*sings*…Too many sunsets I haven’t seen.
It’s Friday. Officially makes this a weekend update. The last one was a little over a year ago. And reading it I admit I still haven’t done any Friday Fictioneers, nor returned to the blog or my artistic expression with any regularity, or…
I fear I may be stuck in a spin cycle.
Actually my move last year to the upstairs apartment has been magnificent: tons of light, space to move, and windows that can stay open. And I recently cancelled my cable. For years Xfinity insisted I could not have their basic package with my DVR. However, the minute l called to cancel my services; it is suddenly available to me. Are you F-ing kidding me? When will people figure out that “the Squeaky wheel” is a terrible business model? I told them where they could shove their offer.
During the last year I did do another magazine cover for cell magazine. Like the first one, I enjoyed the unique challenge of drawing within parameters of an exacting box. The first cover is still my favorite as it is fashion oriented, but I’m proud of this one also.
And I had the opportunity to draw some full figured croquis for a clothing company.
It was this time last year I acknowledged posting stopped following my mentor’s death. Interestingly today would be his birthday, thank you Facebook reminders. It seems apropos to post.
Also a friend recently visiting helped me rearrange my apartment. Something I haven’t been able to accomplish on my own physically, but desperately needed emotionally. If you remember I like to move things to literally kick start the flow in my life when feeling stuck. During this catharsis, unearthed were long since abandoned boxes. Boxes full of land mines, literally my baggage. Long overdue a good purge. Though among them some gems like the last email to me from my dear teacher. Again accidental, I think not. A much needed dose of love.
You have no idea how much this message means to me – nearly as much as you mean to me. Thank you. You were one of “my children” when you were in high school and that continues to be true. Years ago you sent me a picture of you and on the back it said “from one of your daughters”. I cherish those quiet moments in part because I knew you were sharing your true self with me. And what a gift that is when someone share the reality of their world with you. It is those moments I miss most about teaching. All the big things were important, I suppose, but those quiet moments are what I hold in my heart. I have told you before that the door to wherever I am is always open to you. Dana, I cared deeply about a lot of people in the class of ’90 but I loved none more than you. I love that you are leading the life you have chosen and that you are a strong woman – perhaps you always were and did not recognize it at the time. And I love that you sent me this note. Please stay in touch. I miss you. Sending love your way…Don
The first half of this year has been full of new diagnosis, more and more scans and doctors’ visits, procedures, too many illnesses, and of course many scheduled distractions to make it all tolerable. Unfortunately, for all the traveling my pendulum of late has swung to the outer limits.
“Burnout” a friends’ warning, especially if this introvert doesn’t replenish. Her fear real, I know I’ve been giving too much away. Traveling and occupying my time as escape from reality not simply for the joy of experience. Well that’s not exactly accurate, but with no time for integration.
My most recent push through the medical gauntlet has led me here. I am no longer rushing to make more doctors’ appointments. I have refused further suggested surgeries. I will continue to refuse being cut into. And I don’t want to receive another diagnosis, so no more appointments for a while. For now I will coast. Go as long as far as I can before ignorance is no longer a possible bliss.
Nudges have been arriving with increasing clarity. “You’re a really good friend” said an old friend. Mind you he is someone I’ve recently expressed feelings for and honestly would happily kiss again. Let’s call it nuanced.
I don’t know if his statement was meant in earnest or snark. He has an uncanny way of delivering insults without sting. One of the things I find attractive in him. And his consciousness and reflection often pierce to the heart of mine. His words, seemingly innocent, were jarring, they stung familiar. Reminding me I was repeating an old pattern, back sliding in my personal growth.
He’d called bull. Once again I’d put those I care for above my own desires. One of the largest lessons cancer taught me was to put myself first and that onion has been spiraling back ever since.
An act of friendship, as it appeared on the surface, was insidiously protecting my heart. And for that choice I would miss out. Or perhaps not, I still believe everything, even if you fumble, is for a purpose.
But it’s been ages since someone pushed so many of the right buttons for me, could probe my awakened places, and oft challenge their hibernation. For me this is a huge turn-on. And that is welcomed warmth. One I’d like to wrap myself around.
I learned a longtime ago my superpower, when I channel it, is my vulnerability. And each time I revert, shy away from potential discomfort, I lose. I’ve learned how to move through disappointment, loss, pain. I also know once on the other side they bring greater rewards for the awareness. And sometimes the beauty lies in the memories of one perfect moment. And that is enough.
The recruiter’s been worried about me since our trip to Paris. Pointing out I was chasing it all: pushing, pushing and then pushing some more. Of course I was I’d just achieved a lifelong yearning. I was in Paris for God Sakes. But as she reminded, “You aren’t writing. You aren’t drawing. I think you’ve stopped dreaming. I haven’t seen you this sad in a while.”
Shit, she was right.
I’d crossed the line of living everyday as if it was the last. I’d begun to live as though I was going to literally die tomorrow. A seemingly subtle distinction perhaps, but one becomes careless in the latter as opposed to carefree. Living as if you’ll die has been reckless on my checkbook, fast and loose with my heart, and it doesn’t plan for a future i.e. dreams.
In my daily life I know I must dial back. Start to do the things that bring relief. Make the small but necessary changes. Like meditating every morning, drinking a shake for breakfast, and drawing more. Go back to a modified Paleo diet, my subconscious is screaming at me to start healing myself. And make the larger shift to plan for a future, to dream up what I want for all my tomorrows. Whilst still living fully every day.
And with all the recent rounds of doctor’s appointments and the new diagnosis I don’t want to invite an old lesson back, especially more cancer. My esophagus is not the boss of me. I can digest what is being laid down. I don’t need more cancer to learn. I understand.
That said as a plea of sorts to the universe as my behavior may not be a strong confirmation. The universe will always up its game the second time round. So hear me, I really do get it.
When I go on all pistons with no reprieve, no moments of reflection, solitary time, I spiral. I forget the joys of being a foreign film, not a rom-com. I begin to get lost in the near enemies: attachment instead of loving-kindness, Pity instead of Compassion, comparison instead of sympathetic joy and indifference instead of equanimity. I am particularly harsh on myself. Kicking me for mistakes made. Forgetting all I’ve endured, all I’ve achieved, and all I have to offer others.
And like with the angel on the train the needed messages arrive. “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” And with that I am reminded to love and give back to myself what I give so willingly to others. Mindfulness always serves me.
Blast from This Blogs Past
The Weekend Reading List
An absolute must listen to Podcast ~ Garance Dore interviews Esther Perel
Here’s what is on my nightstand at the moment.
And a few videos I’ve shared recently with friends and family worth a looksie.