Monday, June 15, 2009

On a much lighter note!

This email says it all. When dealing with hardship, one can always find the lighter side. It may take some effort, but it is always there.

Subject: On a much lighter note
Date: February 21, 2008

It is a brilliant Thursday (February 21, 2008) afternoon in eastern Washington, with the temperature hovering around 40 degrees. The snow is sparkling, the air is crisp and the sun is warm. I can smell Spring and my daffodils have sprouted scouting the friendliness of the weather. My spirits are lighter than they have been for quite some time and as important as it is to share with you the intensity of this process and its seriousness, it is equally as important to share with you the joy, the happiness and the light.

Aria has been having a GREAT two days. Yesterday was her best day by far. She was cheerful, and playful. She had enough energy to walk up 2 flights of stairs and play with Reo in our playroom. She hasn’t done this in a month and I was euphoric! Her appetite remains hearty and her cravings are tapering off and changing slightly. She’s off the noodles, bread and butter and onto hotdogs! All I have to say to that is, “ugh!!” There it is. Today, she is having another super day. She is feeling well with no complaints of her tummy, no fatigue, no malaise and just a general contentedness that I haven’t seen in some time. It is so reassuring. I am thoroughly enjoying it because I know that tomorrow everything will change again. We face the beginning of Consolidation and all that that brings. It is in plain view and difficult to ignore but it helps to see it as a bridge that I am slowly spending the day walking toward. There is no hurry to reach this bridge, nor am I in any hurry to cross it. It is simply there, solid, well worn and waiting for us. I know that tomorrow we will be upon its threshold and we will take our first steps. However, that is tomorrow, so for now I am going to savor the sweetness of today.

To change the subject almost entirely, a few weeks ago it struck me that the music I have chosen to play over and over and over again in my car is somewhat unlike me. I rarely play music in the house, preferring to listen to my own voice babbling in my head! Seriously, silence is something I enjoy a great deal and with 3 children it is a precious commodity. However, I do enjoy music in the car. I find instrumental music very soothing and calming and it is what I play most of the time when I am creatively inclined. Given our current circumstance it would seem very fitting to pull out this kind of music now but I can’t seem to stomach it. It is so odd. What I’ve been playing repeatedly for weeks isn’t heavenly harp music or dulcimers or flutes, but the raw gritty music of The Black Crowes and their “Shake your Money Maker” album; specifically the song “Hard to Handle”. I’ve been thinking of the obvious question, “why this song?” and the answer that comes to me makes me laugh. The song is, as I said, gritty and it is sexual and a little naughty. That’s the key word here. Naughty. I’ve come to realize that this song appeals to my naughty side, which has to be exercised once in awhile to balance out my nice side! Aria’s cancer has thrown me around, knocked me out and shaken me batty! I have sensed myself as a pressure cooker at times and this song for whatever reason releases some of that pressure so much so that I almost hiss. The beat of the song makes me want to run and the only reason that I can ever imagine myself running is if someone is chasing me. But this song adds some fire and spice to my wilted spirit. It ‘revs’ me up and reminds me that I am alive.

Being naughty does the very same thing and I think it is an important quality to explore. It is a full spectrum quality and individually defined to be sure. For me, being naughty is perfectly characterized in the beautiful porter (beer) I drank with my lunch this afternoon. It was a completely decadent thing to do and I loved every single drop. I understand that one beer doesn’t allow me to swim with the big fish and their martini lunches and I recognize that by their standards I’m but a guppy stuck in a bucket. However, to my standards of nice and naughty, it was a nice-naughty thing to do! To further the trend, I regularly indulge my naughty side by eating sweets! Oh, heaven, I could eat sweets breakfast, lunch and dinner and sometimes I do. Naughty me! I’m not talking about faux sweets either. I’m talking about the really good naughty stuff. The kind of chocolate or ice cream that after you’ve eaten it, you need to drink a great big glass of water. Yessirree, indulgence galore!

I know this sounds ridiculous to describe but I believe it is such an important piece to understanding how I cope the way I do, how I process as I do, how I adapt, and how I attempt to be flexible. I have to remind myself that just a little more than a month ago, I had so little pleasure in life because of what was happening to Aria. It took monumental strength just to smile let alone find the sincerity to do so. It has taken every single moment of this past month to get to this lighter place where I’m indulging my other senses while putting sadness and worry slightly aside. They are still there and I’m learning to befriend them but I’m now allowing a few harmless quirky desires to caress my spirit too. I believe it will help me feel balanced when so much of what is happening is so grossly off- scale. The need for balance is so obvious sometimes and I wonder as an adult how it has become such a struggle to maintain. I see it all around me; light and dark, day and night, rain and sun, heaven and hell, life and death, white and black and so forth. I am a creature that survives not at either extreme but somewhere in the murky middle. It is balance in virtually everything that I seek and this includes that side of me that follows the rules and plays nice-nice and that side of me that enjoys the thrill of naughtiness.

Last night, I saw the most incredible lunar eclipse. It was so beautiful and we were all watching it very closely. As the earth’s shadow covered the entire moon, Doc encouraged me to head outside and see it through his binoculars. I am so glad I took him up on it because the color of the moon was so unusual and not something I could fully appreciate looking through the living room window. The moon had a foggy orange-red tint that was dull, which was surprising in some ways. The starry display was equally breathtaking and I found myself staring upward as I have not done in a long, long time. I was standing at the end of our driveway just slightly in the road when I noticed that the fog was beginning to settle. It was a low-lying vapor like an apron to all the pine trees in the surrounding pasture. It was still and quiet. I took a deep breath and the air was chilly but fresh. Suddenly, I was completely overwhelmed by a crazy naughty urge. Right then and there guessed it.....I mooned the moon!

Here’s celebrating the goodness of what’s nice and of what’s naughty!


  1. Although the main staple in my music-listening diet is coffeehouse-acoustic style, I have been getting into bluegrass for the past few weeks, reconnecting with my own inner farmgirl. Loving Alison Krauss and Union Station and Alecia Nugent's "Hillbilly Goddess." Totally getting into the banjo, fiddle, and dobra.

    Of course, this means my boys are listening to it in my purple-mobile, too. Yesterday, after listening to a dobra solo, Zachary said, "I just don't get that instrument."

    "It makes me smile," I told him. "One can't not smile when listening to it and ESPECIALLY the banjo."

    "Do we have to listen to the Corn-hoeing song again?" he asked,referring to "The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn."

    "Yes! Great idea!" I happily responded.

    {Sigh} "He should've just done his chores and then I wouldn't have to listen to it," he muttered.

    Yep, it is still in the cd player in my car. And I am still smiling.

    Prevail~Tattoo Girl

  2. Also, this weekend, I shall be stopping by the Chocolate Apothecary where they have offerings of decadent chocolate mixed with lovely lavender and elegant orange as well as chocolate combined with curry, chili, and bacon.

    I shall bring some over where we can indulge, perhaps the bacon chocolate for breakfast, along with a bouquet of red wine?

    Prevail~Tattoo Girl