“Even when we deal with major threats, we have the choice to remain receptive
to healing. No expectation. Just simply being a welcoming vessel in the
present state we inhabit. We are all connected, capable of enormous
compassion.”

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One step at a time, but I’ve already worked out how to approach and think about an extended in-patient rehabilitation for my spine.

Summer in Austin; research at UT PRC on Demographic Methods in Minority Demography. It was my first time traveling via airplane alone (relatively speaking–i was joined by the flight crew and other passengers, afterall), and deaf, then via first solo passenger cab ride. It was a leap of faith going to an unfamiliar universityfor the summer. I was housed in The Castillian. Under the impression that bedding and towels were included with boarding, I did not pack any. Upon entering my room, I was faced with two twin beds with bare mattresses, and a bathroom containing only a partial roll of toilet tissue. My roommate was not expected to arrive for another day. This was before I had any mobile device with internet access–or ubiquitous wi-fi for that matter, and I found myself using the phone book to locate a Wal-Mart or Target, and called a cab (my first ever alone at night–one previous cab ride was with Chicago friends leading on a New Year’s Eve) using TTY.

Yada, yada, rich textured story… (Gramsci has his prison notebooks. Przybysz has her Austin notebooks.)

Strategy for dealing with my beautiful neon spine (inspired by the most recent Anania Update and by history and Team Przybysz):
Go to best center with great people, immerse oneself in rounded, yet concentrated experience. Receptive orientation attending to personal and interpersonal growth.

This is an opportunity, an extension of my life’s work.

Continue fulfilling potential, creating, experimenting, improvising, exploring, discovering, flipping “interruptions” into opportunities, locating threads of continuity in discontinuity, applying the totality of cumulative experiences to the unknown and unpredictable.

* Isn’t that what tumors are, when we think about it? A force of life. Sometimes conducive environments are where we least expect. It wasn’t the story I was trying to write, but that’s what keeps me so interested and intrigued. Our university is everywhere, and not necessarily what we anticipatein form or content.

It just streamed out in this form, with these examples, when I composed an email reply. The basic premise and practices are more generally applicable. Chalk it up to the always present, but humble empathic reservoir comprising inner peace. Lest we forget how important it is to keep feeding virtuous cycles of socially shared thoughts and behavior.

“Well, I figure it doesn’t hurt to try to keep up on what we can with our senses. I’ve been dealing with eye and vision issues all my life, so it’s always been a priority. Nothing’s guaranteed or a given–just doing the best I can with what I have.

My balance is more dependent on vision than the other way around. But, I notice my balance in poor lighting and with my eyes closed DOES improve as I practice more–even if it is just the time I am leaning against the sink counter with my eyes closed. Or, the way I pay attention to what it feels like when I am getting dressed, leaning, or picking things up from the ground. Always a work in progress! I think having to retrain to walk so many times, while vision was poor or double after surgeries, helped me to tune into gravitational pulls, and orient to the surface and incline directly under me AND to the center of the earth. When we have slow recoveries, paying attention to the parts that feed into the whole, and not getting fixated on speed or appearance, probably open up how we perceive the potential of improving. I’ve always been receptive. Never perfect in execution, but it does pay to keep trying and NOT use labels or characterizations that are limiting and discouraging.
;-)

We do very well. We are fortunate because we always have much to lose and gain. We decide which angle to focus. I LOVE the feeling every time I sit or stand on my own. When I couldn’t, I didn’t get down because I couldn’t do those, because I was happy I was breathing and had some feeling, and so on.

I hope you don’t assume there’s only one way to go–decline and loss. It may take time and attention on aspects of daily living that used to be automatic, but every bit adds up.

Hugs, Jamie”

* I would edit “never perfect” in another context. We are often perfect in a moment, without awareness of that perfection. (Revert back to main point.) Every little step!