Monday, January 29, 2018

Never a dull moment

I'm taking a break from painting, I stand to draw and paint and my back gets really tired after a while.   Actually I've only done the under drawing. For me, it takes about 2 hrs to get an under drawing balanced.  (I've still not moved on to abstract yet) But it's turned out good and now I'm contemplating colors.

So I'm taking a break and sitting down and low and behold, here is the keyboard. I've picked the radiation story to tell. God, I am slow at posting.

After the lumpectomy and the ensuing lymph node surgery, which is actually much worse, they put a draining tube in your arm for fluid that might accumulate - it's really gross - but the worst part is that that tube has to stay in for about 5 days and it actually grows scar tissue around it in that short amount of time. They don't give you an anesthetic when they take rip it out of your arm. It hurts like Hell! I actually screamed. It was the worst part of the whole ordeal.
After all of that is over, then you get radiation, 6 weeks, 5 days a week. I don't really know why it takes so long, because my tumor was very small, but that's the way it was. I have never experienced much in the way of side effects.Actually, for me, radiation is not so bad. Well, except for the part where it kills a whole bunch of cells you don't really want to get rid of.  You get to park in a lot reserved for oncology patients. The lot has a machine at the entrance and you have to put your special code in so that all the podiatry patients don't park there. 3 to 4 out of 5 days, I couldn't get my code in. I just could not hit the right buttons, so I'd have to call the nurse on the little speaker thing and ask for help. They can do it from inside, but every time there is a big sigh on the other end of the line. My brain just doesn't work when I am under a lot of stress. I get really disoriented.

You go in and change and have to sit in the waiting room .... with no bra under your gown, and a lot of women bring their husbands, just a wee bit uncomfortable.  When your name is called, you go into a large room that has an enormous machine.
It feels a bit Star Treky.  You get tattooed so that they know exactly were the beam is going to hit. The lights go out except for the one that is in the machine. It swivels around so that the big round thing is on top of you and as it does it makes this quiet sound, very Star Treky again. But it's actually kind of soothing. At my hospital there is a big picture of the galaxy on the ceiling and a soft light that illuminates it. It's very warm in the room and the whole things feels rather like a cocoon. I felt very safe and relaxed in there.

Here is the interesting part. As soon as the light went out and the soft noise of the machine began, I would close my eyes and see a very clear vision of a couch floating over my head. At one end sat a little bare footed girl and at the other, a woman. She looked very calm and centered, for lack of a better word, and they both were wearing lovely dresses.  Each day I would completely forget that this was going to happen. I swear, every single day I would be surprised when the vision came up.You wouldn't think that was possible because it happened every day, but as I said, things become very disorienting as you weave your way through this process. Each day the woman would turn and smile at the little girl who was not having any of that. She wasn't mad or shy, she just didn't trust even the kind faced woman at the other end of the couch.  Day by day the woman would gently beckon the little girl to scoot over towards her. She would smile and nod her head that it was ok and sometimes she would reach across and tickle the girls feet. We had six weeks to go, so this was a long, drawn out process, but slowly, slowly the gap would get shorter. The little girl began to relax a bit at about the midway point, but she never let that guard go all the way down and she never gave up. Again, incredibly, I forgot every, every day that this was going to happen. But when it did there would be a fraction of a second of surprise and enjoyment as it popped up. I don't think the beam lasted more than 4 minutes, if even that, so the whole of this little play carried out in that short amount of time. But it didn't feel short.

I'm sure you can guess the outcome of this story, but here's the twist. On the very last day, predictably, the little girl made it to within a couple of inchs of the woman who was smiling with a smile that said "yes, we got it!". She reached down for her, the child didn't resist, but just as she got her in midair over her The whole thing was over. The machine was done for the last time and the lights came on. The image of her hovering just above the woman's lap is not troubling. Everything was so calm and the experience was like those hours when you are painting and you loose all awareness of your surroundings. What happened at the end, was just the way it happened.

I don't want to put too much into it and the whole "inner child" thing doesn't seem quite right to me. Been there, done that. It feels cliched. What I took away was that it's never over. Nothing is ever over. And nothing is easy. We are always a little thing working towards benevolence never quite knowing if we're safe or not, never really knowing if it's ok to surrender to the process. We get pretty close, we can even get damn close, but it is perfectly ok if we are near. Near is good and I am quite happy with that and very, very happy that benevolence never gives up on us.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

So much to say...

I've been wanting to write one of those posts like I used to write. The ones where I ramble on about something that I know absolutely nothing about. But I can't choose.

1.  Leggings                                                            
2.  Oprah                                                                   
3.  Roommates                                                         .
4.  Women
5. Solitude                                                            
6.  Friendship                                                          
7.  Men in leggings                                                      
     (I can probably combine that with #1)
8.  God, I'm not smart enough for this one.
9.  Politics, ditto                                    
10.  Mystical experiences while under the radiation machine
11.  Where to begin life - and where to end it.
12.  Body shaming and Melania/Donald Trump
13. #Me too, sex, prostitution, provocativeness (and anything else you're not supposed to talk about because you're getting off track) - probably would have to be divided into 2 post's and would more than likely get me into trouble.
14. Volleyball uniforms for women and men --- oh yes, gymnastics too. (probably fit with #1)
 15. Modesty what the heck is that for?  (probably goes with #1, #7, #12, #13?, #14).
16.  People who are smarter than me and why I love them.
17. Korea/China and my obsession with them.
18. My day, hour by hour......god no.
Writing about any one of these could probably wind up embarrassing the heck out of me. But on the other hand, I kind of really like being "wrong".  There is always so much opportunity for expanding your perceptions and growing in awareness, knowledge and humility.  Ohhh, that's a good one, humility. Consider that to be #19.

Which one?  Got any to add?
I am ready to rumble ramble.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Begin as you mean to go on

What a year that was.  It was full of things that I hope to never revisit. And several that made it worthwhile.
Hedy says it well, tough roses.

I lost a couple of friendships, but I reconnected with one of the best I've ever had.

An operation on my face, and it worked out great.

A crazy roommate, and a great new one - makes up for it all.

My daughter left home, in a not so good way. But she's settled and happy so the first part doesn't count anymore. 

1/2 dozen things went wrong with the car. But most of them weren't very expensive (meaning - there was one whopper) but that dear old girl keeps going along. Sadly she's beginning to look her age but so am I. As long as she hangs in there for me, I'll do the same for her.

The rent got raised stupid high. But by the grace of my mother, her passing gift will get me through.

I had a painter's block (well actually, for the last 8 years...). But it broke just in time. That might have been the best one of all.  

And fuck, of course, there was the whole nightmare of trump. But I have not succumbed to panic and deadly depression. 
I'm approaching this one like Maud (Maud Wagner, pioneering first female tattooist, 1911), fresh roses, head held high and I'm going to do even more to be the me that I really am - brave.

I'm going to sell some of my art. I'm going to get out of the house more. I think I will have to do the latter to accomplish the former.
I'm going to learn enough Korean to be able to be gracious to the couple that own the Korean restaurant. And I'm going to eat there. 
I'm going to resist even harder, against the maniac with the button.
I'm going to create even more than painting. I have more tricks in my bag.
I'm going to fucking change my name!!
I'm going to try to let go of more of the anger and rampaging resentment towards my family...don't expect miracles.
And I'm going to do a lot more things, but I can't remember what they are right now, and several that I haven't even thought of yet.

Let this new one be filled with opportunity and revelation, comfort and clarity, accomplishments, fun and victory for all of us.

And love, lots and lots of love.