Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mood swinging upward

Today I feel hopeful and growing in health. I feel like I am trying to turn around the Queen Mary in mid ocean, but I need an improved disposition and am determined to have it. So there. Thanks to friends and folks who have messaged or emailed support. Big kisses, too.

To renew health, one must renew spirit. Getting the blues will only stand between me and health, so I am focusing on all those things I can do and do have, and feeling thankful. After all, the doc had said that my original illness was life threatening, so I really shouldn't complain that 3 weeks later I am still on oxygen. The doc is hopeful that I can get off it. I would have rather he said that he "guaranteed" it -- but he didn't. Big deal. I should slap that me in the butt and remind myself of grace and goodness.

So I am doing lung exercises (yogic) and taking care of myself. And feeling thankful, un-whiney and largely un-blue. Maybe that it why it is called "the pink of health" -- because it isn't blue?

Last night when I went to sleep I told myself that I had the right to be blue, depressed, self-absorbed, scared. But that by morning I had to wake with a plan. And a better mood. And I did.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I have the sorta blues

Color me sorta blue but rallying. I am still on oxygen. It is almost 3 weeks now and my doc still wants me to stay on it. My blood oxygen levels need to rise about 4 points before he is comfortable taking me off the oxygen. May I ask the prayers of any of you who pass by that my lungs take on whatever healing they need to become more robust so that I can ditch the oxygen tanks?

My friends have been great, and I am getting wonderful help from folks, but this spring's bronchitis/asthma/allergies really took their toll.

I'm visualizing happy lungs. Please join me.

Thanks and hugs.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

4 birches with a side of rocks, please

This is it -- my new clump of birch trees. They will have the guy wires on them for their first month here, until they settle in. They are in my yard as part of a housewarming gift just now activated --- from my beloved friends John and Mark. I have always dearly loved birch trees. They have a special connection for Mark and John as well, so they are the ideal front yard tree addition here.

My first year here was all about the interior space. Now I am planting -- digging in -- bit by bit.

And this tree is the delightful beginning. The stones around it came from the hole dug for its roots. My yard is a New England rock farm. It has long been rumored that rocks are the #1 crop in NE, and I can vouch for the verity of that.

It gives me such joy to look out of my window and see these sweet trees every day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

asking for help -- and getting it

It's been a rough week. I ended up with a nasty bout of bronchitis/asthma. Blood level oxygen in lousy place. Long story shorter: On oxygen 24/7 for a week at home with steroids and antibiotics and a nebulizer to spritz asthma medicine into my lungs, and a fancy-schmantzy nasal inhaler. Doctor looking concerned and using the phrase "life threatening".

A week later - off steroids, done with antibiotics, still on 24/7 oxygen (but seen as a temporary measure). Blood level oxygen still not great, but very improved. Nebulizer and inhaler optional. Next appointment with doctor in 12 days. Doctor smiling and using words such as "improved".

It has been tough to ask for help, to call friends and ask for favors. My friends have been uniformly fabulous. They have offered their help. They call daily. They appear at my door with fresh fruit. They take my dog for walks. They let me know they are loving me.


This air-gasping, graying-haired, hopelessly flawed sick person.

They love me.

God is managing to wave big grace bouquets in front of my face like armloads of scent-heavy lilacs.

Look, you silly woman, look how much love is in the world -- what keeps you from smiling? What keeps you from gratitude? The lilac blossoms are everywhere, showering down, filling my room with color and scent and grace.

Thank you friends; thank you God.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kindness, and the small things that matter the most

I once had the opportunity to thank an old teacher, years later, for saying something that had changed my life. He had no memory of the occasion. Yet my life was forever altered by what he had said -- altered for the better. Many of you may have also had that experience -- being thanked for something that in your mind was trivial, but in the thanker's mind was huge.

We think we understand the weight of our words and the import of our actions. We are wrong. Everything we say to each other, every decision we make, has import -- and it is often more than we would imagine. Do you recall that old Christmas movie with Jimmie Stewart, "It's a Wonderful Life"? The main character does not realize how his life has touched so many others until he is shown by an angel. How stunned he was that he had meant something to people. That he mattered.

The truth is, we all had a chance to matter today --to make someone's day better, or worse -- or to help move the world along in some small way. Did we do it? Today I'd love if we could all do something wonderful. Look around you right now for someone you appreciate. Do they know it? Tell them. Just blurt it out. Be silly or sappy or blunt. Just tell them.

Did you get good customer service today? Ask to be connected to that person's boss so that you may compliment them.

Look at what you are going to buy in the market today -- and look at the market that you chose. Does what you buy and where you shop reflect your real values? If you drove a few more miles, could you find things and places that suit your values better?

Improve your day today, by improving someone else's. It matters when you buy fair trade items. It maters if you are kind to the beggar. It matters if you speak gently to someone today.

We blaze through our days thinking of all those things we have to do. Our mind is everywhere but here now. My 86 year old cousin Ida had something to say about that the other day.

You know all those people who keep running around like they are crazy, saying, We have to go there. We have to go here. We need to get this. We better see that. Well I have two words for them.....................calm down!

In the business of our days we often forget to matter. We forget to leave a kind imprint on the world. We forget to say thank you. Yet all those things matter a great deal to those who receive such kindnesses from us.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

there are no coincidences

As I have said before, I am planning to build a meditation wall/pergola/area in my back 1/2 acre. (see article about Queen Latifah at the link.)

I have been looking at stone and vines and all sorts of things. I have decided on a stone mason -- a man called Joe that I grew up with. I hadn't seen him in 40 years. I decided to have him build the wall, because there seemed to be a basic goodness about him. I like how he spoke of his wife of 34 years and his family. I went to their house to see some rock. On the way back from scoping out the stones, I looked over into a field on Joe's property. There were three large rocks, four young-ish trees and a lawn chair. I joked "And is that your meditation space?". "Yes, in fact it is," he said. He's been meditating for decades.

What are the odds that I would move back to this very small town and end up contracting a stone mason who meditates and "gets it" about what I am trying to do? We spoke about Zen, the Tao, chaos theory and string theory for a few minutes...and I knew he was the right one to build this space.
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