Friday, October 31, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 31 October 2014

Everything is temporary. All these things we carry along with us from place to place--they're all temporary.
Can we begin to see that, understand that, without a sense of panic?
From that understanding will come great peace, a knowing, a nod to transcience.
Do not get too attached to your life.
Hold it lightly.
With great love.
Sweet dreams.
[Patti Digh, Project 137]

This has always presented me with confusion, the transience of Life. It is like I am supposed to “figure out” a thing, but then I just move on to the next thing. And try to figure that one out. And on it goes.

I look for resolution and forget that Life is like a river, flowing. It doesn’t stay in one place too long so I am learning NOT to DO that inside of me. Yet it’s like the ocean, too, and the tides come in and go out and never seem to mind all that change.

Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I want to sort it all out, get it in order, and, well, fix whatever it is I perceive is “broken” or NOT working as it “should” BE. But Life is NOT about should or broken. We’re all just fine as we are and as we are NOT. And yes, everything is temporary.

I love you, Currie

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 30 October 2014

Another way to be prepared is to think negatively. Yes, I'm a great optimist. but, when trying to make a decision, I often think of the worst case scenario. I call it 'the eaten by wolves factor.' If I do something, what's the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by wolves? One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist, is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. There are a lot of things I don't worry about, because I have a plan in place if they do.    [Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture]

It’s funny how that works. Flipping positive and negative, using a Plan BE. I’ve tried to adopt a similar approach and while I wouldn’t say I am wholly comfortable with it all the time, I’m finding it works well enough for my purposes.

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.   [Octavia Butler]
I know it’s hard for people to understand me lately. I’m pretty cornfuzzled myself.

Still, I am grateful my friends know how to BE friends.

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 29 October 2014

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.   [Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay]

When things get very dark inside of me, when that darkness starts chipping away at ANY light, I know my only hope is to change.

Sometimes it’s my thinking. Others it’s my reaction.

And sometimes, actually, if I’m honest, most times, it’s just my stand. I need to bend more. Leave room for what I don’t or canNOT seem to want.

There’s a sort of place I come to sometimes. It’s quite subtle. Something just I can see or feel or know.

But I don’t stop there. Or wait.

I just Let Go.

I love you, Currie

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 28 October 2014

I like the scientific spirit—the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine—it always keeps the way beyond open—always gives life, thought, affection, the whole man, a chance to try over again after a mistake—after a wrong guess.   [Walt Whitman, Walt Whitman's Camden Conversations]

When I “go missing” for a few days, when I simply don’t want to engage myself in any sort of conversation, for fear of the landmines that lay on that path, when I just BEgin to shutdown systems one-by-one, then I know it is time for surrendering.

Surrender rarely looks like waving a white flag whilst the enemy descends, but it surely feels similar.

Soon madness has worn you down. It’s easier to do what it says than argue. In this way, it takes over your mind. You no longer know where it ends and you begin. You believe anything it says. You do what it tells you, no matter how extreme or absurd. If it says you’re worthless, you agree. You plead for it to stop. You promise to behave. You are on your knees before it, and it laughs.    [Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life]

I’m still here looking for my flashlight.

I love you, Currie

Friday, October 24, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 24 October 2014

Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.
And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.  
 [Audre Lorde]

The “yelling” might NOT sound like “yelling” as you know it, but BElieve it. It’s still yelling. And the easier and easier, while I might in this particular moment doubt its validity, is another fact I’ve come to see, time and time again…

What I’ve learned is that friends, lovers, and family get lost and lose each other in equal measure. This makes finding and cherishing “new ones” happier and more extraordinary than almost anything ever.

At least I think so.

I love you, Currie

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 23 October 2014

The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
[Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council]

Sometimes all the words in the World still canNOT express the simplest thoughtsandfeelings. They bend and stretch and wrap themselves into pretty paragraphs and pages and still they don’t come close to saying anything anyone can understand.

And still I come here and try to weave them into sense. To reach BEyond myself.

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 22 October 2014

Here is one way to understand the relationships in a circle of trust: they combine unconditional love, or regard, with hopeful expectancy, creating a space that both safeguards and encourages the inner journey. In such a space, we are freed to hear our own truth, touch what brings us joy, become self-critical about our faults, and take risky steps toward change—knowing that we will be accepted no matter what the outcome.   [Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness]

I might BE in the hardest part of this Journey. Or mayBE I am just cranky and tired and feeling out of sorts.

I feel nothing but fear at taking steps, risky ones and sensible ones alike. I don’t know where any “circle of trust” exists in my Real World. There are circles all right, but they don’t strike me as places to find either safety or encouragement.

I was utterly stunned to read about Quaker Clearness Committees yesterday. I came to see that all that I want is to know that I am safe to try BEcause with safety I could stop berating and shaming myself for all that I’ve fallen short on.

My writing has fallen off. I am unsure of myself. I am scared. I feel I’ve BEcome a bother and nuisance. Enough already.

Love?! No matter what?!

I love you, Currie

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 21 October 2014

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.   [Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture]

I recall first reading this, how it struck me as something that had all along been hiding in plain sight. I had an entirely different interpretation of what I called the “brick walls,” but it wasn’t long until I came to see things in a new way.

Chemo has been a brick wall for me. I’ve gone through it, sometimes, thinking I should. With an attitude of I’ve got to DO whatever I CAN DO. Somehow having cancer almost demands one have a good fighting heart.

And yet, Right Now, the first moments of a day when I feel almost human after 3+ days lost in the haze of pain and nausea, I wonder who came up with this equation. The very LAST thing I have felt is my heart up for the fight.

I’m a little confused about my position on brick walls Right Now. But I am keeping my heart and mind open.

I love you, Currie

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 18 October 2014

Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you've never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.   [Judith Thurman]

Lots of things are weird and that weird is BEcoming “ordinary” and “everyday” for me. This isn’t a bad thing, per se, but at moments it is most disconcerting.

I have been thinking a lot about where would I BE if I could BE wherever I want to BE. I’ve loved to travel and I was fairly sure somehow or other I would get to some places, but it looks like that idea is mine alone, Now. Which is okay. I’ve learned to Let Go of things. Easily. It’s a skill I would have enJOYed very much had I developed it sooner.

Unexplored paths lead to undiscovered treasures.    [Constance Chuks Friday]

Sometimes the unexplored path is right where you are sitting. Right where you are. And there’s no urge to go anywhere, to have something “more,” or even “less.”

I put a “magazine” together on Blurb. It’s pretty easy to work BookWright, and feels like a really good way to “show” my art without all the pomp and circumstance. I want to find a way for people to BE able to enJOY my art, and making ebooks actually makes that possible.

I love you, Currie

Friday, October 17, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 17 October 2014

I see trees of green,
Red roses too.
I see them bloom.
For me and you.
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.
[Louis Armstrong, “What A Wonderful World”]

Another of my favourite songs, I am grasping a bit this morning for what to write about. Nothing really stands up wanting to BE counted. So I went to look up the lyrics of the song playing on Pandora at this early morning of the hour…

That’s all it really is. Thinking of the World as the wonderful it is. No more. Nothing to break the back or the bank.

I am so grateful for the availability of care and treatment I have had the last 6 months. I am deeply relieved I had finally completed my switch to AZ from FL for medical things just days BEfore this train had left the station.

And I did NOT mind so much my chemo #5 yesterday. I was colouring some drawings. I am having trouble seeing the paper or the computer screen, so DOing the things I love these days isn’t so easy or appealing. It is a side effect that “should go away when treatment is over” so I accept it with less rancor and find ways to make it work for me.

What a wonderfull World!!!

I love you, Currie

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 16 October 2014

Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.    [Desmond Tutu]

Sometimes it feels like the bits of “good” that I DO are so small. Insignificant. And when I think this, I think that probably the bits of “bad” I DO are similarly small and insignificant. 

Which leaves me realising that though I am EVERYTHING to myself, in the World I am just one more person DOing Life. It is a little bit comforting when I look at it like this.

I felt as if I were riding a pendulum. Just as I would swing into the abyss of hopelessness, the pendulum would swing back with some small goodness.    [Ruta Sepetys, Between Shades of Gray]

I doubt it would come as a surprise to anyone that I ride a sort of pendulum. Even if the word, pendulum, always reminds me of the Physics for Teachers class I took. The one where I got a D.

There are “good days” Now, but I have had good weeks, months, and even whole years I’d call “good” without thinking twice. I suppose that what is Now will have to BE Enough, though.

And likewise, my DOing of Good will have to suffice. Even if it is small. Or insignificant.

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 15 October 2014

Sometimes, when you don’t know the answer to a question that keeps playing over and over again in your mind, it’s because you’re messing with the wrong question. [ Perpetual Calendar 15 October]

Sometimes I know just what this means… and I’ve found that I tend to DO this characteristically, and canNOT see any reason for either the shame this has supposedly brought on me, or the way I have invaded Life with my intensity to “BE Right” no matter what “prisoners” were taken in the process.

And I just don’t want to explain, elaborate, or even talk about things, like my health decisions and related sorts of matters, with anyone whose intention is to correct, persuade, or “re-educate” me.

OR… with anyone who wants to BE my intimate. An odd word, perhaps, but it is exactly what I am talking about.

I embrace my Solitude and I finally love myself. Enough.

I am deeply grateful to those friends and family who take the time to think of me, ask about me, pray for me, and, in a variety of ways, include me in their lives. I am continually amazed by the medical people I have encountered. In ways, they are my “intimates” of this Time in my LIfe.

And this is, quite clearly, just my Life unfolding.

I love you, Currie

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 14 October 2014

In bullfighting there is an interesting parallel to the pause as a place of refuge and renewal. It is believed that in the midst of a fight, a bull can find his own particular area of safety in the arena. There he can reclaim his strength and power. This place and inner state are called his querencia. As long as the bull remains enraged and reactive, the matador is in charge. Yet when he finds his querencia, he gathers his strength and loses his fear. From the matador's perspective, at this point the bull is truly dangerous, for he has tapped into his power.   [Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha]

It’s unnerving to consider myself like a bull, but there you go. Sometimes Life plays itself out just that way…

I DO know I have a strong tendency to BE in a reactive state, especially when I am hurt or angry. It is like I can feel there is no light switch in me. ON with no hope for OFF.

Lately I have discovered another “gear” or place BEtween ON and OFF. It is quiet. And while I may BE unsure of myself here, I am at least NOT “under the influence” of whatever is outside of me. That is key.

I love you, Currie

Monday, October 13, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 13 October 2014

If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.   [Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Insulted and Humiliated]

Sometimes I go missing. I think it’s just that I’ve nothing more to say. At least aloud where it is likely to stand BEcause I’ve written or published it.

Lately, however, I’ve gone missing BEcause I have had too hard a time standing strong in my words. I feel a tremendous lack of respect from just one person. And there is the trouble.

People can have their opinions about everything in the world, but people's opinions end where the tip of my nose begins. Your opinions of others can only go so far as to where their own shoreline is. The world is for your taking, but other people are not. One is only allowed to have an opinion of me, if that person is done educating him/herself on everything about me. Before people educate themselves on everything about you, they're not allowed to open their venomous mouthes and have an opinion about you.    [C. JoyBell C.]

It startles me to realise how easily I let others climb into the middle of my Life. How little I resist their tendency to overtake nearly EVERYthing.

I love you, Currie

Friday, October 10, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 10 October 2014

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

[J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring]

I love the whole of this quote. There are parts that stand out, yet they are often missed BEcause we think too much. I am grateful for NOT thinking too much. And I am quite Enough. I agreed to two more chemo adventures. Just saying that makes me feel a little wobbly. I was so happily letting the myriad side effects take me through 4… then when my doctor, who really listens to me, and respects me, opened a door, I would NOT start to stop listening.

It is amazing what someone just listening, or read-hearing you can still. That’s all today.

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 8 October 2014

The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?  ~ Mary Oliver

There are times when the words don’t come from me. Actually, that’s probably the way it works most times. Mary Oliver’s words, generally, have this effect on me. Tell me, what else should I have done? This is a question I feel, far too often, like asking…

I love you, Currie

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 7 October 2014

There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored. The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but what he has forgotten is the cost of it. His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration. When he reads a novel, he wants either his sense tormented or his spirits raised. He wants to be transported, instantly, either to mock damnation or a mock innocence.   [Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose]

Really?! DO you find this trait in you?! DO you, too, consider story as almost more necessary than the grace of riding the lightbeams?! DO you want things wrapped up in 42 minutes?! DO loose ends and unfinished storylines nag at you?!

One of the things I have learned through this practise of Gratitude is how storylines are my mental images of What’s UP in anyone’s Life. Often others will write of something in their immediate Right Now and never speak of it again. I want to write them and ask the questions that bat about in me.

But I don’t. At least I don’t DO it without knowing I’m DOing it.

I love you, Currie

Monday, October 6, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 6 October 2014

To stay with that shakiness—to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.   [Pema Chödrön, Stay with Your Broken Heart

I’ve always tried to still shakiness, somehow. It is only Now that I am really game to let it BE. To NOT feel like I need to DO something or CHANGE something. The shakiness is like the colour of my hair. It is evolving of its own accord.

Now I am more inclined to stay in. To remain Present. To observe, listen, and then, easily, almost without thinking, Let Go.

I’m thinking about some new ways and ideas are dancing somewhat haphazardly, but dancing all the same inside my little birdbrain. Then I realise that what I call thinking about is really just taking in the perspectives opening to me.

Someone asked me something Thursday which felt strange. Nothing more. I realise Now that what she asked of me she considers essential for herself, and everyone else, too. But I can forgive that. Easily. We all seek comfort BEfore we come to stay with our shakinesses.

I love you, Currie

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 5 October 2014

Even on my weakest days
I get a little bit stronger  
[Sara Evans]

It’s BEing fall-ish here lately. Early mornings have a refreshing chill to them. The days, though still warm by afternoon, are actually “just right” in my book. I am glad that I am able to discern this change and difference. I am gladder still that my summer is, finally, over.

I’m tired of feeling tired. Of the headache that I’ve had since June. Of days of feeling woozy and spinny. I am ready for a little bit of normal.

But first, I need to DO some Letting Go. I didn’t see this until it smacked me in the face.

Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it. It's like boats. You keep your motor on so you can steer with the current. And when you hear the sound of the waterfall coming nearer and nearer, tidy up the boat, put on your best tie and hat, and smoke a cigar right up till the moment you go over. That's a triumph.   [Ray Bradbury, Farewell Summer]

Some of it I’d rather hold a little more loosely. But that’s NOT an option.

I love you, Currie

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 4 October 2014

They sang the words in unison, yet somehow created a web of sounds with their voices. It was like hearing a piece of fabric woven with all the colors of a rainbow. I did not know that such beauty could be formed by the human mouth. I had never heard harmony before.  [Anita Diamant, The Red Tent]

It would BE hard for me to say that colour is NOT an essential food group in my Life. I love to see what happens when colours stand alone or run like a pack, eager and open to possibilities.

I am continually amazed and astonished by how colour changes everything. Its edges and drips and long swashes. It is like a heart beating, separate but in time with my own.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.   [Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds]

We’re funny we humans. We get our minds set on a thing, looking at stuff a certain way, and we’re never eager to change that perspective.

Still, it is quite a thing how making even a tiny shift in our way of seeing and BEing can make everything suddenly and completely new, alive, and quite awake, no matter the light outside.

Try it yourself, okay?!

I love you, Currie

Friday, October 3, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 3 October 2014

Wounds heal. Scars fade. Awful memories can be overwritten with better ones if given the chance. The little imperfections of our psyches become overshadowed by the people whose love we cherish because they cherish us despite our faults; physical, emotional, spiritual, or otherwise. This thing we call the human condition with all its bittersweet blind corners and senseless humor evolves from within ourselves and not because of some pre-ordained reverie we desire to cast in the constellations.
All in all it is what makes life worth living.  
[August Clearwing, Never Have I Ever]

Seems a lot of people are asking me Now What?! regarding my having completed the radiation and chemo I agreed to try when this rollercoaster pulled out of loading.

I don’t know. I don’t like speculation conversations. I’m just hoping for a little more Time With Energy Enough. To walk with Gracie. To dance and BE silly. To enJOY stuff that I canNOT abide “under the influence” of chemo.

I’m turning into Sally from When Harry Met Sally. I ordered yet another creative meal in the dining room at Mum’s yesterday. I kind of like it. Creating like I breathe. Living with all this without BEing pissed or pissy.

I’m Living just this day. Right Now.

Even “different” is enough. Riding my starbeam of energy.

I love you, Currie

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 2 October 2014

To love is to accept a soul entirely, not wishing that the person was otherwise, nor hoping for change, nor clinging to some ideal past. To love is to cherish the individual standing before you presently - charms, quirks, and all. To love is to give someone a piece of your heart that you will never, ever reclaim.   [Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year]

I have some things on my mind. Bunching themselves up round my heart. I feel like a rain cloud in a cloudless sky, full of I don’t know what waiting to DO something I have no idea of whatsoever.

I’m in that weird place I go in the first week after chemo, grateful that last week’s was the last of the 4 I agreed to DO. Some of it has happened almost every time. Feeling like a feather pillow that has been smashed to nothing but feathers floating, landing, and no longer “pillowing” anything at all.

I want to say things or mayBE it is that I want the people I cherish [and I never imagined they could BE so many] to know what it is I’ve been holding onto, holding out about, and just NOT saying BEcause God, what a risk that would BE…

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 1 October 2014

We try so hard to hide everything we're really feeling from those who probably need to know our true feelings the most. People try to bottle up their emotions, as if it's somehow wrong to have natural reactions to life.    [Colleen Hoover, Maybe Someday]

I am sorry to say this, but this has pretty much been my motto in Life. I have always, and I mean A L W A Y S felt ashamed of what I feel. I am better at recognising it Now; I am also less focused on dissecting every single little emotional sliver that invades me.

I know I don’t need to BE ashamed, it is more like a reflex. Automatically I want to apologise if I have a feeling that might cause anyone [except myself] a moment’s discomfort.

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.   [George E. Woodberry]

Right this minute, today, I am sitting on the head of a pin BEcause of my FEELINGS and how they’ve been hurt, blah blah blah dee blah dah!! But I am the only one who “knows” this BEcause I don’t want anyone TO KNOW.

But I won’t NOT try again. I won’t give up and shrug it off and DO a poor pitiful ME thing.

Never Again…

I love you, Currie