Once again I have been on a writing hiatus. It has led me to realize that I am unable to multi-task on many levels. I have always understood “multi-tasking” to mean the ability to do more than one specific task at a time. I am sure I have already mentioned in previous postings that this is very difficult for me to do. My brain and my body just don’t function well in multi-tasking mode.
I am always so amazed when I walk by my husband when he is working at his computer. I really should say “computers” – plural, because, although he has one computer (on his main desk – I’ll explain in a minute!), he has two screens and sometimes he is multi-tasking between the two and sometimes he is also multi-tasking on each screen. My brain just cannot hold that! It’s way too mind-boggling for me.
Apart from his main desk, he also has a secondary desk which holds another computer and recording equipment which he uses to create his “podcasts”. When he is all set up to record in that space, it looks rather like an old-fashioned radio show. He wears headphones and has a microphone in front of him and I almost expect him to break out into acapella singing. Since he has been indulging in this activity, which is all linked to his web page work, (www.windowsobserver.com), I sometimes think of the computer room/office as a recording studio too.
The lessons I have learned about myself in the last couple of months are myriad. I have lost three friends in that time frame. Two were “expected”. Is death ever expected? The two people, although unconnected in any other way, had actually been struggling with the same lung disease over several years. The third friend’s death came out of left field and left me, and many other common friends as well as his wife, completely mind- and heart-slammed. The first friend, died on 26th October 2011, the second friend died about mid-November, and the third friend died 16 December.
In other words, just as I was absorbing the news of one death the second occurred, and so it was for the third. In the meantime, as death was occurring, life was going on. Normal everyday events, commitments, and activities continued on despite what was going on in heart and mind. Meetings were attended, friends were attended to, school and its accompanying homework had to be dealt with, volunteer commitments were kept, I participated in a retreat, Thanksgiving came and went as did Christmas, and on and off, in the back of my mind, was the little nagging voice that said “I need to write”.
As I look back, I realize that I was actually multi-tasking in general across the board of all these events. Just to be able to deal with everyday life as well as grieve, and support others who were grieving, was a huge multi-tasking effort of its own, and I am so grateful for my relationship with God and my strong support network of spiritual friends who help me to get through tough times such as these and still stay sane.
But to hold all this together and allow the Muse of creativity to come forward is, for me, an impossible task. I have to put great energy into honoring and dealing with difficult situations and emotions such as death and grief, and there is little energy left for anything else. And I need to honor myself and where I’m at in all of that and allow the various processes to sweep through me. It is all important to my personal and spiritual growth.
So now, as I sit here and look out my window (no working on the lanai today, we had a near-freeze last night!), I feel some of the tension surrounding these recent events slipping away. Even though it is too cold to sit outside right now, the sun is shining brilliantly, the sky is that crisp, clean, light cerulean blue that only winter can bring forth, and I am breathing deeply and easily as I notice the hawks circling above the pine trees, the other birds swooping across and into the garden, and the squirrels frolicking on the backyard fence. Muse is creeping slowly back into my heart, honoring and respecting where I have been and gently inviting my fingers to once again play across the keyboard and put the words on the screen.
So while I collect my thoughts and get ready write on some specific topics that have come up for me over the past couple of months, let me share some words of wisdom from others. I think if I had lots of money I would have a house with a huge library that would house not only lots of books, but collections of all the words that I have read over the years that have impacted me deeply or influenced me in some way. Here are a few more of those precious words.
“Everything that I think, feel,say, and do belongs to me, and everything that you think, feel, say, and do belongs to you.” (Paul Ferrini)
“I cannot think myself into a new way of living; I have to live myself into a new way of thinking.” (AnShin Thomas)
“Know that making a commitment to your happiness, to your health, to your fitness, to your family, to your abundance, to your career, to your mission in life, to your love, to your friends, to your community, to your creativity, to your spiritual life, is all the same thing. It is all a commitment to growth, to wholeness, to being your best, to living life fully and gratefully starting from where you are right now!” (Jinjee)
“Making amends without forgiveness leads to dishonesty and lies.” (Anon)
“Everyone who’s human deserves to be treated with some dignity – whether they’ve done good things or bad things, they have to be given hope.”
“When you stop resenting what anther person can’t give you, you begin to appreciate what they have to offer.” (Anon)
“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”
“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” (Mark Twain)
“The fact that Christianity is a religion of love makes every evangelizer the teller of a love story, the singer of a love song. By example as well as by words evangelizers must be teachers of love.” (from John Paul II and the New Evangelization)
“The power of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special efforts, but by his ordinary doing.” (Blaise Pascal)
“When people envy me I think, Oh God, don’t envy me, I have my own pains.” (Barbra Streisand)
“He paints the lily of the field, perfumes each lily bell; if He so loves the little flowers, I know He loves me well.” (Maria Strauss)
“Go out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light new light in the hearts f people.” (Mother Teresa)
“He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.” (Thomas Fuller)
I am so tired of being sick this Spring. It seems as though I have been dealing with unhealthy demons since about 20 February. First my really bad upper respiratory deal that knocked me out for two to three weeks. Then, after just one week of feeling good I was plagued by a bad cold/allergies (I never did decide which it was). That dragged on for more than three weeks before I was hit by the gastric flu bug. I am so ready to be done with all this and be truly healthy for the rest of this year!!
What really annoys the heck out of me is that sickness robs me not just of health on all levels, but also of time. Oh I know I still live each minute that God gives me. I don’t lose effective time. What I lose is the time I would normally put in to all the various activities that make up the flesh of my life.
My garden lies in wait to be ministered to. Outdoor projects for which I had a planned scheduled have to go on hold. The weeds begin to sprout profusely in the flower beds, and just the pure unadulterated pleasure of being out there working in the dirt has to be postponed while viral bugs have their with my body.
My writing is forced on to a back burner. No matter which part of my body is physically under attack, the Muse withdraws and hides. My head seems full of fuzz and leaves no room for inspiration. My arms and hands are sluggish, ravaged by fevers or infections or plain old weakness, and consequently they have no strength to fly over the keyboard in creativity.
My craft room sits in silence full of its colorful cardstock and inks, ribbons and stamps, glitter and glue and various findings. But nothing there is able to penetrate the general sense of dis-ease that pervades my body, heart, mind and soul. Not even a fast-finished product can elevate me from the murky depths that sickness produces within me. The Muse avoids temptation!
And my wonderful husband patiently tends me, doing everything he can to alleviate the grayness that insidiously surrounds me. And even there I feel robbed because I have no energy, nor am I in any kind of mood, to actively participate in our relationship. And that is a loss in and of itself.
There is nothing I can do about this state of affairs. Bugs and viruses for the most part have to be given their time. I can only languish and try to be as positive as possible. I practice patience and humility in accepting the situation for what it is. But my inner child grows pouty, wants to go out and play, and longs for the company of Muse.
I have been very careful this week in my return to health. No rushing out and doing everything it once. This is difficult for me because I have a tendency to want to make up for lost time, to catch up. But one thing I have learned: time once past can never be “caught up”.
Today I have done a little in the garden: prepared and planted up three raised beds with spring onions, Web’s lettuce, and chard. In another small flower bed I sewed seeds that I hope will bring a small wild profusion of blooms later in the summer. I finished all that I had hoped to achieve before the rains came.
And now I sit in my lanai and listen to the thunder rolling in the distance. One particular roll sounded rather like a Harley and for a moment I was amused as I pictured God in black leather Chaps and a ponytail rumbling across the skies on a sleek chrome machine! And, joy oh joy, my Muse is back and here we go dancing across the keyboard in a game of catch-me-if-you-can.