Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Through Pilgrim eyes

I think I’ve turned a corner…
maybe not physically 
but certainly in my understanding 
of what’s going on 
with my leg and my hip.

I came across a Nigerian saying the other day – 
The day on which one starts out 
is not the time to start ones preparations.

I’m embarking on changes for the rest of my life – 
career changes, to be sure  - 
but also changes in the way I care for 
and relate to my body 
and what it’s capable of.

I think my recent injury, 
struggle and pain 
are all part and parcel of lessons I need to learn - 
that the changes won’t be easy; 
nor will they be fast;

nor will they necessarily fit my idea 
of the rate of speed 
at which they should occur.

while I can seek help from others 
who are there to guide me, 
I’m, ultimately, the one who will 
have to learn to listen to my body 
and do what needs to be done
to move forward.

On some days, 
that might be pushing myself in physical therapy 
and on other days, 
that might be letting myself read on the couch, 

I'm also fairly sure there's a reminder in there 
(which I intend to heed) 
about how fragile these bodies of ours are 
and how much I've taken mine for granted!

I’m not retiring and leaving for the Camino tomorrow 
or next week 
or next month.

I've started the preparations.
I’ve put things in place 
and continue to head in the direction 
I intuitively know is right for me –
past the fear, 
past the security of only doing what I’ve done for so long.

Comfort zone??
I’m WAAYY past that now!

I’ve got to start NOW to have pilgrim eyes –

eyes that can see the long path 
and keep moving forward 
yet paradoxically
being content to take it as it comes.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Is it Monday already?

The weekend didn't exactly work out the way I planned - 
rain prevented my playing too long in the garden 
and pain was more of a factor than I'd hoped.

But I read,
 played inside,

and got a lovely surprise - 
apparently single women all over the area 
are planning their moves - 

there will be a bouquet toss
in the fall 
in our family!

Friday, June 21, 2013

My kind of people -

I'm determined to have some fun this weekend...

gimpy leg or not...
and, having been inspired by these Little People, 

you can be sure it will include my camera
and my garden! 

I don't care WHAT combination of meds it takes to get there!

You'll see!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Physical therapy update

Tendonitis - 
"needs to run its course";
in the meantime,
and gentle stretches...
knew I shouldn't have tried to get healthy!

Have NO idea how folks 
get hooked on prescription pain pills -
as far as I can tell,
they don't do a damn thing;
might as well stick with OTC!

Feeling discouraged -
and a million miles away from 
where I want to be.

And, no; I don't have any cheese
with that w(h)ine!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

For all of you who think there are no guarantees in life -

I want you to know that I am the exception…

because I can ABSOLUTELY guarantee 
that when I retire 
I will not miss working with folks like these 
ever again! 

A mom who knows her boyfriend is a sexual predator 
(registered as a sex offender of minors in Idaho), 
knows he intends to sexually abuse her 4 month old child 
is present the whole time 
sodomy is being committed!! 

A mom who not only offered up
her infant child to a pervert – 
but sat by 
and let it happen. 

One can only hope the baby died 
of suffocation 
without experiencing the terrible pain 
of it all 
for more than a few seconds. 

I’m not vindictive by nature. 
I don’t need the death penalty for these two - - 
but, for the love of God, 
will someone PLEASE put sterilization 
into the mix for the penalty phase 
or make sure 
there’s NO possibility of either of them 
getting out of jail 
until their private parts wither, 
decay and rot off/fall out. 

NO amount of rehabilitation or therapy cures pathology this deep. 

There are times I second guess my decision to retire 
and think I should/could stay on for a few more years…

 then I get reality checks like this 
and know, all too well, 
why my soul
feels like it’s dying. 

Yup, staying at home being blissfully unaware 
that cretins like this exist,
 hearing about it on the news
months later 
and being appalled 
for 30 seconds 
before I block it out of my reality
 will definitely be better 
than knowing all the gory details 
and having breathed the same air 
in a room with them – 

I guarantee it!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


We haven't had one of them for awhile!
I admit it –
I was going to stay out of this one – but the hypocrisy of it finally got my goat.

Edward Snowden, the contracted computer geek who ‘blew the whistle’ on the governments secret surveillance program is now apparently safely camped out in China – well, Hong Kong, – a subsidiary of China.
My initial response to all the hoo-rah about his revelation was - WHAT secret surveillance program?

You mean the one authorized years ago by the Patriot Act – the act that millions of us liberals progressives screamed and yelled about when King George and Darth Vader were running the show?

 The act that authorized warrant-less wiretaps on any citizen as long as there was a way to wrap it up in a flag and say it was to protect the Motherland?
The act that condoned ANY behavior by the NSA as supplement to the lies they served as precursor to a rigged and trumped up war?
THAT surveillance program?

Where the hell were all those people then who are bitching now?
This isn’t news… its ancient history.

And, as much as I was against it then, now, frankly, I don’t give a rip.

I’m not planning anything illegal.
Listening in on my conversations or reading my emails will kill folks from boredom not from any terrorist plot.

Frankly, I think the best thing we could do for us – if not Snowden - is to leave him right there in Hong Kong – and cut off all communication from, with or about him – and refuse him re-entry to this country under any circumstance, during any decade.

If the boy wants to live in a limited democracy and he's deluded enough to think theirs is less limited than ours – then he should have at it.

Experience can be a real bitch– I give him less than 5 years before he's begging to come back!

Did I ever tell you that while I was on Iona, I had a delicious, detailed sex dream about Jonny Lee Miller - the kind that make your eyelids sweat and helps you remember that while you might be old, you're still alive?

What do you mean "who's Jonny Lee Miller"?
Sherlock Holmes in Elementary? - characters in BBC versions of Austens Mansfield Park and Emma??

Friends and I had a great laugh the next morning as I was recounting the dream - and, despite their reality checks about him having been married to Angelina Jolie 'back in the day', he COULD be enticed to move on to me... hey, stop that snickering...it could happen!

In fact, thanks to
it's already has!

First, I made me... (sounds very God like, doesn't it?)
then him...

Aren't we a cute couple? 
I can see us living somewhere in Scotland; 
why, I'd even settle for Wales or England!
Anybody else think the reason they're digging for Jimmy Hoffa - 
is because of a tip from Whitey Bulger?

Ok, whadda think - 
is the NSA agent asleep by now??

Monday, June 17, 2013

still processing much of what transpired on the reservation...

but thought this quote by Marianne Williamson 
was spot on
and deserved sharing.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

No big surprise -

Fathers Day is hard for some of us.

It's only as we get older, 
and especially if we become parents ourselves,
that we fully understand
 ALL parents are imperfect;
we are ALL capable of wounding our children
in ways we never intended; 
disappointing them;
hurting them
by being less than
they'd hoped we'd be; 
less than they know they deserve.

My father was imperfect.
He was capable of inflicting pain
and, worse,
capable of total disinterest
in his children -
unavailable because of his addictions
and personal demons.

But, from him,
I inherited
love of the written word

and photography,

an appreciation for music

a quirky sense of humor!

My sons father was imperfect too...

leaving them in increments
until he was well and truly gone.

It's amazing though...
imperfections don't cancel out love;
wounds don't negate the connections.

It's complicated -
and sometimes,
very hard.

How do we forgive our fathers, 
maybe in a dream?
Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, 
or forever, 
when we were little?
Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage, 
or making us nervous, 
because there never seemed to be any rage there at all.

Do we forgive our fathers for marrying, 
or not marrying our mothers, 
for divorcing, 
or not divorcing our mothers?
And shall we forgive them 
for their excesses of warmth 
or coldness?

Shall we forgive them for pushing or leaning, 
for shutting doors, 
for speaking through walls, 
or never speaking, 
or never being silent?
Do we forgive our fathers in our age 
or in theirs?
Or in their deaths, 
saying it to them, 
or not saying it?

If we forgive our fathers 
what is left?

Sherman Alexie
Smoke Signals

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, 
but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.

For decades,
I wasn't sure I would ever say this again;
but I can say it 
and mean it now...

I love you, Daddy;
thanks for all you were able to give me.

ps:  the no big surprise? -
fathers are imperfect ...
so are mothers! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Out of whack

Little did I know 
when I took this picture in the Glasgow airport, 
it would soon come to symbolize 
my physical being!

It’s upright – 
it almost looks ‘normal’  - 
but if you look closely, one of the legs is a bit ‘off’… 
add in some tears, whining and begging 
for prescription meds – and yup, 
that’s me! 

I wish I could say my leg injury and ‘gimpness’ is getting better – 
but that would be a damn lie.

The day after I had physical therapy, 
I thought it might be… 
but I think that illusion was only because the pain of physical therapy had been SO bad 
that when it stopped, I felt better. 
I was hoping that was a generalized reaction… 
but, NO! 

My physical therapist identified – 
in a way that felt very professional and clear – 
what the problem was (it’s connected with the musculature of L1) 
and he prescribed a series of stretches and  exercises 
to do at home, 
continuing the work started in his office. 

Because I was “so tight in my hips”
(and those who know me 
will know how hard it is
to ignore a perfectly good straight line 
and try to keep it professional 
and not scare the help),  
(let’s just call him that since its easier than continually typing
‘my physical therapist’) 
used his elbow and all the strength in his 6’5"
very toned body
in a series of circular rotations
across my hips and thighs – 
ostensibly to loosen up the muscles
allowing them to stretch better. 

It was all I could do to not cry like a girl during the whole torture routine – 
it was like child birth AND passing a kidney stone at the same time. 
I kept telling myself I could get through ANYTHING 
if it wasn’t going to last forever… 
besides, I’d never had physical therapy before, 
what did I know about what it’s supposed to be like? 

By the time I hobbled through the day at work 
and made it home however, 
my ass felt like it had swollen to twice its size – 
and trust me, that isn't a good thing. 

One look in the mirror confirmed my fears…

Again, trust me on this, you do NOT want the camera in focus –

just picture a bloated, 
 plucked Butterball
with bruises all over it – 
and that was my ass and thighs! 

Is therapy supposed to hurt so much?

I know ‘talking’ therapy was frequently a kick in the ass 
and I did that for 8 years! 

I guess I just didn’t figure that trying to get in shape would be this painful! 

Now, not only is walking painful, but so is sitting and lying on my back! 

And speaking of backs 

I was also given a red pool noodle
(to place on the floor and roll around while on my back to increase blood flow)
 and “Back Magic” 
a piece of hard plastic that I’m supposed to stretch over backward 
several times a day to improve flexibility…
and, if I can ever sit down on the floor again,
 I’ll get right on that part of the regime!

I got a note from my secretary yesterday, 
The Spanish Inquisition called; they want their equipment back”! 

I’m not in any shape to fight them.

They can have it -
actually the sooner the better!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Parallel Universes -

and me, not entirely comfortable in either one.

I  came back from a world on the reservation in which many of our 'partner families' have trouble making a mortgage payment of generally under $300.00 a month -  and one family which actually had to use the money they'd saved up for the $500.00 down payment on their house (which took them, BTW, over a year) to pay for their oldest child's funeral instead -  to read that Kim Kardashian will spend $1 million on the delivery of her baby next month.

She's reserved a deluxe birthing suite, which is to be blanketed in dozens of white roses, staffed by a personal hairdresser and photographer and featuring special organic clothes and sheets for the baby.

She'll also wear some of the $25,000 in French lingerie she bought in Paris recently because "she has no intention of wearing plain old hospital gowns that have been worn by other women".

I came back from a world in which Native women are 2.5 times more likely than the general female population to experience sexual assault and in which 37. 5% of the Native women population will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime to a world in which when a 2 yr old female, with long fingernails, scratches herself, leaving a small laceration on her labia, the day care center calls the police and Children's division with allegations of a rape in her home, demanding the child be subjected to a rape kit and DNA collection before she can be readmitted to the center.

Re-entry is hard; 
it always is.
I thought I was prepared for it 
since its not exactly like this was my first time 
at the rodeo, ya know?

I was wrong.
It's been harder than I anticipated.

Both worlds seem crazy to me -
and not at all
how we were intended to live.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Thanks to twice daily doses of this...
mission trip was a success!

The pulled groin muscle I had before leaving caused me to walk differently (to try to compensate for the pain) which led to hip and outer leg muscle problems and some of the worst pain I've ever had in my life - and a hip that now feels a good two inches higher than the other one!

Thank God I already have a session set up with the physical therapist.
My ultimate goal of walking 500 miles across Spain feels VERY far away when I can barely go 500 feet without crying!

Sitting is almost as much of a problem as standing and walking - so, for now, here are some favorite shots from last week - which will have to tide you over until I can sit comfortably and fill you in on all that happened...

LOVE the artistry of Lakota beadwork

almost as much as the beauty 
of the Lakota people!

It's good to be home - 
even as I'm planning on going back 
in August!