Ridiculous grace. It is ridiculous grace that we took this breath, that we can feel the heartbeat, taste the water. It is ridiculous grace that I am on the planet today, typing, tasting, hearing, knowing
One thing about chemicals in the bloodstream, they certainly cause alternate awareness. I am actively working to rinse the contrast dye and chemotherapy drugs from my system, yet they are altering me in a large way the past few days.
It’s probably better to avoid the world, and safer for the world, but I was out and about. I wanted to re-send Amisha’s holiday note; it came back by some post office error, ready to arrive at a more timely alignment with Divinity.
I have also been preparing a bit for the people who surround Dad and his Hospice care, and wanted to get to that, knowing that they will be as affected in his death as we are.
And lastly, there was a need for me to seek a protein source and more liquid options for washing this medical stuff out, at this point, anything I am willing to swallow. Water tastes disgusting. How can water taste disgusting? I love water. “Go with the flow and don’t judge,” I heard. More empathy, more awareness of others. I am learning.
On the road, the radio gave me political information for about three minutes before I had enough. I switched over to Spirit, the Seattle based Christian station. Kwami doesn’t like lyrics. I find guidance in words, deep information that leads me to insights and answers.
Ridiculous Grace. Two words that came from a Tauren Wells song, Known. I burst into tears (not in public, in the car, the public came through my adventure safely). Ridiculous grace. It is ridiculous grace that we took this breath, that we can feel the heartbeat, taste the water. It is ridiculous grace that I am on the planet today, typing, tasting, hearing, knowing.
And why I was crying is that I saw how important each person in my world is, so clearly, how perfect. And I just wanted them to see through my eyes, to know themselves this way, as the ridiculous grace of this moment. And my eyes and heart are crying again.
I am grateful for Grace, Ridiculous Grace, that shares this picture, this Truth, this love. Thank you for being my ridiculous grace!
There are many truths coming to the surface, in the nation, and all around the world. People are opening their eyes, facing their fears, and realizing the depth of disturbance past actions may have caused. This is not finger pointing, unless the finger is acknowledging personal responsibility.
A pointing finger means there is another step to take.
We are moving into a time of action, mutual action, where we work together to rebuild the world. It is literal, in the case of the environment, of damage we have done, and the physical labor that may be required.
It is figurative, in the situations of planning and seeing the potential in situations, and voting for the course that brings the nation and the world to higher heights in the realm of consciousness.
We are blessed, blessed by the divergence in the path. I am grateful for the observations and growth. I am grateful for the peace and patience I have felt as calm has been restored on stormy waters. I am grateful for today, and tomorrow, and the years to come. We are blessed.
Law of attraction is a method of putting the mind on only that which you wish to create. It isn’t a fully “self actualized” space… but it’s on the road.
Three days in to 2021. This morning I opened a card deck that Debby gifted me at Christmas. I hadn’t read the fine print on the box, and was a bit confused that my first, second, and then third card were all health based. All 60 are health based, Abraham Hicks, Law of Attraction cards. Laughing at myself.
This may be the third component of the ritual of making 2021 into the world changing, eon changing year. Ask for help from the Eternal. Gratitude, always gratitude. And now… control your thoughts.
For some reason, thoughts want to control us, control me. They are actually just drifting around out there in the atmosphere, and I choose a cluster of ’em to focus on, and then select one in particular. Whoosh, I’m swept into the apparent power of the mind.
Oddly, my mind isn’t in control. But the Western world sure believes it is. Often, by some tragic irony, it becomes the “reality” that I see.
I am questioning whether “gratitude” and “control your thoughts” are the same thing. They are. But maybe each is a sub heading of the other, intertwining.
“Control your thoughts” can seem harsh, and send me down a path of self judgment. “I created my own illness.” Very doom centered.
When I come from the light of gratitude, the statements are rightfully illuminating. “I am so thankful for all of the time with the kids.” “The sun is rising over the mountain with the incredible pinks and reds.” “I am grateful for my PC (’cause I drowned my laptop, because now I am listening to guidance to focus my time differently as far as computer living…).”
Maybe the third step is actually “watch my thoughts”. Allow some compassion. I notice that my ostomy is burning, and needs me. My attention can be love and physical action, and the thoughts can be about how incredible the process of having an ostomy and a life saving surgery is.
Or, it could be that the thoughts try to vear to the dark. At worst, I might need to step away from thinking that I am my thoughts, to watch that darkness present itself in the thought realm, and put love and self understanding into the process.
At best, I am able to be the “glass is half full” kind of person. Law of attraction is a method of putting the mind on only that which you wish to create. It isn’t a fully “self actualized” space… but it’s on the road. Gratitude can be aligned purely with “Thy will be done”. Law of attraction has a mini twist, where the personality creates and shifts the nature of creation to the individual, and perhaps away from Divine Grace.
If you don’t like what you are thinking, don’t agree with the path of the thought, quit giving it attention. Pet the cat. Find a different path. Think of a list of gratitudes.
If the thought is too persistent, give yourself the gift of facing it with love and compassion, and just treat it like a small, overtired, distraught child… hug it, hand it a stuffed unicorn, listen for the thought’s pain and soothe it.
And then attract the wanted, or attract the Eternal. Start with whichever is easier, and slide your way up to Spirit. 2021 is going to rock the world! Literally. What a beautiful beginning!
If there is anything worth doing, it is addressing the new paradigm, meeting the year in Grace, with Grace, and merging our days with the goal of that which is so much mightier, the I Am.
This might be a two sentence entry. That would be a first!
Ask for help.
Although either of those taken alone, and done daily, would guarantee an elevated journey through 2021, doing both in whatever way the Spirit moves you, and continuing through each day of the year, will elevate us all. Make it contagious. Share with those who surround you. And then NOTICE the shifts.
When I “ask for help”, I try to tune in beforehand. But honestly, asking for help can come from desperation. It might be heard as a scream! “I can’t do this, I can’t do it anymore, I can’t do this alone, I need HELP!” However you access God/Spirit/the Eternal, It hears you. It is there for you, and It is waiting for your acknowledgement. Life is easier with some assistance. Eternal help is the epitome.
And finding gratitude is the perfect partner. In sickness, depression, and hard moments, gratitude is something I must teach myself to do. It can feel impossible and can come up as more of a comparison than a pure distinction. I am grateful to be able to… walk, have food, live in a warm home, breathe this breath. It can feel minimal, like grasping at straws. Just grasp.
Or, it can come in purely, like, I am grateful for the glistening water on the maple outside the window. I am so thankful to live with the people I love. I am warm and well. I am writing, doing something that I adore.
However it comes for you is the right way. Write it down. Say it out loud. Catch negative thoughts, and switch to thoughts of gratitude.
A New Year’s Resolution? Two parts? Can we do this throughout 2021, bring ourselves back to the saving graces for all of humanity? If there is anything worth doing, it is addressing the new paradigm, meeting the year in Grace, with Grace, and merging our days with the goal of that which is so much mightier, the I Am.
I am excited to see how 2021 unfolds as we continue to grow and bloom and emerge into higher levels of consciousness.
What a year! This is a time of gratitude, reflection, joy, and transition. We are moving forward and growing once again, blessings behind us and blessings before us.
I am so grateful for 2020, and I will never be able to remember everything.
There has been a glorious stream of support from people in my world. The love and assistance from my family, Kwami, Jan, Ny and Conrad, Shante and Mark, leaves me without words. The depth of gratitude goes to the earth’s core. And I am blessed with the love and support of my brothers, Mic and Mark and their families, and my relatives that are close and far!
And then, the people who have my heart, but no physical blood, you have played with my blogs, been in the book group, emailed and called, messaged and texted, prayed in ways that match your beautiful worlds, stopped by for distance visits and crafts, sent cards and flowers and a Jesus doll. You have made my world easy and bright, and reminded me that every day has value and beauty.
My world of people has grown. I am so thankful for a medical team that exceeds twenty, and their intense and incredible efforts and sacrifices.
I am in a Zoom women’s group, and am thankful for the camaraderie and spiritual connection. My new adventures with the Woman Unleashed Inner Circle has given me the chance to live in a co-adventure with hundreds of women, in meditation, art, and goal centered journaling. These are ways in which I LIVE vividly, where you all make life into Life.
In posting and picturing and the hours and hours of blog creation, we all have a crazy love for Kwami’s work. Each individual blog can be a half day effort. It is a phenomenal gift, and I am so thankful.
When I think through the year and glance at my calendar, I can feel the glow of so much wonder:
Spiritually motivated Collage, Craft Days and Circles, Starfeather
Mentors, Mentorees and Mentoring
My Diagnosis and Post Surgery Hospital Weeks, all of the marvelous nurses!
Aflac Insurance, it rocks
Federal Disability, it may not rock, but is mildly helpful, and was kind and easy
Oncology, Dr. Wilfong and the Infusion team
A million people running tests, drawing blood, doing scans and procedures
Sarah joined the world, Rosanna and Tony met the challenge
Arya joined the world, Indrayani and Erick became parents
So many helpful people, supporting our lives: Robert on the yard/roof care, the roofers for the spring storm and the chimney, roofers for the carport, the heat pump maintenance guy, the plumber that stopped the faucet leak…
The wound that has taught me patience through the long, long, long “not yet complete” process of healing the surgery opening (but it’s nothing big and nothing “hard”)
Chemo, the five-month break, the reemergence, all that I have learned and the cooperation my body and medicine have created, through nine sessions of 12.
Presidential Election, the stress morphing into action
Long ocean trips with friends and the pod, twice this year, revitalizing
Whidbey journey, picking my Memorial Tree at Earth Sanctuary, I love it!
Book Club, Palliative Care and everything I have done to face my own glorious mortality, and then rebirth into my current vitality in this body.
A landmark Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, so good
And “transition” to 2021…Today, January 1, 2021, Dad is transitioning into Hospice Care, helping us embrace love on the Eternal Plain, he is elevating. WE are elevating!
I have been blessed by so many more separate experiences with so many of you, individually. It has been an incredible year. There are upsides and beauty in the darkest depths! I celebrate the glory! I am excited to see how 2021 unfolds as we continue to grow and bloom and emerge into higher levels of consciousness.
The level of gratitude is overwhelming and bright. Congratulations. This is a day to celebrate!
The staff at Brookdale Memory Care, working with Dad every day, every hour, when things are beyond difficult and messy.
So many people work to make our world flow like a well oiled machine. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the numbers. And Christmas is a time when we can share our gratitude. Even as that thought arose, my mind pointed to the overwhelm being an attempt to squish so much into a tiny space in our time (and even financial) continuum. First thought, let the gratitude flow.
I can start in November at Thanksgiving and ooze on over to Valentine’s Day. Easy. That will allow for covering more people with less stress! I’ve already blown the window for November/December of this year.
Usually, the breadth of the people who touch my life contains itself a bit more. 2020 blasts the door off the past. There are so many people I will never be able to thank.
A medical team literally saved my life this year. The anesthetist, the surgeon, the nurses and technicians, the people who kept the spaces clean, the ones who donated blood and those who draw mine regularly, the people who prepared the medications in the lab, the infusion center staff. The list is longer. I will never even know. I will send out prayers of gratitude for everyone. I would love to thank them personally, and can with a few.
At Christmas, I am usually scoping out my daily existence. The mail delivery, that visits us so many days of the year, endlessly delivering the packages to our doorstep. The garbage and recycling people, here once a week without fail, doing a job I enjoy admiring from afar. The staff at Brookdale Memory Care, working with Dad every day, every hour, when things are beyond difficult and messy. My wound care nurse, again, a regular job that just isn’t pretty.
Brookdale Alderwood Memory Care
The list goes on. People have hairdressers, counselors, massage therapists, cleaners. There might be people that work on the home or organize the book club. Every week, a support crew of many makes shopping and living possible.
Where I am able, a personal thank you is especially important. If I can thank someone directly, I am acting with my gratitude, but also collecting the gratitude of others that feel the same way. People who realize that the waiter or waitress is giving energy and positivity to our food need their hearts to be replenished with our love and gratitude.
So I look around, and I thank the overwhelm and send it away. I focus on this enormous number of people who make my life work, and I let that really sink into my heart. It feels like the Grinch heart, like it’s expanding, growing three size larger, five, ten. I am so thankful! I am abundantly grateful.
And, when possible, I figure out ways to share that feeling, to touch the individuals that I can touch. It could be looking into the eyes of the person behind the cash register, asking how their day is going, and listening. That’s enough. A sincere “thank you for being here for us” makes a difference.
It can be tokens, or tips, or other physical forms of gratitude for the ones in the closer circle. A quick card. A quirky little line. A small but thoughtful remembrance. Anything, everything. It matters. The noticing, the effort, the love matters.
Since the entire symbolism of the season is the bringing of the light, expressing the light is the point. Go out there and shine!
(And then don’t stop because January starts. Take it to the next day, and the next, and the next…)
I have this month of focus on joy, and look at the landslide! All of it will be challenging, require a lot of growth, and will move our society forward.
My mind wants to start with social commentary, but my heart says this is a chance to focus on joy, the beauty that things that are ugly can create. So much beauty.
Abundant mushrooms are growing right now. All sizes, shapes, forms and colors. They are showing up. It’s the season. The decomposing matter. Amy documents the mountainous varieties in beautiful, spine tingling photography. We can see them in our grass and the yard’s forest floor. They are transmuting the past.
Yesterday, Kayleen and Conner’s Christmas card arrived. An iconic oven front, ready for holiday baking. When you pull on the handle, there is a bun in the oven. The baby is due in May.
Saidi also sent new pictures from Kampala, Africa, pictures of his baby son. A note saying that the delivery was normal, Mom and baby are doing well! Shazal has longer hair than his papa. Adorable. Hope. A new world.
Although I’ve teased about this one being long in coming, Rylie and Joey also announced their engagement last week. It has not been a long time in coming! It just feels like it, given my time lines. And given the obviousness of their paired path.
And so when we sat down to dinner tonight, Shante and Mark puzzled about their year of weddings, six to be scheduled so far. They have hope of staggered plans so that they can attend them all. But it does look precarious, and hopeful. They also have people in their world that will welcome babies.
So much joy! I have this month of focus on joy, and look at the landslide! All of it will be challenging, require a lot of growth, and will move our society forward. I feel so blessed to witness this moment, this stage, the mushrooms spreading across the forest floor. Gratitude.
I am blessed to know and respect the true story of the Indigenous people, and to reflect on the Day of Mourning. Honestly, it may have been the most profound Thanksgiving that I have ever lived!
I am so grateful for Thanksgiving. So many people spoke of how different it felt, how changed their day was. One man in chemo talked about creating a turkey for himself and his wife alone, distanced from all of their seven children.
Thanksgiving in Bubble
We did spend Thursday the way we spend every Thursday. But I am blessed that my kids and their other halves are my bubble. Shante and Mark work at home and are carefully socially distanced at all times, so they only live life on the edge when they come here. Conrad and Nyasha work outside the home, so their workdays do put them in contact with coworkers, masked and six feet apart.
I am the greatest risk to all, with my exposure in medical spaces, same parameters, but in a space with a lot of people, exceeding 15 minutes, but yes, masked and distant when distance is possible. It isn’t possible to be distant from a doctor during a chemo visit, from a wound nurse during wound care, or from a chemo nurse working on infusion. Those are close proximity interactions. There is a visit to the lab for a blood draw too. I think it’s a lot.
Risk of exposure to COVID-19
If you believe people are careful in the facilities, think again. Old people with their masks down below the nose. Elevators full to the brim, when the limit is two. Unmasked people eating and drinking in the cafeteria area, or using that excuse, having full conversations without remasking between a sip or a nip. I don’t feel vulnerable, but I feel resentful that people don’t care about exposing me when it could be deadly for me.
A person who runs the risk of carrying the virus to me can literally be my murderer, a form of outward facing Russian Roulette (that is probably not an ethnically respectable term, sorry). Do they understand that they are doing it? I run around, dodging the bullets, hoping that I am far enough, breathe little enough of their exhalations to keep the number of virus particles under the viral load for acquisition. I picture myself like Neo in the Matrix. Slow motion shifts to the left and the right. Bullets zinging past my ears.
Thanksgiving and gratitude
I am grateful. I am grateful to be on the planet. Grateful to spend Thanksgiving feeling healthy and normal, a good day on chemo. So grateful to be safe and surrounded by Kwami, Nyasha, Conrad, Shante and Mark. Thankful to be cooking a traditional Turkey dinner. So pleased to be able to share the meal by pickup and delivery with others who are alone in their day… but who can share our food. I am blessed to know and respect the true story of the Indigenous people, and to reflect on the Day of Mourning. Honestly, it may have been the most profound Thanksgiving that I have ever lived!
Our turkey was still partially frozen when it exited the fridge. It jumped into a one hour water bath, yes, with fifteen-minute water exchanges, just so that I could pry the neck from the cavity. Gross. And yet, we hit 165 degrees in two and a half hours, pretty surprised. So one of the coolest parts of the day was not recorded in film, but would have been fun to see.
Thanksgiving Dinner: All Hands on Deck
Everyone in the house had to cook, table set, open bottles, bake, and do everything super quickly at the end, just to meet the cooling turkey. It was like a mad and crazy episode of the Great British Bake Off. Bumping butts. Fast pace. Everyone whizzing around. I don’t think Leo even dared to be near the kitchen, in fear for his tail and his life. It was amazing, and in the end, delicious. I am so grateful, and others that ate the food were also so appreciative of these hard working dinner chefs.
I hope that the joy of our day added that joy, the beauty and the love, to the energy of the planet. My empathy and love for everyone experiencing different realities did bring me to tears several times over the weekend. It was an emotional space for anyone who was paying attention. Every day right now is a day of thanksgiving, for all of us with breath, with focus on the beating heart, for our day of mere existence in earth form. For our connection with the Eternal in whatever grasp that we have of this segment of Eternality.
Trusting in the Divine is like shifting perception, seeing that the journey is not meant to be “pleasant”. There is a roller coaster effect. We can trust. We can trust that there will be pauses.
I am looking at my journal page from the fifth day of the retreat. It has a large brown owl drawn in the center. Owls have been coming up a lot. Amber’s mug had owl eyes and a beak. It might be the sixth time an owl arrived in my awareness in the last couple of weeks. Listening.
Emergence. Grace. Release. Forgive. The bold words frame the page. Trust. Trust is the theme. Trust is in thick capital letters.
Trust feels hard. Trust feels like ignoring the obvious. Trust requires a form of navigating the physical world and circumventing the obvious. My brother’s MS. Several people around me with Fibromyalgia. DeeDee’s foot pain. A few of my friends in mental chemistry imbalances. The woman for whom I held the elevator at the doctor’s office, thanking me between gasps of pain. Trust.
Trust that these things are right. Divorce. Hurricanes. Civil unrest. Trust.
We were asked to journal the reasons that we know that we can trust, where we have seen God unfold. I think of the miraculous display of love that came from Mom’s death. I notice how the timing of my divorce created magnificent gifts for the young people around me, and the play out of Nyasha and Shante’s college journeys hinged on it.
I see the babies born to the young ones around me. I see the cycles of nature, the yard, the forest, the creek at McCollum park drying and filling in the seasons.
I am so aware of the timing of my journey with cancer secretly aligning with the sale of the Granite Falls house. My move to Dad’s was a move to being nurtured. Cared for. Surrounded. I am not isolated in illness. Trust.
Trusting in the Divine is like shifting perception, seeing that the journey is not meant to be “pleasant”. There is a roller coaster effect. We can trust. We can trust that there will be pauses. Up at the top, the coaster car pauses, and we catch our breath and look at the beauty of the landscape, feel the sun on our skin. Then we start down another killer hill, screaming the whole way. But we can trust that there will be another lull. Another chance to catch our breath.
Chemotherapy is another screaming, down hill rush. I trust in the human cycle, the ebb and flow. And I trust in the Eternal cycle. Eventually the ride ends in great glory. I trust that what may appear as death actually divulges that I am off the ride, at home with grace and emergence. Human trust shifts perception. Spiritual trust lands us in Eternal rapture.
Divinity wraps Herself around me
Like an invisible light
There are no ominous shadows to swallow me.
by Kwami Nyamidie
You Will Remain Visible
New Moon. You call us to prayer, Reminding us it’s time to make wishes: Mother’s bygone days ritual For the nascent lunar month.
Wish Making at New Moon
Full moon. The sacred spell-casting time A reminder Of the bond across time and space.
Full moon: A Time to Cast Spells
Invisible loved ones surround us now. Grandma Chickadee comes twittering. Double arced rainbows flutter Across snow-capped mountains.
Owls hoot the presence Of medicine men and women Waiting behind the liminal wall Of life Of death. They blow us their kisses.
From new moon to new moon, You will melt my heart. As I gaze up at the full moon’s dreamy disk, You will stand by As my co-celebrant of sacred spells Visible to me From yonder. April 2020
2. Were You On A Mission?
From teaching primary school children with Norma To tutoring teenagers learn to drive, Mentoring youngsters on money matters Did you come to show us how to live?
Mother figure to girls scout members Guardian of children with less present parents; Biological mother of two daughters. Did you come down to show us how to love?
You cared more about others’ pain Than the prospect of your own death Worrying more about The oncologist’s torment As he delivered devastating news Than the prospect of a terminal illness Robbing you of life.
About your demise you spoke As though you were just getting ready To return to a cherished home.
Stepping out of your human coccoon Seems to pose no problems for you.
Did you come to us mortals of this world To teach us how to die?
A run-away pet python let loose slithers under the kitchen sink.
An assassin with white gloves lurks behind the shower curtain.
A lion in the car’s backseat Readies to attack.
They dog me everywhere like Invisible shadows of doom.
The soles of the feet feel the heat. A volcano readies to erupt.
A missile on a drone hovering above locks in steelthily its crosshairs on the crown of the head.
The mind struggles to forget what it has known The blood pressure machine Registers 88 over 140 Betraying the body’s fear of its end.
Do not be afraid to crush a raven on the highway– Its wings can ferry it far away.
Between the disaster about to happen And the catastrophe, Much happens.
With medicineman mojo I wake up in a dream My magical vision Sees under the kitchen sink A purring cat standing in For the deadly python.
Through the shower curtain’s slit I receive a soft towel my beloved hands me. There’s no assassin with white gloves.
Leo barks in the backseat Recognizing the familiar landscape And the sweet smell of home. There’s no lion waiting to attack.
Divinity wraps Herself around me Like an invisible light There are no ominous shadows to swallow me.
Mother Earth cuddles me in a warm embrace. Above me fly the diamond shaped kites Of the vacationers on a summery beach.
Kites, not drones, hover my head.
Between the disaster about to happen And the materialization of tragedy Stretch nanoseconds Wide enough for the raven to fly away To experience the magic escape In a lucid dream.