Saturday, March 21, 2009
Spring Equinox Meanderings
Happy, blessed Spring! We made it – and none too soon! Those of you who are from these parts of Michigan know what I mean. You others who winter over in an easier part of the world, I’ll just put it this way: we’ve survived the long, grey, hard winter with little light and little warmth once again. Today, on the equinox, the length of the day equals the night, and from here, the balance tips; the days lengthen, the light increases. Hopefully, in our lives also. The light-starved and depressed need the wheel to turn.
It was midsummer last year when el poquito made his first appearance. He was born out of frustration and limitation back then. He’s been clowning with me ever since. It was a low tide moment; my legs and back were pulled out from under me once again. The pain in the nerves was hard to live with. I was scared. The little bit of ground I had recovered since lymphoma had moved into my life, felt as though it were crumbling out from under me. I was in a lot of pain and with little mobility. I was chained to the couch, needing crutches to travel off of it. I was going to need something extra to get through this; el poquito began to run through the interior lands inside of me. If I can’t run in one realm – a part of me will in another.
A spark was awakened with the arrival of el poquito. He leads my way; takes my spirit by the hand and runs with me. el poquito also shields me in the very public forum of blogworld, protecting my identity, my family and any innocent bystanders. There are some of you who know who the man is ‘behind the curtain’. That man has temporarily disappeared once again, gone into retreat of sorts. It’s time for an explanation, as best as I can.
A couple of months ago, the leg and back had another one of their ‘episodes’. That means a flare-up of the same ol’ pain and limitation scenario. These usually take a couple of weeks to move through, where I become my sole bodywork client, working on my body most waking hours to free it up. I fall down, but I don’t stay down. I’m stubborn and willful, if nothing else. During this period of slippage and taking care of myself, I developed another body problem – a new one. This time my upper back and right arm were crapping out on me. My strong arms had never betrayed me before. Now, I seemed to be developing new nerve problems – in new body parts; and the hole of limitation deepened. For two months now I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around losing the use of my arm. The pain, numbness and weakness have rattled me. Of course I work on it a lot. I also have gotten a lot of help. The impact of various remedies has been minimal and any progress or improvement has had to be what I can muster in my own mind. Don’t worry. I haven’t given up. I don’t do that. I can’t afford that luxury.
I’ve tried my best to keep my arm strong; at the same time I grieve its loss. Most recently I’ve come to think of how we identify so with our work. Especially when one loves their work, and others give you lots of kudos about your work, it becomes a large part of your persona and your place in the world. And mine was a good place in the world. In my recovery from cancer I’ve erratically tried to maintain what I could in the area of my life’s work with my hands, still helping others here and there, where I could. I haven’t been this strongly challenged since being in the midst of cancer and treatment. It takes me places I’d rather not visit. But then, nobody asked me.
Working with my hands with other’s pain was a calling. I now realize that I was given a gift. My hands and being were given an ability – I was able to sculpt human flesh; softening cold, hard clay into something warm and pliable. I was given a gift to share with others, and in addition I was given the gift of being able to make a living doing that work. I’ve been fortunate.
My life has also been rich with irony.
As a gift is freely given, likewise it can it be taken away. For now, it has been taken away. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I do know the arm has weakened and muscle has been lost along with ability. I hope not permanently, but still, it will take some time to recover and find its way back.
Meanwhile, as the back and arm heal, el poquito takes the lead. As el poquito I can run, leap and climb mountains; I can write, paint and spin tales of survival. I can take crap and reshape it into something new. I can grow spring flowers in the compost of the winter’s pile of shit.
Or like any good gardener, I can at least try. That’s all any gardener can do – try. No guarantee how the garden will turn out. Gardening is an act of hope. So is stubbornly rising above the crap.
Viva el poquito!
And Happy Spring Equinox - celebrating the returning Light.
el poquito (and the man behind the curtain)