Thursday, April 23, 2015

Downstream

Well, I haven't exactly been posting a poem every day as I intended. I've been writing them, but they've been scratchings leading up to something else that is yet to be written. And so I just let go of the plan and have done what I can. Ah. That should be my motto. 

Let go of the plan, and do what you can. 

Our dear friends have been visiting this week. And while normally having house guests while you're in the middle of a health crisis would be overwhelming, with them it is not. It's easy because they're easy. And getting love from them and their twin seven year old snugglers is about the best medicine a person could ask for. So, I've just been soaking it up, and resting in all the support.

I've had some eye-opening conversations lately. And while I would never say, "Things happen for a reason," I can see why people feel that way sometimes. What I would say is that sometimes, when we are severed, we open ourselves up to things in a way we might never have before. And all of it has pushed me into a place where I had to decide to make change or stay miserable. It brings to mind the "eye of the needle" and that the only way to make that passage is to strip down all unnecessary things. That is heaven. That is the place of peace. And so, together with modern medicine and oh so many supportive friends and family, I am stripping down and passing through and changing. This is it. Do or die. 

Because of all of this, I've made some big changes. I've decided to take a little leave from work over the summer and focus on being with the kids, getting healthy and realigning myself. I've also decided to start massage therapy school in September. After all my hemming and hawing over what to "do with my life" I finally really heard the words of two friends. Naomi, my forever friend, wrote a great article at the beginning of the year about changing your question from "What do I want to achieve?" to "How do I want to feel?" This has been simmering in my mind ever since. And then my friend Peter, another lifelong friend, told me that he had made some decisions about how he wanted his life to be and adjusted his work to match that. And suddenly, the decision seemed simple. I want to feel healthy. I want to feel like a healer. I want to feel flexible. I want to feel free. I want to feel connected. 

I started this poem after I got off the phone with Peter. Talking to him brought up images from our childhood in Papua New Guinea - of rivers and streams and the flow of our lives then. I'm flipping over, looking up and floating. It's a relief. Thank you, all of you, who have given me encouragement, wisdom, cards, gifts, hugs, laughter and love. I think I'm headed toward freedom now.

Downstream

You don’t know you’re swimming upstream
Like the ants don’t know about the highway
All you know is the struggle
All you feel is the cold
All you want is to be finished
You don’t know that you’re already finished
You don’t know that you’re making life harder
All you know is swimming this way
And so you do
You’re paddling
And paddling
And fighting
And wearing yourself out
This isn’t life, you cry
This isn’t worth doing
And then a tree falls across your path
You’re hurt and angry
And you’re crying because now you’re even farther behind
And you’re fighting for air
And angry
So angry
Until you can do nothing but give in
You turn over
You’re blinded by tears
Until you realize you can breathe
And you see the clear blue sky
And you see the geese fly over
And suddenly everything makes sense
And you’re present in the water
And you realize that where you want to be
Is exactly where you are
And that eventually that will be the ocean
And you forget where you were going
And you forget where you’ve been
And the geese fly over

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