154. A World of Challenges

The contents were also infinite. This was not my basket to hold, but mine to carry to the Eternal, to present to God for healing, compassion, comprehension, resolve. Peace.

This morning, I sat on the couch for meditation. My mind unfocused. There was an intangible basket in my lap.

I looked around at the people in my life, to the entire world. I collected the challenges, and placed them solemnly into the basket.

Injuries and pain. Hospitalization. Relationship turmoil. Money conundrums. Feeling unheard. They all went in.

Children. Education in Covid times. Dis-ease. Unemployment. Overtime in employment. Civil unrest. Hopelessness. Separation from loved ones. Death. That was the second layer.

A nation divided. Tears and frustration. Legal arguments. Destruction of the planet. Caring for babies. Physical challenges and inability. Genocide and war… How big was this basket anyway?

A brown basket with pieces of paper with prayer requests.
Prayer basket


The contents were also infinite. This was not my basket to hold, but mine to carry to the Eternal, to present to God for healing, compassion, comprehension, resolve. Peace.

No one is untouched. Each of us has a reason to cry. Our moments are daunting and enormous. If that goes unrecognized, the shift will be more difficult. We need to sit with our individual baskets, put in the elements of our grief. Face it, feel it.

And let it go.
Let the basket go.
Tie it to balloons and send it up.
Step through the reeds and let it float down.
Hand it to an ancestor, and watch her carry it to God.
Let it go.

We are too small, too incapable, too powerless. Face it. Feel it. Let it go.

84 Spring Medicine Shield

Journaling comes in many forms.  Most people think of it as writing, yet those same people may not write.  Everyone journals.  It’s a matter of noticing how.  How do you connect with the Divine?  How do you hear direction, get ideas, feel inspired and fed?  Where do you think those ideas and positive emotions come from?

One form of journaling is artistic creations.  I have been working on my medicine shield.  I started it on the trip to the ocean.  It tells a story, one that is literal, and then one that is also deep and ongoing.  The finished shield will talk to me.  But it could talk to others and say totally different things.

This cedar ring (representative of the life giving, spiritual tree) is adorned with a piece of driftwood that represents the tree of life.  This has come up in so many meditations, the fluidity of the generations, how we bear the love and knowledge of our ancestors in our daily lives, but also how we carry it through to future generations.

Medicine shield with cedar ring and feathers.
Medicine Shield making as a form of journaling

Today I was trying to get ahead of the morning pain.  I was reciting the rosary in bed, as I stared at the ceiling.  I could see my Grandpa Plumb, kneeling in the pews, then his mother Grandma Mickey (Catherine Plumb).  And then I pondered all of the generations before.  I don’t know if the ones that came before Grandma Mickey were Catholic, if they said the prayers or attended a church, but they were in my thoughts and visions.

Then the future generations came to mind, not bound to a church, but definitely connected to a lineage.  What will come of the future, when today we wrestle with Covid 19, Black Lives Matter, and a full shift of the world as we know it.  When I glance over at the medicine shield, I am pondering the tree.  I want to add bead blossoms to the limbs.  I wonder what that will look like.  I know the journaling of the future generations will be in those glass flowers.

45. Talking to the Chemo

I just started Chemo Cycle 3.  I was having a conversation with my body before it started.  Thank you body. Thank you cells. You know how to work with the chemo drugs and use them to create and shift.  I trust your decisions and your knowledge.  I love you.  I appreciate you.

Later.  There is a LOT of waiting.  I arrive at the oncology center, and eventually get blood tests, which then go to the lab, then the lab has to approve that I CAN do chemotherapy drugs that day, that I am not too sick, that my counts are adequate (I am never sick and my counts are beautiful).  An order for the correct dosages and medications goes to the pharmacy.  The pharmacy makes the IV packs.  And, well, it can be an hour and a half before they hook me up, then the process is two and half hours of in chair IV drip, and then an additional 46 hours of at home IV.  It can seem ludicrous.  But it is just an area for acceptance.

Back to talking to stuff: Hello chemo drugs. Thank you for coming to help me.  Thank you for cooperating and working as a team with my body.  Thank you for your help.

This morning, I thought about my spleen.  Hello spleen, I don’t think we’ve ever had a conversation.  I really appreciate all of the white cells that you work so hard to create. Thanks for being there for me.

Is it crazier to have these conversations, or crazier to admit that I have these conversations to you, who just might find them over the edge?

39. Still Me

The most difficult part of cancer is telling people! At first, I feel like I am putting a burden on their hearts, that I am causing pain. Certainly “I” am not doing it.

When I enter and exit the house repeatedly, like when gardening or bringing in groceries, Leo (the dog) barks EVERY time.  Every is an exaggeration, 90% of the time.

And every time I say “Still me, always me”.

Today Shannon called.  It is obviously difficult for everyone to make the first contact after getting “the cancer diagnosis information”.  I can hear it in voices and see it in typed words.  But I am still me, always me.  As we talked, I felt her relaxation and realization.  It’s happened with each of you.  Shock.  Then silence.  Then a path to acceptance that may be a long project of self inquiry.

The most difficult part of cancer is telling people!  At first, I feel like I am putting a burden on their hearts, that I am causing pain.  Certainly “I” am not doing it.  It’s hard though.  With a magic wand, I would convey the information all at once so that there was a quick, complete picture.  People would see the whole thing all at once. 

man in white button up shirt

With a magic wand, I would convey the information all at once so that there was a complete picture.

They would get that:

*I am okay and accepting my journey.  I am actually living a graced and wonderful life, right now, always.

*The interplay with their own path is obvious, and that each has her/his own stuff to do around this.  You get to embrace growth here too.  It’s not just me. 

*If we never speak again, that it is totally cool… but I don’t want to exit without reminding you that I love you and have immense gratitude for the moments we have shared

*The biggest gift anyone can give me (because everyone asks) is positive thought or prayer, and focus on one’s own connection to Eternality.  You heal me by healing you.  Love it.

Magic words.  Swish of the wand.  All of it sinks in in one clear, easy moment.