Reflections

Random questions…

As a dying person, is it better to tell loved ones it’s coming, or allow them to be shocked when Death arrives?

As a loved one, is it better to know it is coming, or to be shocked when Death arrives?

I ask these questions because of conversations I had yesterday at a family funeral. The now-deceased person had long been dealing with a chronic, eventually terminal, disease that everyone knew about. However, his condition was much improved, and his “terminal” prognosis appeared to be temporarily on hold. He went to the hospital for a “final” routine surgery, where “complications” occurred, leading to an antibiotic resistant infection, which led to his “untimely” death in a matter of a couple days. His surgery was so “routine” that most of the family wasn’t even aware he was going in for it (the patient having deemed it non-noteworthy in the greater scheme of things).

Everyone was shocked by his sudden and unexpected demise, in spite of his chronic health problems…

All except one, that is. A single family member who had been told by this patient last year that the doctors had predicted only 1-4 more years for him. The patient had sworn this family member to secrecy, choosing to live what remained of his life free of the “specter of dying” and all that it implied. The family member kept silence faithfully, even after the patient’s “unexpected” death, choosing only to share that info with me after the fact, and asking me to also keep that knowledge from the rest of the family. (I guess he needed to share the truth with someone, and that person needed to be removed from the inner circle so as not to taint the family view of the deceased one. My suspicions are that the family would be very upset that such info was kept from them.)

I asked these questions of some at the funeral, and unanimously they felt it would always be better to know than not know. Any feelings about this out there in blog-land?

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Essay, Reflections

Surrender…?

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes you have to lose big before you can win. Sometimes you have to let go before you can move forward. And sometimes, you have to surrender before you can be empowered.

I learned that mostly through getting sober in a 12 step group. Being a stubborn lass, I often push myself well beyond my limits, convinced that “if I give up now, I will never get back in the game.” And too often, that has proven to be true.

But there occasionally comes a time when I know I can’t continue, when there is simply not enough left in the tanks or the reserves to carry on. There are times when the battle, for survival or supremacy, simply isn’t worth it anymore. And times when even my wild imagination cannot fantasize a happy outcome, no matter how bizarre and impossible I allow the parameters for “success” to become. The question is knowing when that is…

Hello, Time, my ever present nemesis…”

Because letting go of something that isn’t working (at the right time) may ennable you to notice opportunities you would otherwise have missed; aka the other door or window that appears in the vacuum. Or it may allow you to accept help, whether it comes from other people, some Divine influence, or a quirk of fate. It certainly forces you to re-evaluate your place and your priorities, perhaps leading you to more realistic and attainable victories. Such re-orientation brings new strength to bear in the struggle, new hope, new goals to pursue. It reinvigorates the life you are presently living, however diminished that might be from the one you were pursuing…

But giving up too soon is a cop out, a failure, a loss of momentum; it makes you a quitter, rather than a winner, no matter how successful your “lesser” life becomes. Surrendering too early makes you weaker rather than stronger, presenting as a failure of will rather than an unwinnable contest. It creates a sand pit, a muckhole full of regret and “what if’s” hungry to suck you in at your first hesitation during any subsequent efforts. It is a loss from which you never truly recover…

So, how do you know where that line is? How do you figure out the timing of any surrender? Do you just push on, bruised and broken, until your only coherent thought is “enough, already!”? Or do you push on after that, preferring to err on the side of trying too hard, rather than quitting too soon? Do you literally press on until death drops you while still in harness? (Romantic thought, yes, but unrealistic, as the body usually stops functioning well before death actually comes to claim it.)

I was watching a show the other day, some apolcalyptic, end of the world scenario, where different factions fought about the best way to save the world. And as those “in power” argued amongst themselves trying to one-up each other, a doomsday cult grew up among the common people. The common folk accepted the inevitable end of humanity, seeking love and comfort from each other, while dreaming of how some other form of life (better than the plague that humans have become) would one day rise up to take our place.

Sound familiar?…

But then some renegade science geeks found a way to possibly save humanity, risking all to fight against the powers that be to achieve their vision of possible survival. And just when it seemed they might have succeeded, against all odds, the doomsday cult interceded with an act of terrorism to destroy that fragile hope, and the miracle device they built. Apparently, having accepted the inevitable end, having properly surrendered and found peace, they could not now accept that such an end might not occur. And so they acted out to make sure it would…

Have we, as a species (the masses, not the elites), surrendered our “power” too soon?

That’s the question haunting me today. For I believe I have accepted that humanity, or society anyway (as it is currently structured), is doomed; it simply cannot be saved. Nor do I believe it should be. Too much damage done over too many centuries, too many repeated failures and mistakes, too much proof that “good” can never truly triumph over the “evil” that rules. So, like many others, I wait for the inevitable end, the collapse of society as we know it.

But that end never seems to come, does it?

I mean, all the indicators are there – climate change, mass extinctions, vastly disproportionate allocation of resources, constant discord, increasing violence, an absolute refusal by those in power to change course, and an inability for the common folk to make them. Doomsday cults are a dime a dozen, and the major religions all seem to be preaching “end of days” scenarios. Countless apocalyptic dates have come (and passed), and more are predicted ahead. Most people seem to agree the “end is coming”; it’s really just a matter of when…

And yet…

And yet we keep on keeping on, limping through each day crippled but not dead. Individuals and entire species die off, while new individuals are born and live. Microscopic life forms are thriving (at the expense of others, of course). The sun rises each day on a planet more polluted than the day before. The moon transits through her phases, bearing witness to growing sorrows. But life, and more importantly here, society, continues. Why?!

I believed people who said the economy would collapse. I believed those who said humanity would turn on and destroy itself. But it hasn’t happened. Yet. And that’s a problem for someone like me. Why?

Because every day is a struggle. Because I want nothing more than to lay down my “coping tools” and give up. And I suspect I’m not the only one. But we can’t do that. Not really. Because if we give up too soon, we will only increase our suffering, but not speed up our relief. We won’t die, at least not right away. And while we wait for that, we will lose everything we are barely holding onto now.

I, personally, don’t like how it feels to be homeless and hungry. I’ve been there (long ago), when I was stronger and more physically capable, but I was still miserable. I can’t even fathom going through that now! So I continue to drag myself to work, day after day, juggling bills I can’t actually pay off, waiting expectantly for the day when these struggles become meaningless. But that day never actually comes…

I watch people I love struggle the same way, knowing how little I can do to actually alleviate their pain, because I have none of the resources that might actually help them. And I know they feel the same. I’m starting to feel just a tad bit envious of every death I learn about, knowing they, at least, have escaped. It’s getting to the point where I’m no longer sure if the “grief” I experience, the tears I cry, are to honor those who’ve passed, or to lament the fact that I haven’t!

And those doomsday predictors have all had to “walk back” their predictions, claiming now that we will not pass from this place with a boom and a flash, but with a whimper and a slow rotting away. Maybe in my lifetime, or maybe three generations away! The end, however inevitable it may seem, is not necessarily imminent…

“Time, my old enemy, you have a wicked and cruel sense of humor!”

Is giving up even an option anymore? Is there any chance that surrender could hasten the end of this war? It doesn’t seem that way to me, but perhaps I’m missing something here. Please feel free to enlighten me…

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Poetry

A Cloak of Peace…

Peace descends like a cloak

to embrace and comfort me,

offering soft boundaries and a sense of safety

to my shattered psyche…

No bliss accompanies this shift in being

but neither can the agony

of sheer existence

reach me…

I am Whole for a time

though it may be only for a moment

contained

and cocooned

in this illusion…

Stepping forth to embrace this day

and whatever it might bring

wishing for each of you

to feel such peace (and the healing it promises) today…

❤ 😀

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Reflections, Visions

Clouds and Shadows…

Have you ever felt like you had something to say, but couldn’t find any words capable of expressing it?

Have you ever known you had something worth sharing, but not been able to do so?

I am haunted today by clouds and shadows, hints of something, flashes of “inspiration.” There is an urge rising up from deep within the creative well, demanding my complete attention. Yet when I look upon it, I see nothing there but empty space…

In my meditation this morning, I saw faces. Dozens of faces in a variety of situations and emotional states, but I did not recognize or feel kinship with any one of them. (Worth noting, though, that the original typing of the word “emotional” came out “emptional” implying the “empty-ness” of such exposures.)

It’s like a photographic collage blasting through my brain, accompanied by an expectation that I will feel or recognize something of significance. But only the nothing-ness of it stands out…

And the word “identity.” Presumably from the same Latin root that gave us “identification” and “identical.” Meaning something to do with “same-ness.” But I’m just speculating here; too lazy and too late to look it up right now…

But I am not myself today…, though certainly I am my Self.

Just thinking out loud here, folks. Carry on, carry on. Nothing to see here but clouds and shadows, and your own projections of what they might mean…?

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Conversations, Reflections, Visions

Home…

I was out of form and exploring the lack of boundaries I felt, enchanted by the possibilities taking shape. I had reached out to an’Other I know very well, seeking connection in this formless state. But she hadn’t answered my call or responded in any way, and I knew time had passed in my world. So I reached out once again, more determined now to discover why she was avoiding me…

I felt my hand solidify, just a bit, as it touched something real somewhere, so I fed a bit more attention to it, and grasped at the object I’d found. Pulling it toward me with a jerk and a wish, I prepared to ask questions of my missing friend…

But the hand that emerged was not hers at all. It was large, and tattooed, and tinted slightly blue. I glanced up, quite startled, as the body came through – a tattooed man I’d never met, who stood there grinning like a fool. Acting like he’d achieved something wondrous that day, leaving me disoriented, and shy, with this stranger I’d nabbed…

“Uhh… you’re not Lea,” I pointed out, to cover my shame.

“Ummm… no,” he responded, though his grin never faded.

“Do I know you?,” I asked, unsure of myself. “Or should I?”

“‘Should’ is a word I don’t like to use; it’s weighted heavily with expectations, and leads too often to excuses.”

“Which doesn’t answer my question at all,” I pointed out. “So, tell me, my friend, who are you? And why are you here?”

“You brought me here. Quite insistently, I might add,” he answered with a wink, lifting our still joined hands into my field of vision.

It was then that I realized I was nothing more than mist, with a hand solidly attached to his. And as we moved silently across a sandy land, I thought to look back to see where we’d been. His footsteps were clear in the sandy soil, but my path was marked by a series of puddles. Remembering suddenly I was water without form, I focused more strongly on the hand that I held.

As I did so, a body began to take shape around me – lithe and tall and blue as a lake…

“You’re not even human!,” I suddenly exclaimed, aware in that moment of the size of the moon. For night was falling in that unfamiliar place, and the moon was rising to take her natural space. But she was huge, and purplish blue, and the stars that surrounded and worshipped her were all new…

“Neither are you,” he whispered close to my ear, and suddenly I knew it was true…

“I am now,” I said sadly. “Or mostly, anyway. And I have been for a very long time…”

***

“Welcome home, Lost One,” he continued softly. “You have been missed.”

Glancing around at the barren landscape, I felt bewildered. “But what happened here?,” I asked. “I don’t remember any of this…”

And suddenly a great noise arose, directly in front of us, as a crowd of like others came running to join us…

“You found her!,” exclaimed an old woman, leaning heavily upon a small child, while others babbled in laughter and other joyous sounds…

“More like she found me,” he reacted honestly, as our contact was broken by the crowd embracing me…

I was loved here. Completely. And joyously. And freely. And tears of happiness flowed easily from me. My heart felt full for the first time in forever, and I let it burst free to enjoy this phenomenon.

And as tears fell from eyes that were never quite dry, I noticed the very landscape around me had shifted. For now things were growing in the desert of before, becoming lush forest in the non-time we wore. And when I looked back at our footprints once more, I saw flowers springing from puddles where I had stepped before…

Glancing back at the tattooed man, I noticed his smile again. Only this time I felt it within me as well… He took my hands in his, looked deep into me, and spoke gently to the deepest sense of my being…

“As I said, you’ve been missed… Welcome home, Le-hAn-Dre-Elise…”

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Poetry, Reflections

“A Body Without Boundaries…”

A body without boundaries

an existence without end

bleeding through and exploring

a variety of dimensions.

Meditation leads to dozing

and dozing to dreams;

dreams roll over again

into conscious reality.

But there is little to distinguish

these separate states of Being

other than the transitions

time spent in between…

Where Change is

the only noticeable Constant

the movement, the action

passive seeming dynamic.

Reaching out to Others

merging and blending

influence wrought not through force

but adapting.

And suddenly I know

why the walls were so solid

the ego so strong

the identity so crucial:

for Water without boundaries

is a much muted force

no strength to blast obstacles

and so easily absorbed.

Soaking in unobtrusively

embracing, becoming

One experiencing An’Other

defining Entanglement.

Until no boundary exists

empathy in its truest sense

with only a tingling and a feeling

in the transitions between.

Is this then the goal?

To be vague like a ghost?

Misty mornings, and rings around moons

shapeshifting clouds in midsummer blues?

No limits, no forms

no lofty hopes;

just being, in this moment

nebula adrift in the cosmos…?

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Uncategorized

What Is the Body?

“Ask, and you shall receive.” Or so the prophets and mystics say. Or, in my more personal terms, “Have your temper tantrum, then open your eyes and heart. The answers (or some) are out there!” I needed this perspective desperately to break through my prison trap!

Spirit and World

I experience the body as an intricately woven concentration of events. Although we have invented multiple scientific fields to describe the body, the body itself is unified and coordinated – chemistry, biology, physics, and other disciplines (some yet undiscovered), are occurring simultaneously! It’s a multi-dimensional network, continuously forming and reforming….

The body is not a thing. It is a process. It does not have sharp edges or a boundary – not even what we see as the skin.

Our science has not yet understood the body process enough to properly infer its sphere of influence or its capabilities. Until then, if we train our attention, we can use our consciousness to explore the body deeper.

The body is a nexus that serves as a bridge for consciousness to express itself. It is a circuit, of sorts, but incomplete. The wires are there, but many are not connected to each…

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