Tuesday, June 28, 2011

There is your world within......

The Times are Nightfall

The times are nightfall, look,their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man's distress.
And I not help.  Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one--
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death,does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else?  There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal.                        

--- Gerard Manley Hopkins

(thanks mom, he can turn a phrase:)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Warrior Dash

Hard to find the exact words to describe a race where you have to sign a waiver that states "I will not dive head first into the mud pit."  Also a few items about the fire pit you jump over but nothing about the barbed wire you crawl under.  How did I get here:
It started, as all good quests do, with a warrior friend who emailed me the specifics of the "warrior dash."  3 miles of fun-filled activities including crawling under barbed wire, climbing a military-style wall, jumping over fire, and slogging through the mud.  She had me at jumping over fire.  Sadly, my warrior buddy had a family emergency and could not dash.  Then, there was some bold talk at a wine and cheese party and several other friends thought the whole thing sounded pretty good.  The wine wore off and so did the good intentions.  In the end, I dashed alone.

Last night, I could not get to sleep thinking about the soundness of my decision to dash with a recent back injury (good news there, mud gives way and so if you have a back injury, slogging through 3 miles of mud is possibly quite therapeutic...who knew?); the need for a stress test to make sure my patched up heart could handle the aerobic strain; and the realization that I would be running with a bunch of 20 somethings who might just be wearing bikinis (only one that I saw, mostly folks were in full viking garb).  Luckily, as good quests do, I had a mission to pick up some viking helmets and so I put my nerves to bed around 2:30am.

My family came with me.  I met new warrior buddies and I had a beautiful day.  My favorite part of the race was pulling lighter racers out of waist deep mud when they did not have enough bulk to free themselves.  We were one.  One of the photographers shouted out the following, "you are kicking ass and you are twice as old as the girls you are running with."  I will take it....but let me tell you, the ass I was kicking was my own.  The voice that kept me up the night before, the voice that tells me I have to start taking it easy.  The voice that tells me I shouldn't, not anymore.  That voice got left in the mud.  I hope it stays there.

Special shout out to my buddy who got me into this:  you have a helmet waiting for you.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Starts

Whew!  I think we might have made it out of soccer evaluations-4th grade graduation-dance recital-quidditch blood rematch season and are sliding into summer.
As I was breathing a long sigh of relief tonight, I realized that I have not written down any of the camp dates for either of my children for the following camps:  science, dance, nature, climbing, or island magic.  How could that possibly be?  How could a competent therapist who manages several jobs and does not miss appointments, who arrives on time, and supports her friends and family decide to willfully not write down a single, solitary camp date?  This, by the way, will entail emailing several camps and trying to come up with a plausible reason why I have no idea when my child will be attending.

Do you ever watch yourself?  I feel my alter ego is a benign coach on the sideline who is starting to lose patience:  Hey, D....pull it back a little...you are over-committing on the ball....they are going to get around you

D, you are walking a little tenderly...did you throw your back out at yoga doing "the dying warrior?"

D.....I need you with me on this.....you have to choose to let go of something......the beautiful game is being present and aware when you are with your family. 

Coach, I hear you.  I will spend the summer getting back in the game.  Right after I figure out this camp thing:)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Just Delicate Needles

This is a poem I usually ponder during winter solstice but I post it today in honor of all of our fathers: one who emerged relatively unscathed from a car accident (heal up quickly, Dad); some who are making peace with the "new reality" of aging; and some who are watching their families struggle.  To all of you, your sacrifices have not gone unnoticed.  We love and honor you today.

Just Delicate Needles

It's so delicate, the light.
And there's so little of it. The dark
is huge.
Just delicate needles, the light,
in an endless night.
And it has such a long way to go
through such desolate space.
So let's be gentle with it.
Cherish it.
So it will come again in the morning.
We hope.

--by Rolf Jacobsen

Translated by Robert Hedin

Friday, June 17, 2011

Humbled....A conversation with a 92 year old

Yoga took me out....again.  This time, it was the dying warrior pose.  Perhaps it is always the dying warrior pose, hard to say.  Wednesday morning, I tried to put my breakfast dishes in the sink and my back decided to shut down operations.  I had several home visits that day with elderly clients, all of whom offered me their walkers.  Here is a snippet of one conversation:

Me:  You look good today P
P:  You look awful, worse than me
Me:  It was yoga
P:  God Bless you, here is what we are going to do....you take my walker and use it to get to your car.  Then, call me, and I will buzz the nurse who can come get it and bring it back

It strikes me that the most therapeutic thing I can probably do, that all of us can do for the elderly in our lives is to still be needed by them, and helped by them.  This week, that was surely the case.  Thanks for all the good energy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Bit of Wind

Pardon the blogging interruption, but we have been dealing with a bit of wind here in New England.  Last week, a series of tornadoes touched down in the western and central part of the state and left 19 communities reeling.  Folks I work with and for lost homes, all their possessions, and any faith that tornadoes are reserved for out west.  For the record, I think it is a bit of a raw deal that we can now add tornadoes to a list that already includes hurricanes and blizzards.  Also for the record, it is nothing short of a miracle that more people were not killed. 

In our neck of the woods, hysteria ensued when a very serious voice emerged in the middle of "Wizards of Waverly Place" and announced the following:  You are in the direct line of a tornado...seek immediate shelter.  Our 1889 basement does not exude the sense that everything is going to be alright.  On the other hand, as roving reporter pointed out, the house has been standing for over 125 years and that should count for something.  In fact, the tornado hopped over our town and travelled south.  My Northern husband did not feel the need to take shelter and continued to cook pasta which he graciously brought down to us, one bowl at a time.  My daughter sobbed "I am so sad that I am not going to get to live out my full life."  My son, the scientist, calmly retorted "there is a small chance we will see our friends again."

As I wrote about in an online newspaper the next day, the crux of these things is trying to manage your own anxiety and calmly reassure your children that everything is going to be alright.  No small task, as it turns out.  In fact, it is an impossible task because we can't know that things are going to turn out OK.  One mother died shielding her teenage daughter from a falling roof, another young man was killed when a tree crashed on top of his van.  Everyday, somewhere things go horribly astray.

The following week-end, I spent some time in a small town hit very hard by the storm.  I watched young people travelling all over town passing out water from a red wagon to their neighbors.  I ate a piece of peach pie dropped off at the fire station by grateful townsfolk thanking their first responders.  When you listen to stories of that day or stories from 9/11 or any life-changing event, you realize that our resilience and desire to do right by each other outweighs our fears.  So, although we don't know things are going to turn out for the best each and every time, we can with confidence tell our children that we live in a community with people who will be there for us every step of the way when trouble comes.

As for my Texas relatives, don't worry about us, we can, indeed, handle a little wind.