Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wild and Precious

What I started thinking about this morning was: love changes everything and love conquers all.

The idea that only through loving ourselves enough, and then loving all others, can we eliminate TNBC forever. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think a lack of true, mad, deep self-love is a big part of what has caused this sidecar of destructive cells to form, multiply and begin to ravage me. Not taking care of myself. Eating terribly, drinking bad stuff, avoiding work I feel absolutely called to be doing and allowing in the stress, anger, upset until there was far too little room left for self-love, self-care, simplicity, or really, much of anything else.

Earlier this week, I started to work on a small craft project, and realized, the neuropathy has begun. I can feel it today as I type. I struggled to get enough feeling in my fingers to tie the tiny little loops of baker twine I was using, and to feel the paper I was using. Next, it was the whole hands, into the fingers, like a very mild, annoying numbness. Just slight enough you almost wouldn’t notice it. Except of course, as an artist and writer and healer, that is all I notice, because that is where I spend the bulk of my time... a part of my consciousness is always in my hands.

I think part of it is also learning to savor each and every moment. Really, really savor, not just sort of think you are or hope you are when really you are still just going through the motions. Last night as I started making my little advent calendar, I realized it required that same amount of deep thought, precision, that I typically reserve for my day job. I could no longer be half-in, half-out, multi-tasking. It required all my concentration and thought to punch a small hole, feed the thread through, and clove hitch it together. I couldn’t think about anything else, or it wouldn’t go. I couldn’t think about anything else, or I wouldn’t be able to feel it well enough to tell if it had gone. Precision has now become a part of who I wish and need to be.

Is this again another aspect of how can’t-sir gives focus? 

The quote in my head upon waking was the one from Mary Oliver, above: "What will you do with your one wild and precious life?" And the response for me now was, we always try to make that answer so big, don't we? But life isn’t about making it big. It’s about what I’ve just been describing: it’s about being immersed, engulfed, enravaged by every single precious moment of your wild life.

In this day and age in particular, we are distracted by every little thing, all the time. Can’t-sir forces me to focus in new ways: everything is in such a sharp relief. The very act of nicking myself on a knife could now mean an infection I cannot afford. I must check and double-check the weight on the grocery bags, handling them with two hands and removing cargo, ensuring I do not lift more than 10 pounds, so as not to unwittingly cause myself a lymphedema episode. Every morsel of food affects my body differently than ever before, so each bit is both a savoring belief that it will feed me beautiful, much-needed nutrition, and an enquiry, "If this bit of nutrition still upsets me, what will I need to do to counteract it, and how severe will the reaction be?"

And, so I feel a deep celebration and loving with each moment, recognizing truly how precious and fleeting my life really is, how delicate and sweet this little body is, how precarious every single thing is inside this body, outside this body. I feel a heightened awareness that it is not about figuring out your giant dream of the world, as much as it is about having this awareness, this depth of field, this understanding that in one second it literally could all change, be taken from you, and that it, and you, could be gone from the earth forever. That is the level of wild and precious we are talking about: that we are both gifted the earth and gifts to the earth, and that in one heartbeat, we could literally be snuffed out. Think of your life in that amazing glory. That we are that gigantic a gift to The Universe, from The Universal.

Not that we are here only to DO important, relevant, timely things, but that we are here to BE important, relevant, timely things. The very things we set out to be when we incarnated. It feels to me today that life is very much a process of remembering our way to that level of appreciation, of savoring, to that depth of field.

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