Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wayward Editor Note

Welcome, one and all, to another somewhat thrilling and informative episode of “Guest Articles by Cheyenne.” This is, as one would hope, Cheyenne, speaking on behalf of The Editor, who asks me to pass along a rather simple message today.

“This first week of school is kicking my butt.”

Show of hands – Who’s surprised at that? Yeah, me neither.

She plans to be back, once she’s gotten the hang of her days now, and I can’t blame her much – she’s up with the sun anymore to get to class, and home in the early afternoon. Unless it’s a PT day. On PT days she doesn’t get home until the evening. And the days will get a little longer for her, too, once she starts tutoring people in English three days a week.

It might be a few days for her to get the hang of things again. But she will be back.

Until she does get back, she thought some of you might enjoy some musing of my own -specifically, this piece on heroes and heroics. It’s not overly long, the way some of my thoughts can get (don’t ask me my opinions on the current state of comic books – that could take days), but it was a fun thought nonetheless.

Today is the last day of class this week, so depending on how things went, The Editor may have a post sometime this weekend. It will probably be a little while longer before she’s settled into any sort of schedule, but she will be back soon.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Exhaustion, and no time to rest...yet.

Today was one of those days when I realized beyond a shadow of a doubt I have truly over-extended myself in the past couple of days. The body aches. I feel tired down to my very core. I am just a little grumpy. I didn't want to begin the week feeling this way, but I did make it to Church with Hubby after all today, which was a great accomplishment in and of itself.

Right after Church today I received a special blessing from Father for strength, physical strength, and, although I am not sure of this, but possibly courage. I was trying hard not to burst into tears while Father was giving me the blessing. Why tears? Because my heart was over-full with happiness, nervousness, and something new I can't yet name.

There was also a little sadness because my Aunt Mary had fallen asleep in the Lord yesterday morning a little after nine. Although I am sad she is no longer with us, I am genuinely glad she is no longer suffering. May God grant her peace.

Well, the backpack is packed with very heavy books, my purse has been arranged and then rearranged, and I am off to bed excessively early so I can actually get up in the morning and take a shower before heading out.

What stories will I be able to tell this week and from here on out?!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

No Longer a Life of Quiet Desperation

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. --Henry David Thoreau

When I read this quotation from Walden in high school and later in college I was confident I understood its deepest meaning because I, of course, had all of the answers to life's most puzzling questions and conundrums. Then, of course, I grew older and life happened and I myself understood how it felt to live a life "of quiet desperation."

I have indeed felt that frightening blackness of desperation so intense you dare not speak of it, because if you did there was a certainty it would grow and swell until its blackness would overtake your very world worse than it already had. I felt as if I was always needing something, wanting something that was unknown and just a little out of focus as well as just barely beyond my grasp. I knew, deep down, if I could ever reach that unknown something my life, this life I am currently living would be better, happier. It would finally be My Life.

I was desperate for this unknown thing, and always positive I would never really attain it, although I didn't know why.

I was desperate for something, and this something I was lacking was vital to my very Soul and Ultimate Happiness: Today I realized I had actually attained at least part of . . . It, that previously unknown thing.

Believe me, I was shocked to the very core of my being when I realized a puzzle piece (another puzzle piece) had fallen, or was falling, into place.

I was sitting at the table in Fava's restaurant in Georgetown after tai chi class. Most of the class was there and Just Bill was sitting at one end of a collection of tables while I was sitting at the other. FutureNurse , my best girlfriend, was on my left and my wonderful Hubby was on my right. Without ordering I received a sweet tea and as I sipped the cool sweetness of it, everything slowed for a moment. I saw smiles in the process of blossoming and heard laughter recently formed rising and falling in pitch and timber. Suddenly I felt full. No, not quite full: I felt less empty.

I could feel it, this missing piece, resting there in its slot and section as if it had always been there. I knew it hadn't been, but now I couldn't prove it because it was just THERE -- right where it was supposed to be.

As time returned to its properness and just as the emptiness was less...empty, I also was quite aware there were other empty places that needed filling. The surprising thing about this was it was all right. They didn't have to be filled in now; it was all right if they waited to come (for a little while). I knew, and accepted, I would get to this place where the pieces would come, and I would grow and the necessary pieces would arrive.

What was this missing something I had lived so long searching for and whose absence made me feel so lost and desperate? I didn't know myself until Just Bill explained about the unity of body, mind, and spirit. As he spoke I realized what had been missing in my life --it was a unity of all of these forces and the piece that was suddenly there, suddenly present was a connecting piece helping my head unite with my body and my body with my spirit freeing me to have the intent I need to live my life, to join completely and happily with my husband; to accept and recognize sincerely my need for God. In tai chi terms it was a "transition" piece. It led me from one movement, or phase of my life, into another one. A step needed at the right place in preparation for the next movement.

It only took instants in two separate moments for me to see these things, but it had taken me all of my life to finally reach them, grasp them.

Does this mean I am not going to be an ass any more and no longer say or do things that will cause pain or make me ashamed for having said them? No, not in the least! However, it is my hope the asinine moments will grow less and less frequent which will allow the peaceful moments to remain longer, and even grow!

My life is no longer filled with quiet desperation. I have been watching it change and deepen like a symphony beginning to build upon its notes into something grand. Hopefully I have a different sort of strength forming so that the pains and wars I will go through from here on will be unable to drown this music, this growth and change that has already occurred.

Perhaps this is the music of a life finally being lived.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wandering Through the Land of Imagination

Books are a very important part of my life, which is something you all know. Getting lost into a good book and writing something in which you can get lost in are such wonderful experiences. There simply aren't any boundaries in many ways where the imagination is concerned. However, when you are writing, you have to make what is happening fair and realistic to a degree (i.e. the world you are working on at the time) because the readers need fairness. They are reading your work because they want an escape from their own lives and they will read and let go of reality until some serious break happens to discourage the illusion. I am that way when I read, and now I am becoming the same with my writing: I don't want to discourage the reader's fantasy and imagination, but I need to be fair to the readers, all of them.

Why am I saying all of this now? Because the end of the tunnel is close enough for the drag queen that I can see glimpses of what is outside the end of said tunnel. And, in seeing it, I can also see a fair way of ending this thing, and an unfair way of ending it. The fair way would require just a little longer writing time, but it would be more right than the wrong way, which would leave a ton of loose ends and unsettled conclusions. Some conclusions I am pretty sure everyone is going to figure out on their own, but some aren't so easy and if I leave them alone....

So, the end is near. I am both elated and sad. I'll let you know when it all happens. Tomorrow will bring this novel-in-progress closer to an end as well as the next novel closer to picking up and rattling forward.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Meeting of ... Minds?

"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success." – Henry David Thoreau

There are moments that happen when you can see the action taking place just as it is happening. It happens sometimes in accidents where you see everything that is happening and it is happening in slow motion. It isn't just bad things that you can see happening, but good things as well. I had one of those moments this past Saturday.

Saturdays are fast becoming my favorite day of the week (other than Sunday, of course) because of tai chi and then roaming Downtown Georgetown and ending up going to A Stone's Throw for my weekly fix of yarn and yarn related goods.

This past Saturday was very unique because the events slowed, and people slowed, and life moved at its normal pace, but I could see a difference. Just Bill was there for tai chi and, as always, it was enlightening and the faces of the class members were familiar and friendly. The summer heat beat down on us as we went through our movements and were corrected and I felt so very much a part of everything.

I don't just mean class this time. Instead, I felt a part of everything, of life itself. It rolled over me, through me, and I was quite aware of how much I have changed in the span of the past few weeks. I have changed inside, and it is beginning to show outside.

Isn't it disturbing sometimes how the internal changes are always difficult to explain? Teenagers can't explain it, so they rely on music; adults can't explain adulthood, so they explain it in many confusing ways; and the older ones, grandfathers, grandmothers, great-greats we may be fortunate in our lives to still have close to us -- they explain things simply. However, I am not "old" so I don't comprehend completely the simplicity of everything, nor am I so far beyond being a grown woman I can escape the complicated explanations, or so it feels. Then again, I am also not so "adult" I still don't try to reach for music to explain what is going on in my head and heart, inside myself.

This Saturday I felt it all. The heat, the movements, the people around me, the peace inside me, as well as the subtle changes that have occurred. It was all separate -- each event separate -- and connected, because it was all connected to me, in me. I felt how my horizons were suddenly expanded and realized just how much I had closed off from everything. Pain can do that to you, make you close and curl up inside yourself to heal, and the emotional pain of loss can especially do that to you.

I haven't unfurled and uncurled yet completely either. I was exceptionally aware of that as well. This is going to have to happen slowly. The more I feel safe and secure and loved, the more I am going to open. Hubby is doing his part. So are my darling sisters, and my friends absolutely just can't be beat! And they aren't pushing either, they are there to care for this blossoming, blooming person I realize I am becoming. Confidence is taking root and tearing out arrogance; and ideas, like leaping branches are slowly beginning to reach for the sky.

It is going to be interesting to see how that other person who was me finally ends up. I am still somewhat frightened and uncertain of the future, but not to the point now where I can't reach out and feel life again. Mostly I believe it is nervousness. "Prom excitement" is how my friend Future-Nurse describes it. It is quite accurate, at least as far as the feelings are concerned.

For myself it feels as if I am slowly breaking out of a husk, like a seed beginning to finally sprout and live again after being dormant for so very long, healing and regaining the strength I needed in order to live again. Does a seedling feel the beat of the earth as well as its own heart? Does a butterfly? Is this how a caterpillar feels once it finally begins breaking free of its chrysalis? Is this why a butterfly sits outside of its cocoon for a little while experimenting with its wings and its antennae and tongue? Is this how a caterpillar could possibly feel realizing, perhaps oh so very slowly, it is no longer a caterpillar but a beautiful, wind-soaring butterfly?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Yesterday was the day I went to Cardinal Hill to receive my diet. The "excitement" I had been feeling for most of the week regarding said diet slowly deteriorated into a little un-excited as I saw Nutritionist walking toward me with her happy smile.

Despite what she does, Nutritionist is one of those people that has an infectious smile to go along with her lean body. She works at keeping her body, you can tell, but she has no qualms where "over weight" people are concerned. To her, I believe, their bodies just haven't been fed properly or they haven't had the ability to move and keep moving. Everyone must eat, and the food must be really good to eat, which she also addresses with that happy, ready smile. We went into a small conference room and I received my pyramid -- the food pyramid changed, which really surprised me -- and we went over a few recipes. Surprisingly, she didn't ask me to "give up" anything such as coffee and chocolate. Sadly, if she had requested those two things from me I doubt I would be counting the calories I am at the moment.

Today is Day 1 on the diet. I have had 590 calories, which leaves me with 1010 calories left for the day. Isn't it amazing I have so many left for the day? Making myself eat is going to be the super important thing here. I am not supposed to go more than three hours without eating. Why? In order to keep my metabolism going you have to feed it. It needs energy in order to work properly. Sadly, I have not been eating right. Actually, there have been days when I haven't eaten at all and this does nothing to help you lose weight, only keep it, and add more on to you. I have known this for quite a while, but there is this block in my head at times (yes, I am a blockhead) that doesn't listen to the good things. Everyone does it I've noticed, just on different topics, my topic is food and eating.

Since going to Cardinal Hill and going to tai chi I have discovered, or re-discovered a new love for myself, as well as a new respect. It feels good. It feels...different. The respect I have for myself is far different from when I was younger -- this respect comes from having done far too much and hurt myself in the process, as well as not having done enough and hurt myself in the process. One was because I looked upon myself as super-important; the others was because I didn't believe myself important enough. Now I have a moderate amount of respect, I think. I can't do everything I want to do, no one can, but I can do a good amount of it. And on those days when things aren't so wonderful, or right, or good, well, those are just days when I can look at myself now and smile, because it is simply a "bad day" and not a "bad me." It has taken me years to figure this one out. On some things I am a slow learner.

And I can have popcorn on my diet!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

No, Not Forgotten

No, Dear Readers, I have not forgotten you or my darling blog. It is just that recently there has been much running around in preparation rather than in "doing" something normal. I am sure things are going to calm down as things take on their own sort of normalcy in all of the newness. Right now nothing is normal and the preparations are still underway for going to class and getting much work and much life under semi-control. So is progressing.

Night all. More soon. Promise.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

What happened to TV Guide?

Today, on a lark, I asked my Hubby to pick up a TV Guide. You know those small magazines that list what is on TV each week and have wonderful crossword puzzles in the back? They aren't small any more. When did that happen? Yes, it has been quite a few...years... since I felt the need to purchase a TV Guide, but did they have to change so much?

Where is the information about the shows? Remember there used to be little blurbs to tell you a little about the show or movie so you could decide if you wanted to watch it or not? They aren't there any more either. Instead of blurbs there is just a list of the show, a time and that's it. I feel...taken. And not in a good way. In that, "You mean I had my Hubby pay our money for this?" way.

And it's big. Filled with articles. Like a magazine. I don't expect I'll purchase any more TV Guides. If I want to look up what is playing on TV I'll just keep doing like I am now by scanning the actual listings of the shows. At least they give you blurbs there.

The crossword section is still nice, though, but not worth $2.49 plus tax.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Young Man's Power Wheelchair Gets Caught on the Grill of a Semi!

I had to re-read this story several times before I could actually believe it. What I simply am confused about is how the young man's wheelchair got entangled in the semi's grill? Did he turn too closely to the truck? Did he miscalculate and back up too far? I am just uncertain how something like this could happen. What is truly miraculous is that the fellow survived! These wheelchairs, these contraptions that give mobility challenged individuals like myself their freedom, are strong in some ways, but over-all they are fragile and delicate. To have an electric wheelchair stand up to this sort of treatment, especially 50 mph!, is simply a miracle.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Yep, Monday....

Last week was a semi-busy week. This week is a semi-lax week in some regards. At the same time, however, it is filled to the brim with things to do. Luckily, this time it is mostly projects I want to do, so, therefore I am looking forward to them. Except for today. Today was yucky.

Yesterday Hubby, KP and I ate at Chili's here in Lexington. I had an Old Timer, which was lauded as a tasty old fashioned burger with pickles, onion, tomato, lettuce and mustard. It came with fries. It sounded good. So, listening to my gall bladder because I want no more gall bladder attacks, I asked for mashed potatoes instead and the lettuce to be removed from said burger. Sounds like a simple request doesn't it. Nope. Not according to the kitchen, bless their little hearts. Instead of plain mashed spuds with a sprinkle of cheese I got something that looked inedible with tons of paprika smothered over it, and a very plain, dry burger. Even though I didn't send back the burger along with the mashed potatoes, somewhere in the back of my brain I knew I should have.

Needless to say the OT appointment was cancelled for today because I had a horrible headache last night and my stomach made certain to let me know food was not going to stay put. Plus, I ran a low grade fever for all of last night according to my watchful husband while I slept. For most of today I have had a low grade fever, nasty stomach, and just plain and simple yuck feelings. Thank God I am finally feeling better. My fever broke about four o'clock this afternoon. Since then I have only drank some water and some coffee.

Despite the yuck-o feelings I made sure to call in to Wheels so I could head out to the movies for a short time tomorrow. I have really been wanting to see Reign Over Me and saw it was playing at the $1 theater here in Lexington. A really fantastic thing about this cinema is that people in wheelchairs like myself get in for free, so instead of paying for admission I can get myself some popcorn and a drink. Since my stomach doesn't feel that great at the moment, popcorn sounds absolutely wonderful.

I'll let you know how the movie was by Wednesday if at all possible.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tai Chi and Wedding Traditions, Somehow They Go Hand in Hand

Despite this being Saturday and my normal day for sleeping late, I was up early with KP and Hubby and heading to Georgetown for tai chi class. JustBill was not there, but class proceeded and more movements were added to the every growing repertoire for me.

Doing tai chi outside under a clear sky with the sun baking your body (I was very glad for the sunscreen KP had brought and the hat I had left in the van) helped to make me feel even better.

KP and I practiced more of 16 form, commonly referred to as "the short form" while the others practiced 103 form, or "long form." Although I am moving my upper body for the majority of it all I can tell a difference in the loosening of tight muscles in my back and great stretches for my arms and shoulders and even chest.

Suddenly, while doing the movements a wonderful peace settled over me. KP and Jaybird were there, two wonderful friends, and Hubby. My Hubby. My partner. We were finally doing something together we both could enjoy, and actually did enjoy. Once home we even talked about different moves and the new friends we were making in the tai chi class. JustBill had said last week that tai chi "was a way of life" and that "it should be used in every day living" but that really didn't make sense to me truly until this week when I was getting frustrated in writing and remembered yet another thing we had been told in class: So I distanced myself from the computer a couple of feet, sat in proper posture and breathed.

That's it. Just breathed. Slowly the frustration and annoyance I was feeling slipped away with each exhale and when I opened my eyes -- I had been unaware I had actually closed them -- the computer screen wasn't my enemy and the story wasn't a disaster in my head.

Another thing I did yesterday after just my first lesson in 16 form: I stretched my arms and shoulders slowly and carefully in "wave hand like clouds" move and felt the built up tension of pain leave a little at a time. The pain medicine is still needed, but the extra pain of tension may be something I can actually do without and keep from collecting. Will I ever be free of pain medication? I don't know, but I am unafraid to

LadyD (finally have a nickname!) said she had discovered little things through her study of tai chi for herself. At the first class on Thursday I was expecting to learn little things about myself, but not quite so soon. I was definitely not prepared to "hope" in anything except for maybe trying to remember the movements. How much things are changing in this slowed down leaps-and-bounds of tai chi! She was there today, LadyD, and without fear or even warning I asked a question about a movement. Being comfortable with new people has always been hard for me, however, being comfortable with the tai chi group was almost a given from moment one!

Shocked? Amazed? Surprised? Oh yes! All of them and more!

I am hooked.

Although I wasn't planning on writing about tai chi today, I am quite glad I have because I love sharing the wonderful things I've found and discovered in this new life that is happening.

What was I going to write about? Wedding traditions. You can check them out here. I will also list a few of them throughout the upcoming weeks because some of them surprised me with their simplicity or where they came from, and, as always, made me think of something similarly related.

No post will be made tomorrow, probably, because it is Sunday. So, enjoy the weekend everyone. See you on Monday!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Perfume, by Patrick Suskind

I finished reading Perfume today by Peter Suskind.

This thing was creepy and downright surreal at the end.

At the end of the book the guy commits suicide by getting people to eat him alive.

Yeah, maybe I won't recommend this one so much.