Monday, January 23, 2017

I'm Not Finished Yet

Here is a picture of The Wall tonight.
I've been working on some watercolor studies and I'm clear on what I want to do next.
It isn't finished and neither am I.

Before the accident I was all
I can do that
I was fit and bright and hell on wheels when it came to computers
I loved working and raising my kids
I experienced my share of pain and heartache and challenges
And while life certainly was not what I thought it would be
And most of the suffering I went through
Was because of my own ignorance
Which made me a little bit crazy for while
Good reason
Still, I was okay

However, some times a whirlwind of shit happens and there is just no
Controlling it
And that I had no control over
At times I wasn’t sure my own mind and body was going to be able
To carry me through it either

I was an artist and suddenly couldn’t paint
My imagination was left
Out there somewhere on
Blue Star Highway
The experiences and observations
That used to inspire me were also

I was surviving in the Nothing
Well not exactly nothing
There was terrible unspeakable pain
That had become my constant companion
Every breath
Every movement
Through me
Everywhere pain lived

There was no reprieve.

I mean I was gone man
And nobody could reach me
And though my heart was filled with love and
Such a strong sense of spirituality
It was indescribable
I was left without reference
Without context

I was gone

Thoughts were fragmented
Appearing briefly out of the darkness
That revved on
With the a constant high pitched ringing that also
Never left
That one made me want to slam my head into the wall
Just so I could crack it open and make it quiet

Now add to that I was a writer and
A poet
I had been working for five years on a book
Filled with stories of people who survived the Holocaust.
Writing poetry and reading and thinking had been a part of who I was
From the time I was a very little child I was reciting poetry
My grandmother read to me

I couldn’t figure out how to use my computer
All of those stories were in there but
I could bring them to life anymore
Not on my computer
And not in my abilities to read or reason
That project was gone too

My head hurt so bad when I tried to read
That I couldn’t read
And even when I tried
The letters were swimming on the page
I couldn’t comprehend what I was reading
And couldn’t remember what I read
I would keep on reading the same paragraph because
When I looked up I had no idea where I was
Or what I had just read

I couldn’t tell how far down the ground was
Or where I was going
Or what I was supposed to do when I got there

When I tried to paint I got lost
From the time I looked at a canvas to the time
I tried to find a brush or a tube of paint
I was lost

I walked all wobbly and it was nearly impossible to do
Ordinary tasks.

But some how
This thread of hope that was intertwined with the love
From my family and friends
Got through
It was so powerful
I could feel it
Was all that kept me together

I worked very hard
It took years before the doctors and technology and discovery
Physical therapists had the tools they needed
To help me find new ways to interact with a new old world that
Had become
Faint and some how foreign

I became determined to find a way to live one more day
I put my energy into living purposefully
And Without
What ever faculties remained
I needed to set a good example for my children
I needed to not be a victim of life
But to figure out a way to turn around
And kick it’s ass
Despite the pain
With the confusion that overwhelmed me and
Some times
With wanting to give up

Those first few years the pain was so horrible
I don’t think there was any time greater than 15 minutes
When the I wondered
How much can this body take
When I thought
This could be the last day
This minute could be the last minute I look into my daughter or my son’s eyes

And then
Suddenly all I didn’t have
Didn’t matter
Because out of all the suffering and fear and confusion
I received a gift
It was wrapped in love
It was called hope
And my perspective on everything changed
I would think
I lived through that hour
Maybe I can live one more
Maybe I can see the kids after school
Even though every minute was
An excruciating struggle
I couldn’t wait for that moment when the side door opened
And I heard their footsteps and heard them call out
Hey Maaaaaa

There were times when
I cried out to a God I didn’t believe was there anymore
A God that I didn’t understand
A God that I wasn’t sure listened
And eventually I began to open my mind to other possibilities
Maybe what I thought had been God was a little askew

And this is what I came too
We are here once.
That we know
There are lots of theories and religions and traditions
That try to answer these simple questions
What happened to me
Why did it happen to me
What did I do wrong
How will I get through this
I know
It’s grueling
But out of all of that
Turns out
There was a

I had been longing to
Live in the present and appreciate life
And what’d’ya know
Be Here Now
Was my new and very real
Separate reality
Now was the only place I could be
Everything else was forgotten or would be forgotten soon enough

I stopped grieving over the memories of my children I couldn’t find.
I stopped grieving over the life I could have had
I stopped grieving over accomplishments I would never know
I stopped grieving over love lost
And I just started to live
And love
And give of myself
To the garden
To Nature
To the dingbat dogs and cats
My precious children and friends
There was always more love in these deep pockets
I reached into
There was joy in knowing I would see their loving eyes looking back into mine
Loving me
Hoping for one more day too

I will tell you true
There is no one answer
We are all imperfect
We all err in our ways from time to time
We are all learning
And hopefully along the way
We do learn a thing or two
But we will never know everything

I learned that life is precious
Every second of it
And while I was learning this
Through tears and despair
Roots of hope began to take hold

I learned that
Our bodies are terrible things
They can rage on
Without our consent
And cause us so much pain
That we just want to give up
And I learned
There is also more than pain
There is more than loss too because
There is love
There is hope
There is one more precious moment
Some times it’s a freakin nightmare
And some times it is so precious it
Fills our heart with an elation we can only know through
Experiencing it
Gratitude filled my heart and body and for a moment
I slipped away into something
Pain may have grasped my body and was holding on tight
But it couldn’t steal the next moment
My focus changed
Because I was filled with this grateful tranquility for every minute

From that time on
I did more than exist and trudge through the pain
I did more than survived
I began to thrive

You see the thing about love is
It’s endless
You can give it without speaking
You can send it without a stamp
You can love your family and friends
And dingbat animals
And you can love
Every one
Every where
All of the time
The birds
The beauty of trees and leaves blowing in the wind
Watching the sun flickering through them
And it is always a wonder
That I appreciate

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