In case you are meeting me for the first time, I tend to write about my Dancemeditation practice and Path—what comes up, what happens inside me, why I resist, etc. At the moment, it’s about how to survive in troubled times with a little help…
Surviving in Troubled Times
I’ve always loved sheepskins. They are some sort of perfect. For the past few years I have depended on them at Ravenrock which has no thermostat. When temperatures abruptly drop, I stoke the wood stove and curl up on my cozy sheepskin. This winter I am on Cape Cod—cold, damp bone-chill. I bought a quarto (four sheepskins sewn together) to do my practice. Read more
Inner Bomb Squad
Inner gaze. A friend asked what it was like, during the time of my surgeries, to close my eyes and look inside. I replied that a bomb had gone off in the house. I looked in and saw destruction and chaos. I saw my inner bomb squad. They told me to get out, they had a lot of work to do. So I withdrew. For two years. Now, I have been allowed to go back in. Read more
I’ve collected six months of Facebook posts documenting the mending process following Total Hip replacement surgery. My first surgery was on July 7th replacing the left hip. Surgery #2 on the right side was on September 8th. The posts often celebrate milestones. I haven’t filled this writing out yet. It is really just notes, but they give a sense of how many small bits need to be recovered and how long that can take. Read more
Four of us met for Sufi Movement Meditation and Tea last Friday. It was early afternoon in crisp, late autumn when light fades quickly. The first snow, the way we love it, feathery and delicate, glittered on the few leaves still clinging in the shrubbery. The dusting gives us time to switch gears into the darkest, coldest season.
A friend took these images an hour before a visiting nurse came to remove the staples.
I have been at Mass General Hospital in Boston for a surgery to replace my hip, then several days afterward in a rehab facility. For me, these are all one hospital experience.
Time has stopped. It moves back and forth, stuck in a groove without progressing. Overhead fluorescent lights flip on, blanching the close corners of a room that is better left in shadow. Weary dusky rose walls, linoleum floors, and acoustic tile ceilings. Stuck time, stuck time, stuck time, stuck time, stuck time…is stagnant. Read more
Someone has moved all the living room furniture to prepare for the lecture. I say no, put it back. They refuse so I must put it back myself. I go to move the red chair; its arm is broken; a tattered Indian throw covers grimy brocade upholstery. The stained blue love seat verges on collapse. The paintings are not paintings at all but cheesy magazine pages pasted onto thin, rumpled cardboard and put in a flimsy dime-store frame. Rather than a charming installation of venerable, valuable antiques, the room has been a farce. It should all be thrown out. Read more
Soon I will get detailed about this condition and operation but today it’s about meeting my surgeon.
I pass through the revolving doors of the Yawkey Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, between the glass walls then the brushed titanium elevator doors that whisper shut with efficient deference. The folks at Reception hand me an iPad with survey questions about my pain levels and can I walk 0-2 blocks, 2-5 blocks etc. etc, that feed right into their database. Next I hit Radiology with technicians who x-ray every angle, and now, in the small, tidy, dim examination room an intern yanks my legs too fast and far, like all the previous doctors in the diagnostic process. Seeing me wince appears to be an essential data point. At last Ric and I sit quietly, waiting. So much depends on the next person we see.
I feel the air push toward me. The door opens halfway. Dr. Young-Min Kwon moves through with exactitude Read more
I lean forward, my feet tucked under me, slightly suspended as my arms press down on the armchair arms. My iliotibial band glows gold with streaks of iridescent peacock blue. The chair bottom falls away. I hang over a chasm. A river crashes through the gorge far below, its roar faint I am so far up. I grip my legs to me but they grow heavy and slowly unfold, and hang down, and now I know that they hang by the merest thread from the sockets. The threads will break soon. My legs will fall and smash on the rocks jagging up through the churning white water. Read more
My hips have made it clear; they want to stay.
And I want my hips.
Last week I spent a morning with Dance and Sports Medicine specialists looking at my hips and films of my hips, getting the docs’ opinion on what to do with my pain. It took some time to digest their words, to even hear their words. At some point I’ll pick apart their information, make choices, and set out plans, but first, where is my deep feeling? Read more