Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Red Thread (Lucy Kaplansky)

From today's Writer's Almanac... about one of my favorite poets:

It's the birthday of the poet William Stafford, born in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1914. He usually wrote poetry in the early morning. He sat down with a pen and paper, looked out the window, and waited for something to occur to him. He wrote about farms and winter, about the West and his parents and cottonwood trees.

He wrote,

In the winter, in the dark hours, when others
were asleep, I found these words and put them
together by their appetites and respect for
each other. In stillness, they jostled. They traded
meanings while pretending to have only one.

And about his own writing, Stafford said, "I have woven a parachute out of everything broken."

It's been an interesting (in the Chinese definition of the word) week - I already mentioned the full day of appointments for my friend on Tuesday... and Wednesday evening, Reba called and asked if I would come over Thursday to keep her company when the funeral home delivered Vic's cremains. We chatted while waiting, and went up to a local bagel place afterwards for an early lunch - I then picked up my friend for a follow-up doctor's appointment, at which point they removed her stitches and set up home physical therapy visits.

Somewhere along the way, I must have pulled something in my back (lifting her wheelchair in and out of my car), and I've been experiencing electrical twinges ever since - I did my walk yesterday which made it feel worse (and not better, as I had hoped), so I sat with the heating pad last night, took two ibuprofen last night before I went to bed and it does seem less painful this morning. Will do more stretching soon and walk again this afternoon - this cannot happen...

I've also been thinking about how wise the Universe is, in that every time I help someone else out, I'm paying it forward in semi-compensation and gratitude for those who are helping my mom - there are so many generous spirits in Georgia, doing what needs to be done to make her life easier... and I am glad I can be someone else's angel down here...

Speaking of my mom... I'll be leaving early Wednesday morning for a week-long visit with her, returning late Tuesday night - she was ecstatic when I called to tell her, especially after I emphasized it was spontaneous and not because of anything her doctors said (it's been full-disclosure all along, and will continue to be). I asked her to make a list of things she needs done around the house so I can help in that regard - I also want to do some cooking for her, and portion food out to freeze so she always has something healthy and easy on hand.

Then we'll just chill and chat and bond (oh my!)... with an evening reserved for a meeting with her, me, my sister and brother to discuss short- and long-term options - there are some tentative plans in the works I really can't divulge right now. I'm also bringing a few books and my walking shoes, so I can continue my vision of self-nurturing - as long as I'm still unemployed, I might as well take advantage of this opportunity to spend some quality time with mom...
P.S. SMM...

BOOK: Connections: The 5 Threads of Intuitive Wisdom by Gabrielle Roth

POEM: Ask Much, The Voice Suggested by Jane Hirshfield

Ask much, the voice suggested, and I startled.
Feeling my body like the trembling body of a horse
tied to its tree while the strange noise
passes over its ears.
I who in extremity had always wanted less,
even of eating, of sleeping.
Agile, the voice did not speak again, but waited.
"Want more" --
a cure for longing I had not thought of.
But that is how it is with wells.
Whatever is taken refills to the steady level.
The voice agreed, though softly, to quiet the feet of the horse:
a cup taken out, a cup reappears; a bucketful taken, a bucket.

QUOTE: "When you tug at a single thing in nature, you find it attached to the rest of the world." ~ John Muir


  1. safe travel, Susan. Isn't it amazing how the Universe opens up unexpected pockets of opportunity - even when those *opportunities* aren't recognized as such at the time? Please enjoy your time with your Mom and family - and be careful with your back.

  2. Hey, Catherine ~

    Thanks for your well-wishes... and your wise words - it is indeed amazing that it all unfolds as it is meant, if we but trust. I also got closure/catharsis with my former boss yesterday - priceless...

    I promise to travel safely and take care of my back - I have a feeling this trip will be as healing for me as it will be for my mom...