Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 31 December 2014

October knew, of course, that the action of turning a page, of ending a chapter or of shutting a book, did not end a tale. Having admitted that, he would also avow that happy endings were never difficult to find: "It is simply a matter," he explained to April, "of finding a sunny place in a garden, where the light is golden and the grass is soft; somewhere to rest, to stop reading, and to be content.”    [Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists]

Years end, new years BEgin, people meet, go away, and on we go unwrapping Life in great rips of paper, or at a slow pace, removing tape, gently, oh so gently…

A year ending means a new one will BEgin. And Life will go on. Or, NOT, depending on matters far BEyond my pay grade.

It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn't matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.   [Paulo Coelho, The Zahir]

Calendars help us know the ending and BEginnings. And clocks. And the sun and moon.

But sometimes we canNOT see the place where Now is Past and Now is Future.

It’s the Present.

I love you, Currie

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 30 December 2014

You know why I like to talk to you, Delia? You never interrupt with your experiences. Not jiggling your foot till you get a chance to jump in with your life history.   [Anne Tyler, Ladder of Years]

This is the sort of person I like to talk to, too. Actually, to talk with. When I am talking with someone who plays this way, it makes me grow stronger in BEing that way, too.

I think a HUGE piece of why I have felt so isolated and apart from people is BEcause I had mistaken BEing ready to “jump in” and “jumping in” itself to BE How I DO It.

Cancer has been a good teacher in this regard. I have met many “Delias” along the way. They impart my lessons with such generous kindness.

“Face it,” I said. 'There is no true life. Your true life is the one you end up with, whatever it may be. You just do the best you can with what you've got,” I said.   [Anne Tyler, Back When We Were Grownups]

It’s true, this Life of mine is this Life of mine. I can pretty it up or smooth some of the rougher edges, but mostly I am learning to breathe in this notion and just DO the very best I CAN.

I love you, Currie

Monday, December 29, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 29 December 2014

Everything,' his father said, 'comes down to time in the end--to the passing of time, to changing. Ever thought of that? Anything that makes you happy or sad, isn't it all based on minutes going by? Isn't sadness wishing time back again? Even big things--even mourning a death: aren't you really just wishing to have the time back when that person was alive? Or photos--ever notice old photographs? How wistful they make you feel? ... Isn't it just that time for once is stopped that makes you wistful? If only you could turn it back again, you think. If only you could change this or that, undo what you have done, if only you could roll the minutes the other way, for once.   [Anne Tyler, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant]

Sometimes I catch myself bargaining and planning stronger offers. I set aside one conviction or another to entertain an entirely different and decidedly odd idea. And sometimes it floats.

But remarkably, when the ideas don’t float, or even when they DO, even sort of, I am always aware that holding on is NOT an option. NOT really. Even though I have always BElieved myself able to DO it…

I don’t have any big un-DO button envy. I am okay to live with what I’ve lived.

I love you, Currie

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 28 December 2014

Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.   [John Green, Looking for Alaska]

It’s odd realising how much I’ve lived Life on a kind of autopilot. I was going somewhere with that thought but Now I forget where that was.

I am still tired today after a day of did NOT get out of my jammies at all all day yesterday. So much more to include in my days. I expect myself to DO the Right Things, then I get tired and foggy=brained and generally start feeling bad.

But that doesn’t work anymore. I don’t want to spend my days [or nights] feeling NOT Enough AND Too Much, so I am DOing everything I know NOT to escape, go anywhere else BUT here, and BE Present,

if only me by myself. That’s just fine. Would I like company?! Occasionally, yes, I would, but only in bits and NOT too many people at the same time.

I don’t really understand things or myself so clinically.  Guess that I’m trying to explain it to myself?!?

I love you, Currie

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 27 December 2014

When we traded homemaking for careers, we were implicitly promised economic independence and worldly influence. But a devil of a bargain it has turned out to be in terms of daily life. We gave up the aroma of warm bread rising, the measured pace of nurturing routines, the creative task of molding our families' tastes and zest for life; we received in exchange the minivan and the Lunchable.   [Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life]

While I am pretty much quiet in terms of political matters, I find something quite wonderful about this sort of “win-win” approach. Whether homemaking is a career or working from home NOT really working, it’s really no one’s business but our own.

I am inspired by the people who put it all out there. The people who don’t hold back, don’t mutter in agitation, and who would never see anything in anyone’s gloomy terminology.

Most of my Life I felt that I really never had a handle on the all important Plan B. The fallback. The sure thing.

I think I thought having those things was somehow inauthentic, that I’d have to step and turn and sometimes leap BEyond what I’d thought my capacity. There was no sure way to “have my cake” if I was going to eat it.

I love you, Currie

Friday, December 26, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 26 December 2014

“Then you should say what you mean," the March Hare went on.
"I do," Alice hastily replied; "at least--at least I mean what I say--that's the same thing, you know."
"Not the same thing a bit!" said the Hatter. "You might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see!”
   [Lewis Carroll]

This is the trickiest part of writing. I know the “backstory” of what I am writing, I understand each and every leap from lily pad to lily pad, and I am pretty sure I DO know what it is I mean. Still, when I wrap it up inside words and paragraphs and page, DO I really have the first clue what YOU will understand?!

And really, is that the point of writing, that someone should BE understanding, or is it an act that gives EVERYTHING in the simplest DOing of it?!

Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words.   [C.S. Lewis]

YES!! I love this piece of the puzzle that is writing. The words and the letters and the organising of it all into something that can BE read…

I love you, Currie 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 25 December 2014

Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.   [John Green, The Fault in Our Stars]

I was re-“reading” the audiobook of The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted by Elizabeth Berg. Her words are simple yet extraordinary.

I DO things Now I didn’t “let” myself DO until/BEfore cancer. I’m in a constant yet gradual change.

It’s inevitable for me to imagine what it might/would BE like for me if I could NOT sit here in my early mornings and dance with you.  And even myself.

I have learnt myself through this daily practise. And it is a wonder-filled practise. Some words, some art, a smidge of organisation and like magic I throw myself out into the World 

And there is always a “net” even when I think I am just Currie, alone.

I wouldn't trade itYOU for the world.

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 24 December 2014

There is such a place as fairyland - but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.   [L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl]

Living Life on Life’s terms is one of those absolute things. You DO it or you don’t. Period. Paragraph.

And Life can BE in fairyland, always, if only we will BElieve in it, you know?!

DO you BElieve in it?!



May none of us, ever lose our way to fairyland.

I love you, Currie

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 23 December 2014

A writer - and, I believe, generally all persons - must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.   [Jorge Luis Borges, Twenty-Four Conversations with Borges: Interviews by Roberto Alifano 1981-1983]

This is surely one way to look at Life and Writing. As a resource. A way of BEing and DOing that which makes sense to me. What catches my attention, what takes my breath away, suddenly and without warning.

The funny thing about writing is that whether you're doing well or doing it poorly, it looks the exact same. That's actually one of the main ways that writing is different from ballet dancing.   [John Green]

I love this perspective. This is, actually, how writing works [or plays] in me. It is the act I love. It is the dance and the missteps twirling me round the room inside me that makes what I write, writing

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.   [Gloria Steinem]


I love you, Currie

Monday, December 22, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 22 December 2014

I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of.    [Joss Whedon]

I write to make a connection. Whether “out there” or deep inside myself, writing is always the shortest distance BEtween me and the World BEyond where my footprints are.

This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It's that easy, and that hard.   [Neil Gaiman]

This is how I DO it: I show up, open up, and see what comes up on the screen. Somehow it always works that way. I can count on mayBE 3 fingers the times I’ve known what I was going to write BEfore my fingers wrote it.

The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.   [Anaïs Nin]

My thought is that a writer MUST write about the things that matter, to the writer, yes, but also to the World in which the writer lives, breathes, and has as his or her BEing.

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.   [Anton Chekhov]

I love you, Currie

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 21 December 2014

Misunderstanding is my cornerstone. It's everyone's, come to think of it. Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet.   [Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible]

I think this is a brilliant and encouraging statement. It is ALWAYS true, for me, that what I think is going on is NOT what is going on. NOT wholly, totally. I have limited perspective and forget that I know this. I go on misunderstanding My Life.

The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don't know.   [Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna]

Riddle solved. Sometimes I wonder what people I don’t speak with or stay in touch with are DOing and BEing and thinkingandfeeling. It’s just this continuing desire to know, to hear, and to deLIGHT in the magic of Life with those I love. NOT something bad or unhealthy at all…

It's terrible to lose somebody, but it's also true that some people never have anybody to lose, and I think that's got to be so much worse.   [Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees[

Oh my… sometimes a thing so simple as that will right the overturned boat. It is like having immediate 20/20 vision, I sometimes wonder who will miss me when I am gone. And then I remember who I miss, NOT always or everyday, but miss.

I love you, Currie

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 20 December 2014

When you're different, sometimes you don't see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn't.   [Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart]

In the myriad ways one can BE “different,” I wonder if any of us really stops noticing those who don’t accept us. It is like a giant To-DO board where we’re never even close to DONE. We have love, but we worry ourselves into doubting it, straining it, and sometimes losing it.

Or mayBE we have work that we really and truly love, but we’re always worried about who is “gaining” on us, who might stand in our way, and often who has what we want without ever stopping to consider all it takes to make a Life.

Some people just don’t like me. I can accept that right up until the moment that you give me a name BEfore that “just doesn’t like me.” And about that time I’ll DO an about-face and try to point a finger the way of that “name.” It’s so automated and everyday. Like the point of Life is to have MORE people like me.

I’m on another little tangent here, looking at things I’ve seen yet never noticed in quite the same Light.

Thanks for making time to read me.

I love you, Currie

Friday, December 19, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 19 December 2014

I looked hard out the window and understood suddenly that what I saw was full of color. A watercolor wash of summer light lay on the Catalina Mountains. The end of a depression is that clear: it’s as if you have been living underwater, but never realized it until you came up for air.   [Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams]

It annoys some people to talk about “mental illness.” I don’t know exactly why this is, and most of the time when I run into this I simply observe and “take in” whatever I take in. I’m learning a lot this way, actually, and I’m hard-pressed to feel old shame lurking inside me anymore.

Cancer has brought on several depressions that I’ve responded to by NOT staying in the “underwater” too long. Or at all.  And Now, too, I know my “signs” and accept this facet of myself.

I am seeing things more clearly, too, despite this vision whack-a-doodleness that makes each word I type a filmy cloud on the screen. Oftentimes depression makes my windshield streaky, but these days the view is clear, even when it’s cloudy.

She kept swimming out into life because she hadn't yet found a rock to stand on.   [Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams]

Sometimes it really is so simple WHY we DO what we DO.

I love you, Currie

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 18 December 2014

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.   [Barbara Kingsolver]

I’ve been enJOYing myself, wandering through quotes from my favourite writers. Writers write. That’s what makes any of us “writers” I think. And when we compare ourselves to others or think someone else’s “win” is our “loss,” that only makes us crazy[ier].

I never think I have anyone looking over my shoulder as I write, yet I always feel the warm eyes and hearts of those who read whatever I DO write. This helps tremendously.

Also, I just let things dance out my fingers. I am the typist. I put the words down, here, on the screen, and then they are no longer “mine” but what I have to give Today.

I’ve printed out all the Gratitude I’ve written since 1 January 2014. It is a large stack of paper, NOT in the least bit “green” of me. It makes me smile, this stack of papers. It reminds me that all I have is this one moment.

I write what I’m thinkingandfeeling and that’s all I have. And all I have to give, Right Now.

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 17 December 2014

You are born into your family and your family is born into you. No returns. No exchanges.   [Elizabeth Berg, The Art of Mending]

Nothing says something like this. You know how someone in your family did/does those excrutiatingly outrageous things, right out there in front of God and Everyone?! How YOU try to will yourself invisible as you are sliding down and down your chair?!

And then, suddenly, without warning or even a veiled hint, these “excrutiatingly outrageous things” BEcome endearing and so tender to watch.

I’ve NOT felt myself so different from someone else that I have LONG known than I DO with my mother. And you know what?! That’s still true. But Now I see how precious a thing that is, having this annoyingly impossible on so many levels woman a part of my every day Now.

People are stupid. Why are they so stupid? There is an algorithm for the way humans were designed: love and be loved. Follow it and you’re happy. Fight against it and you’re not. It’s so simple, it’s hard to understand.   [Elizabeth Berg, Once Upon a Time, There Was You]

I don’t know when exactly I BEcame so remote and judgmental, but I am Very Glad I seem to have slipped out of it, like a snake shedding its skin.

I love you, Currie

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 16 December 2014

And in my head, a person who was out walking and walking in the dark comes to a little house with a light on. Waits at the door for a moment, and then goes in. Finds such a welcome that she stays.   [Elizabeth Berg, True to Form]

Sometimes, in just the right sort of light, I see myself standing off in a bit of a distance. Like watching someone else, or even just a hint of someone else, and I wonder…

I surely never imagined myself on this particular road that is My Life Now. I think this might BE why I don’t write stories, per se. Yet as I go walking on, one foot in front of the other one, I sometimes see a light in the distance and hope I will BE welcome.

Anything we have, we are only borrowing. Anything. Any time.   [Elizabeth Berg, True to Form]

Life has BEcome much softer for me since realising this. Nothing is “mine” and I no longer have that autopilot reaction to “hold on” to anything, even anyone. This is rather remarkable.

Sometimes it seems like a little moment brings a whole world with it.   [Elizabeth Berg, True to Form]

And whatever that is, it always thrills me a little. Or a lot. I love the little moments.

I love you, Currie

Monday, December 15, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 15 December 2014

However miserable the old system has been, we are all experts at it. We know the dance moves. You agree to become the patient, and I, the clinician, agree to to try to fix you, whatever the improbability, the misery, the damage or the cost. With this new way, in which we together try to figure out how to face mortality and preserve the fiber of a meaningful life, with its loyalties and individuality, we are plodding novices. We are going through a societal learning curve, one person at a time. And that would include me, whether as a doctor or as simply a human being.   [Atul Gawande]

I am glad that I love to learn and try things out. To BE patient with my scattered energy can BE nearly impossible, but it is one of the things I really love about myself. I am NEVER bored.

Anyway, since I’ve been riding this train awhile, I have learned some stuff that I want to share to mayBE make my mum’s Journey more satisfying. It’s a weird sort of knowledge though, and HOW to express it puzzles me.

Still, we’re all on some learning curve[s] pretty much all our lives. We just call it What Happened Yesterday or That Thing I Learned That Day When…

We’re humans BEing human.

I love you, Currie

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 14 December 2014

The battle of being mortal is the battle to maintain the integrity of one's life-to avoid becoming so diminished or dissipated or subjugated that who you are becomes disconnected from who you were or who you want to be.   [Atul Gawande]

I don’t know how long this “phase” will last, but I hope you will indulge me trying out some voices and BEing curious to sample the What Ifs?!

Even though most anyone would BE happier if they or their loved one[s] did NOT suffer, ever, but most especially in the end of Life. Watching someone slipping out of themselves is rather amazing. Seeing my mum, yesterday, at the Desert Botanical Garden, exploring the paths with my sister-in-love, I want to say was far more precious a moment than any of the memories I have of Mum up until Now. Right Now.

Watching and listening to my mum “out in the World” ably perched on her scooter BEing Who She Is, it was like the deliciousness of hot tea in from the cold. I think I have a smile inside of me, like a tattoo.

The ends of our lives are remarkable. Like the BEginnings. The Middles. And everything in BEtween.

Maintaining one’s Self no matter what slows or blocks the path?! Well that one’s definitely a dealbreaker.

I love you, Currie

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 13 December 2014

In the end, people don't view their life as merely the average of all its moments—which, after all, is mostly nothing much plus some sleep. For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. A story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones where something happens. Measurements of people's minute-by-minute levels of pleasure and pain miss this fundamental aspect of human existence. A seemingly happy life maybe empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. We have purposes larger than ourselves.   [Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End]

For some time Now I have gently but distinctly mocked the phrase, in the end.  I have put away my clipboards and checklists and chosen to live in the moments as they unfold, learning and discovering amazing things all the while.

Now, or at least in this moment, I see new hope in this phrase. It has BEcome a foundation, my foothold on Life. I realise that I am living this story and there is nothing more or less that I can DO but make space for my story[ies] to live and breathe.

I BElieve we DO have “purposes larger than ourselves” and that even I am fulfilling mine.

I love you, Currie

Friday, December 12, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 12 December 2014

A few conclusions become clear when we understand this: that our most cruel failure in how we treat the sick and the aged is the failure to recognize that they have priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer; that the chance to shape one’s story is essential to sustaining meaning in life; that we have the opportunity to refashion our institutions, our culture, and our conversations in ways that transform the possibilities for the last chapters of everyone’s lives.   [Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End]

I feel I’m sharing something very sacred this morning. It’s the first time I‘ve found this “line” worth crossing.

I canNOT know. There is no way to guarantee anything ever. All of it is a guess. Most of it is a surprise, but I am walking through something that feels sort of profound, so bear with me, please.

Shaping my story[ies] is essential. Ever since learning I have cancer my story[ies] has/have been like a sea of raised hands in an auditorium.

I am BEginning to understand that while I enJOY writing, and writing has always been as natural to me as breathing, I don’t want to write the “end” until I get there.

I don’t know if that makes sense to you. It does to me.

I love you, Currie

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 11 December 2014

I always think incipent miracles surround us, waiting only to see if our faith is strong enough. We won't have to understand it; it will just work, like a beating heart, like love. Really, no matter how frightened and discouraged I may become about the future, I look forward to it. In spite of everything I see all around me every day, I have a shaky assurance that everything will turn out fine. I don't think I'm the only one. Why else would the phrase "everything's all right" ease a deep and troubled place in so many of us? We just don't know, we never know so much, yet we have such faith. We hold our hands over our hurts and lean forward, full of yearning and forgiveness. It is how we keep on, this kind of hope.   [Elizabeth Berg, Talk Before Sleep]

A few years back I discovered Elizabeth Berg. Her writing, in my opinion, is exquisite. Her characters are real and flawed and hopefully willing to live Life on its own terms.

So much of her writing has made me pause and reconsider things I thought facts.

I don’t know all that much about Faith, but I have faith.

I BElieve that things make their own sort of sense even if only in retrospect.

That’s all.

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 10 December 2014

It seems like all the time people are making themselves themselves, but they don't really know it. You can only have true visions when you look behind. A person can slide so fast into being something they never really intended. I wonder if you can truly resurrect your own self.   [Elizabeth Berg]

This morning I am grateful that Someone Else is still busy “making” me. For awhile Now I have felt myself living more deliberately, really grasping the value of paying attention to Life Right Now. Yet I slip and fall on things all the time.

In coming to a place of deep peace about the end of my Life, I seem to have healed some other stuff. In watching the end of my mother’s Life, or so it would seem when someone is given 2 to 6 months to live, I suddenly SEE things that apparently I did NOT until Now.

So much of what I’ve been learning these past 8 months feels like it’s Who and How I am Now. There are no bells to unring. No stones to put to rights. I’ve grown, changed, Let Go, accepted, and I have tried to “fight” something I never wanted to “fight” anyway.

I think Now that really, anything IS possible. And NOT just for me. For everyone.

I love you, Currie

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 9 December 2014

When it's new and important, you have to rest in between times. And anyway, even when I like a person there is a weariness that comes. I can be with someone and everything is fine and then all of a sudden it can wash over me like a sickness, that I need the quiet of my own self. I need to unload my head and look at what I've got in there so far. See it. Think what it means. I always need to come back to being alone for a while.   [Elizabeth Berg, Joy School]

I’ve always been like this but it’s only the past few years that I’ve been aware of how essential it is for me to BE alone, for awhile, and often for a long while.

Alone is where I DO my best marinating. I can toss and turn and try ideas out. I can make a list of what might happen and how I might handle it.

The relationships I have Today that are working work BEcause of my insistence on Time Alone. Solitude. Quiet. NO incoming anything.

This is also why past relationships, and even some long-term ones that continue Today have been so troubled and troubling. I simply did NOT recognise my need for Time to BE just by myself. Quietly.

I love you, Currie

Monday, December 8, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 8 December 2014

All any of us wanted, really, was to know that we counted. That someone else's life would not have been as rich without us here.   [Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care]

Sometimes it is really hard to see, to know, and to truly experience “counting” in another’s Life. And the worst of that is that rather than “counting” simply by BEing myself, I DO what I DO to “count.”

Where does that fit in Gratitude, eh?!

I suppose that it just does. It is the realisation that I am always choosing who and how I am. Sometimes I choose to just BE and DO what seems the next right thing. At other times I am aware of mattering more or less.

And then there are the times when my “counting” doesn’t matter at all. When I canNOT change how another “counts” or “discounts” me.

Hardly ever DO I know I “count.” I may assume I DO. I may even BE told I DO. But there’s no measure, no container, and nowhere to “count” whatever “counting” means.

People always say that, when you love someone, nothing in the world matters. But that's not true, is it? You know, and I know, that when you love someone, everything in the world matters a little bit more.   [Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care]

I love you, Currie

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 7 December 2014

It is odd that we never question the feasibility of a football team practicing long hours for one game; yet in writing we rarely give ourselves the space for practice.   [Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within]

Practise doesn’t always look like practise. Sometimes all I DO, writing-wise, in a day, is this. And somedays I even skip DOing this. But I always know that writing is practise. Writing is where I meet myself on the road and then travel on, happier, mayBE only BEcause I am glad to have the companionship.

I’ve learned so much about myself both through reading and writing Gratitude. Each person who writes and shares their writing is an element of my daily practise. Somedays more, and somedays nothing at all is all it takes for me to practise writing.

Writing practice brings us back to the uniqueness of our own minds and an acceptance of it. We all have wild dreams, fantasies, and ordinary thoughts. Let us to feel the texture of them and not be afraid of them.Writing is still the wildest thing I know.   [Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life]

Funny… I never realised this great storehouse from which I write. I never realised how simply writing unearths it, shows it the LIGHT of day.

I love you, Currie

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 6 December 2014

One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.   [Annie Dillard, The Writing Life]

This is the foundation for how I choose to live Life. I’m living with cancer. We’re building mutual respect.

I’m determined to find the fun in cancer. To BE enJOYing cancer full-out.

I have been rereading what I have written the past few months. It is quite like following a trail of crumbs. I am surprised in a very deLIGHTfull way that I have approached this writing every time as Dillard says.

I may NOT make sense to myself Here and Right Now, but I definitely recognise myself in every word.

I love you, Currie

Friday, December 5, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 5 December 2014

Life is not orderly. No matter how we try to make it so, right in the middle of it we die, lose a leg, fall in love, or drop a jar of applesauce.   [Natalie Goldberg]

This is something that strikes me as both an absolute and a glaring misconception. I suppose it is BEcause I BElieve in order and discipline as much as I am certain that imagination and letting my mind wander and poke through things is the ONLY sane way for me to live.

But it’s never so simple as all that. Which is why writing can BE such a kick. And reading is such JOY.

If you never sit still, it does not even hint to that deeper self in you that you are interested. By practice, by showing up, we are signaling that deep motor, that hum of life, that we are ready: Help us. Pay attention and lead us out of our confusion.   [Natalie Goldberg, The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language]

I’ve heard a lot of people deny they are “creative” or “artistic” while simultaneously praising me. I am no different than the next person. I don’t drink any special kool-aid. I just show up and write every day. Then make some digital art. To share.

I am that simple.

I love you, Currie

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 4 December 2014

Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.   [Meg Cabot]

A neighbour came by wanting to look at my art. It was nice, hearing her positive comments. I enJOYed that. And yet, I realised once again that I don’t make art or write for the responses or reactions, I DO them BEcause it feels like any other way of BEing Me would simply NOT work.

She also BEcame very “animated” about how my art MUST get out into the World. A “legacy” was one word she used. She has said this to me twice Now, and another friend has voiced similar thoughts.

I am NOT about writing to BE published or making art to have it in galleries or to sell it in shows. That’s all “work” for me. I am happy enough writing this and making a piece of digital art and sharing it with whoever reads or sees it.

I am writing a story about this Time in my Life. I want it to BE something I would like to read. And if you were interested, I’d hope you’d like to read it, too.

That’s enough for me.

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 3 December 2014

We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important… 

…Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist – the real truth of who we are

We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing.  
[Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within]

I’m thinking about “deliberately” writing about this Time in my Life. It’s hard to “stop” living it long enough to write it down though.

Still, it doesn’t all need “writing” to BE written. It’s Enough to see these “characters” who have been introducing themselves to me.

I’m rereading my favourite writers about writing. Looking at what it is I love about their voice[s], perspective[s], and stories. Then I can look at some of my own writing through those eyes.

I love you, Currie

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 2 December 2014

But you are not your bank account, or your ambition. You're not the cold clay lump you leave behind when you die. You're not your collection of walking personality disorders. You are Spirit, you are love, and even though it is hard to believe sometimes, you are free. You're here to love, and be loved, freely. If you find out next week that you are terminally ill - and we're all terminally ill on this bus - what will matter are memories of beauty, that people loved you, and that you loved them.   [Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith]

And I think that laughter and silliness and simply experiencing Life without a Life jacket matter, too. They matter a LOT!!

These past months have a lot of blanks in them. I mean I was Present and accounted for throughout, but there is so little I really remember. Yet there is so very much I will never forget.

The mail art that has deLIGHTed me and anyone near the mailbox when I go collect my mail.

The little notes back and forth from people who read my Gratitude, people who feel as real as any true friend even if we’ve never met or spoken.

And then there is waking up each morning to a brand new day…

I love you, Currie

Monday, December 1, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 1 December 2014

If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.  [Anne Lamott]

I don’t know that I feel as strongly about truth [or Truth?!] that I would label it “always” any one thing, but I see the point BEyond the fence words are wrapping round it. Even this writing, [and lately especially this writing practise] has been a place I can go back to.

Since learning about my cancer, and Now, with my mum having her very own diagnosis of metastatic lung cancer, I canNOT figure how to write about it. I only know I am trying to, or considering it quite a lot lately.

Write straight into the emotional center of thingsRisk being unliked.

I doubt my present perspectives on Writing About Something As It Is Unfolding really hold water.

...most of the time, all you have is the moment, and the imperfect love of the people around you.   [Anne Lamott]

I love you, Currie

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 30 November 2014

But you can’t get to any of these truths by sitting in a field smiling beatifically, avoiding your anger and damage and grief. Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth. We don’t have much truth to express unless we have gone into those rooms and closets and woods and abysses that we were told not go in to. When we have gone in and looked around for a long while, just breathing and finally taking it in – then we will be able to speak in our own voice and to stay in the present moment. And that moment is home.   [Anne Lamott]

For a long while I was drawn to drama. Every relationship I have and have had appears on my mind’s screen like a series of skirmishes and battles, won, lost, and sometimes simply drawn. I never dared say so BEfore. But I knew. And the others knew, too.

Rare and waaaaaaay long BEtween there have been times un-drama-fed, which makes me a little MORE willing to wade through the muck of “anger and damage and grief” with a better “thinking cap” on my head.

It's good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life.   [Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith]
A spectaculicious way to see DOing uncomfortable stuff.

I love you, Currie

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 29 November 2014

Often misconstrued, authenticity is not about being an open book, revealing every detail of yourself without rhyme or reason. It is simply the act of openly and courageously seeing what needs to be seen, saying what needs to be said, doing what needs to be done, and becoming that which you are intent on being.   [Scott Edmund Miller]

Sometimes I think I need to DO something. I must make something or complete something. It’s NOT a good feeling when I feel this. But it’s NOT necessarily “bad” either. It’s curious I suppose.

I find less and less that need in me to hide or have secrets. If I feel resentful, worried, or upset about some situation or person, I’m pretty sure there is some lesson in there. It might require my DOing something, but NOT necessarily.

It could mean I need to Let Go. Stop. BEgin. Try Another Way. If I want to BE real, if I want to live fully and love deeply, I suppose I have to BE Currie, flaws and all. Imperfect. Confused. Messy.

If you find yourself criticizing other people, you're probably doing it out of Resistance. When we see others beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives us crazy if we have not lived out our own.   [Stephen Pressfield]

Hmmmmmmm… makes sense.

I love you, Currie

Friday, November 28, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 28 November 2014

For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn't have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.   [Stephen Hawking]

WOW!!! I’ve rarely read something that hit me BEtween my brain and heart so exquisitely.

For me, talking too much has looooooong been the flaw of mine I’ve had the hardest time taming. I think this is why I so want to go live in a monastery, where quiet is the greater part of time. In my solitude, here, Now, I have come to love silence. Hearing the sound of Life, untranslated, and often too mysterious to BEgin to comprehend.

Today, however, I look at the hope of talking. As long as I am listening. And as long as others are talking and listening, too.

MayBE that is what writing this is about?!

Make sure we keep talking…

I love you, Currie

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 27 November 2014

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.   [A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh]

It’s NOT the size of the heart that determines Gratitude, it’s about our willingness to BE grateful, to see Life’s extraordinary unpredictability as BEauty BEyond measure. At least this is what I BElieve and try to live by.

In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.   [Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia]

I think that trying to “pay back” is something rather silly. Truly, imagine if all our good deeds were weighed down with handling pay back.

And as much as I love “paying forward” in concept, in practise it’s NOT easily done. I try just to hold thankful thoughts in my mind, my heart, and my attitudes. Now, while I’m NOT so able to DO for others, I am learning to receive. Gratefully.

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.   [Thích Nhất Hạnh]


I love you, Currie

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 26 November 2014

It is always the first and last steps that are the hardest to take. We walk away and try not to turn back, or we stand just outside the gates, terrified to find what's waiting for us now that we've returned. In between, we stumble blindly from one place and life to the next. We try to do the best we can. There are moments like this, however, when we are neither coming nor going, and all we have to do is sit and look back on the life we have made.   [Dinaw Mengestu]

It’s true about starting off, taking those first-so-tentative-it seems-like-tiptoeing-steps. The terrified might BE a bit much, but the effect of terrified is spot-on.

Walking away is something I have a lot of practise with. MayBE it’s more collaborative than I can see. And, walking away without looking back has really been a hard nut for me to crack.

We all DO, I choose to BElieve, our very best. And sometimes we judge, ourselves and each other, assuming the best is anything but and BEing rather unpleasant about it.

And this is how we make a Life. Steps forward. Standing still. Pausing. Turning round sometimes.

Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.    [Yvonne Woon, Dead Beautiful]


I love you, Currie