ann led me through the visual walk in a Scriptural account I felt guided to - the woman with the "issue of the blood." (It was that or the story of Queen Esther). I was led in the Healing Prayer to the scene… to seeing Jesus surrounded by the crowd… to making my way through the crowd… who looked at me askance? Who of the woman gently grabbed my arm and helped me through? Who others of the faithful nodded, knowing that to Whom I felt compelled to touch is God Himself?
As I touched His Garment from being close to the ground, squatting or semi-kneeling, I FELT the POWER COME INTO ME. I imagined the Light of Christ in a nearly visceral surge. And when He turned and said, "Who touched me?"… I was a mixture of things, from feeling no fear, yes, it WAS me, o Lord!, to a sense of a little girl thinking, please don't take this away from me. Please don't take this back. It was an ancient fear, from my childhood… that whatever was given to me was never assured as permanent, as safe. The winds could shift at any moment and whim could rob me in a heartbeat. That brushed past me briefly. And then Jesus took my hand and led me away from the crowd… as that wasn't really "part" of the Scriptural narrative, I struggled a wee bit and my visualizations were not crystal clear. I remember thanking Him by kissing his hand at the end of our brief talk, as J would Fr. Tom in the Sunday Night Oikos group. I had tears running down my face at this point. And we'd all held hands while Carol Ann led us in the visualization.
I feel more energized this morning than I have in some time."
That blessing was from my three days at The Hermitage Place in Tacoma, WA, my next step respite after five days with the Benedictine Sisters at St. Placid Priory in Lacey. The three Franciscan Sisters have no website, no blog. They have a brochure. They have the Lord's loving welcome and gracious peace. Some photos I took are HERE (click on the LINK, as usual).
My CBCs from Thursday, June 9th are sealed in an envelope at my request. As much as I pray and lean on the Lord God, I grow weary of my nose-ring knee-jerk upon seeing "the numbers". The numbers can wait. This day is at hand and blessed be God, it is a very nice one indeed.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
The two-day drive north was arduous. I believe I was catatonic on Grace-infused auto-pilot for at least the first day to Grants Pass and certainly through much of the second day to this RESPLENDENT in its pure peace Benedictine Priory in Lacey, Washington. The image is from a little forest behind the retreat center, which is a short walk from the priory itself. Here are some nature photos I took.
My room is called "Gertrude." Her inspiration is "Gertrude the Great of Helfta," a 13th century German monastic, mystic and theologian. No, I hadn't heard of her, either. I was rather hoping for a more well-known icon such as Hildegard or even Julian. Each saint's room has a saying, an encapsulating sentence or two. Gertrude's is this:
but to come to Me
that I may
That pretty much nailed me right in the heart. With all of my keening about my blood counts, having these words on the wall of my small "monk's cell" are reminders.... are reminders.
The sisters are dear. I have joined them for 5pm Mass all three days (mornings & evenings, that is) that I have been here so far. Some members of other denominations are rather strict with cross-pollination. Here I am welcome to share in the Blessed Sacrament. By the time I leave, I'll even be saying Catholic-pronounced Amens! (They say AYY-men; Episcopalians say ah-men). The Lord's Supper precedes the evening meal at 5:30pm, which I've joined every night but tonight, taking a grateful plateful (couldn't resist) to sup in silence. They understand silence. One dear sister in particular has half an eye on me. "We're praying for you," she shared. After the post-meal Evening Praise service (a bit like Evening Prayer but consisting mostly of chanted psalms), she also said, softly and not intrusively, "Are you feeling fragile tonight?" Oh melt my heart with kindness.
SO FAR (ya-ha-HAAAA!) my "treatments" are going well, which today consists of me not feeling horrible as I did during the April round. (I realize that that may change). Yesterday was 50 grams of IV Vitamin C plus a "liver treatment" (galvanizing current sent via little pads). Today I had my IV H202 - 3% pharmaceutical grade hydrogen peroxide. I also had - gasp! - a mild spinal adjustment. I'm not only NOT feeling horrible, I'm feeling rather well. Tired, of course, but essentially unruffled.
but to come to Me
that I may
Friday, June 3, 2011
I was wrong in my last post. The fledglings and parent are NOT "exactly the same size". What I found even more touching is to see that the babies are quite plump while the parent looks thin and bedraggled. In fact I'm seeing two and three little babes fluttering on the nearby branch while "mom" frantically pecks away at my suet feeder and then stuffs the goods into their squawking, open mouths. I wasn't able to capture a focused photo of the gaggle - my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01 is a bit long in the tooth if extremely high class for its vintage. One geeky perk at a time; a fat, 14 megapixel Canon PowerShot is on my radar.
Monday I leave for the Northwest. My blood counts are down again. I don't know why. Today I am less depressed about it and more "stroppy" as my British friends might say. If the numbers descend to zero, I know that God still loves and looks after me.
Now to fine tune this trek......