New Year Resolve
by May Sarton
The time has come
To stop allowing the clutter
To clutter my mind
Like dirty snow,
Shove it off and find
Clear time, clear water.
Time for a change,
Let silence in like a cat
Who has sat at my door
Neither wild nor strange
Hoping for food from my store
And shivering on the mat.
Let silence in.
She will rarely speak or mew,
She will sleep on my bed
And all I have ever been
Either false or true
Will live again in my head.
For it is now or not
As old age silts the stream,
To shove away the clutter,
To untie every knot,
To take the time to dream,
To come back to still water.
i have been in a crash. which means an exacerbation of all my symptoms & worsening of my condition. crashes are short-lived. but they are scary & discouraging. one doesn’t always know if it is a crash (temporary) or relapse (drop in baseline functioning that may be permanent or long term). only time tells.
for me it means i am dropped back into a sea of nothingness. up only to eat & use restroom. brief peeks at computer. brief written or verbal interaction. then back down under the weight of the illness & what it gives me.
i have felt anguish & despair. i want to run, flee. i desperately want to put ground under my feet. for someone to say all will be ok. i wish desperately to be someone else. i think – no more.. i cannot continue to bear this. this is no life. there is no reason to continue.
the moment i resist. the moment i sink or give in or fight or flee.. it all worsens. the hardest thing to do is to “hold one’s seat.’ to experience the feelings. but to not feed them. to just be. with the moment, no matter how hard the string of moments have felt. to jump ahead or to look back is simply unbearable. how difficult it is to lean in & open to it. & let it be what it is.
i only have this moment.
gratitude practice at this level is very elemental. grateful for shelter. this bed. a roof over my head. food. my dog. my brief ability to stand & take a few steps. that i can still feed self. & brush my teeth. & use the restroom. grateful to be mostly sleeping. grateful my body is mostly digesting ok. sometimes i can look out the windows.
this is a lot to write right now. so must stop. but this post was prompted by a visit from the man who cleans my gutters. last year he returned my check in the mail after having prayed with me while here. he remembered me from the prior year & had wondered what had happened.
today he also did not want to take money. then after a bit of arguing, wanted just a little to pay his crew. i gave him more & folded the check. in our brief interaction he wondered if i was better. & the truth is i am worse than a year ago. but i told him i have been blessed to have a wonderful doctor. & that perhaps… i may reclaim some life.. yet.. we cannot know. we can hope.
he said, “i will continue to pray for healing for you. & if you cannot be healed. i pray for God to give you the strength to bear this with grace.”
…….the strength to bear this with grace…. simply reduces me to tears right now. i pray so……
“It’s easy to be a naive idealist. It’s easy to be a cynical realist. It’s quite another thing to have no illusions and still hold the inner flame.”
~Marie-Louise von Franz
“How do we wander so honestly and tenderly in the pilgrimage of the heart? How do we uncover a personal practice by which to restore our trust in living as the original art? How do we take the sorrow that endures forever—because every one of us will have our share of it—and find the courage, support, love, and skills by which to melt it in the furnace of our heart, so from the everlasting bronze we can shape the pleasure and peace that abides in a moment? …I don’t know how to do this, but by God, I’m devoted to try. I’m devoted to learn. I’m devoted to journey with you and others to discover how. Because this is why we were put on Earth—to hold our turmoil in the fire of transformation until it emerges as peace.”
~ mark nepo
awhile ago i used a ‘whatwouldisay’ fb application. & with the randomly generated status updates that it created based on my own fb posts, i created this:
“I am Lazarus,come back & add that
Maybe you can see. In our dining room, we bravely live
Struck by quiet cliches
My own constellations to guide me
We live in the lamplight, downed with light
The depth of your eyes a gentle interpretive dance
My salvation lies in your love
Thank you, every single heartbeat. I was.
So now I bow my head in gratitude… With love”
christmas carols by sufi classical musicians.