August 2011

Theories are on my mind.

Along with images of a roomful of twittering twitterers at a future job talk, prompted by robot bingo wars. Perhaps they will dance, also.

Glad to have been schooled by classy neurosurgeons and sociologists.

Isn’t that neat, though, how threads are so similar, themes overlapping?

At some point, the shift in perspective turns chronic illness into a focus on _chronic healing_. This is to be welcomed. With the choice, why would we not choose to view and fuel how we think and talk about living: in a way that orients us to receive and accept healing? (Make no mistake about it, what we accept, we also share in return.)

It no longer matters how rapidly we regain functions. We must devote our energies to the tasks at hand–not to just conventionally attending to presentation of self. (Many times, we are discovering and refashioning self, forging new paths.) This area of freedom from rigid expectations, no doubt, propels toddlers through their development. Exploration, familiarization with body and mind, and social influences are all essential.

It pains me to witness from afar, but I respect the interpersonal processes in motion. I am still learning how to alleviate a shared suffering that is particularly born where patience must learn to dwell. Respect and boundaries are important. I have erred on the side of advocating for my brothers and sisters, yet always with a profound sense of empathy for caregivers.

Truth of experiences

There’s so much more going on than can be observed or measured. How can “attitude” be assessed from point-of-view of individuals not dealing with the series of moments and circumstances, let alone the physiological underpinnings? Anyone thrown in to a pit, and constantly tested and assessed, without a release from scrutiny, needs moments when their loved ones are there, and elated, for existence. Our facial expressions and movements — many not even under our control, most others much more muted, possibly conserving energy for work sessions — are not the dependable, taken for granted mood indicators they used to be. Yes, it is out of love, concern, hope. We can acknowledge that, affirm those qualities, while channeling them in ways to empower all involved.

It is about to rain here, which is perhaps contributing to this palpable feeling I have that a friend of mine is on the cusp of a major upswing in condition.We may conceptualize the term friend at individual and collective–wide-ranging social–levels.

This is always a process. I’ve been the one in the facility, in what’s essentially an alternate reality or parallel universe. It is just moment-to-moment, not understanding quite a bit that’s unfolding, but holding one’s best. Then, out of nowhere, it seems, the imperceptible becomes apparent. I think it is aided by the many folks who keep us in their thoughts, and feed into the positive energy of life. Nothing can be forced. Amazing experiences happen when we are receptive to healing and creating possibilities out of what might appear to be nothing.

Time does nothing by itself, but practice requires time.

When VP doesn’t stand for vice president.

What a privilege to get in this terrain, first of all.

Initial zoom:
Harry Potter with the dialogue is much appreciated! Thank you, Movies 14. This is my part in publicizing the captions–now increase equality of accessibility (movies ans showtimes). If all of HP was in Parseltongue, without subtitles, then people would have had a fit, and not enjoyed it nearly as much. Great quotes in the movie itself. Open captions are the best (most sociologically sound and economical from production to distribution), but I’m happy to have this addition to the repertoire if it means more access for more people. Something is still fishy with how Movies 14 went from all movies and showtimes having “CC,” to just a very limited few. Baby steps.


Thank you to Travis, Shane, and everyone in between!

You influence more people than you realize. Do you notice how impressionable upon you some, even momentary, interactions are with certain people in your life? The same goes for what you put out into the world. I have been thinking about how I always had a tendency to think in terms of, “why not me?” when it came to the stuff that’s happened to me that many would consider undesirable, and “why me?” when viewing the parts that are more conventionally seen as positive. (This is a recurring theme, as I’ve written of it in the past.) Have you honored, through your deeds, the legacy of friends and family members who have passed? I find some solace in how I am mindful of those who came before me, and that I continue to do the best I can with what I have at any particular moment. Perhaps that sort of approach could help comfort and assure you?

This path meanders a lot. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I realized what an asset my mind was in dealing with physical insults. I often expressed how thankful I was to have my mind–as quirky and weird as I always was and reveled in being. Little did I know that I would acquire substantial cognitive challenges in my late twenties and early thirties–thanks to a perfect storm of sorts–and somehow lose, regain, lose, and keep on building somehow even in the midst of losses. We are not forced to, but sometimes we choose to look at this gig or any state-of-being as definite, permanent, and static, when what we actually grapple with are the transitions and changes. In a single moment, we may feel completely displaced and out of sync, but that does not preclude identifying purpose and meaning, under any circumstance, at some time, and having a profound affect from there. Mattie Stepanek comes to my mind here, among others. You are such an empathic being.

I don’t know if it’s because that veil of “what disability and ‘dependency’ mean” was lifted at such a pivotal and regenerative time for me (late 1990s), or my repeated experiences of grace in being broken down to total dependency (and having to work collectively with all that that entails, but I’m just not buying into the hype that we, as a human race, can actualize communitarian interdependence if we limit ourselves by writing off “those who cannot take care of themselves.” That describes every infant out there, yet we find tons of meaning and inspiration in the percieved and actualized potential of those beings.

You guys can relate to this, I know you can: it is so much different to experience something than to observe it, imagine it, and judge “what it must be like.”

A lot of anxiety in this world is born out of a comparative/competically ego-centric/twisted perspective, and making assumptions about others, without the reference of their fuller experiential context. (Or worse yet, the fatalistic assumption that we may only lose, lose, lose, rather than ever gain.) When we free ourselves of some unrealistic notion of existence, possibilities for being unfold, independent of tumors and how they manifest. I completely validate any individual’s personal lived experience, at the same time that I find it constructive to share empowering alternative interpretations. We have all faced many instances of being told what we cannot do, what limitations exist. Yet, the boundaries are in flux. Keep experimenting! What works one moment may not work the next, or it may be a foundation and springboard to novel terrain. We keep reinventing ourselves, adapting, and figuring out more possibilities together. Caring, sharing, friendship–that’s where I’ll invest my chips of certainty in this uncertain journey.

Hope lies not in a particular outcome we deem as most desirable, but in the strength to weather and grow along the journey, to act as a vehicle of compassion.