Saturday, 8 September 2018

Fun? Not So Much

It’s been my habit to work on a self-portrait each year around the time of my birthday. A few blogs ago, I showed you a screen printed crow who would serve as my model for my self-portrait this year.

I liked this piece of art because it showed a quiet crow, contemplative and tranquil. It’s almost as though she is saying, “Lots to squawk about, but that’s not my job right now. Time to listen.” Maybe she’s telling me, “Just BE!”

Here’s how my tranquil crow, not quite finished, is turning out:

She is basking in the beauty around her, counting her blessings, of which there are many. She’s taking a rest, and learning to “just be”.

But that is easier said than done, Already, she’s probably dreaming about something else she’d like to be doing next. And that’s where the problem lies right now:

I’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist. It started with tingling and numbness in my fingers, which has graduated to a burning pain at unexpected moments in the day and many more moments at night. It’s been getting worse over the last few weeks, to the point where doing the two things I love most, writing and creating art, are only exacerbating the problem.

So this is what “just being” is all about?

And yes, I’ve consulted with lots of medical folks, with more to come. The most common advice is to give the wrist a rest. Just let it “be.” How ironic!

I am very aware that carpal tunnel syndrome is a very tiny fish in the sea of sickness and misery where other diseases swim. But it is my little fish, and right now, to me, it feels big.

I never imagined that “just being” would amount to a new lifestyle.  No chopping vegetables. No gardening. No doing the dozens of things we do thoughtlessly with our leading hand: opening the car door, turning a key, reaching for the coffee pot. We depend on our hands for so much. The resident sweetie has been doing double duty. Apparently I have some big lessons left to learn that “just being” will have to teach me.

I am going to buy some voice recognition software for my computer in the hopes that I will be able to write that way. But until that happens, the crow is going to be sitting in silence.

Before I sign off for a while, however, I wanted to share something. This summer I read a book that challenged and inspired me, Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone was just what I needed to help me move on in my journey, and is helping me now as I adjust to this current state of affairs.

Whenever we are confronted with difficulties, when we feel useless and are looking for a way out, when we are looking for a new path to walk, the first step out into this new reality, says Macy, begins with practicing gratitude.

The practice of gratitude promotes a sense of well-being and trains our minds to notice the upside of things. It opens our eyes to the interconnectedness of all things, and helps us to gain a perspective on our place in the universe. As we list the things for which we are grateful, we develop a more positive view of life.

I've discovered that this week on a date day with Al.

We hiked together in sunshine, watched people enjoying life together, admired beautiful Arbutus trees leaning out over the water, ate great food  -- so much to be thankful for. It opened my eyes again to the good things and moved the focus off myself. 

Yes there's pain and frustration -- in your life as well as mine. We will acknowledge that, but we do so coming from a place of gratitude for all that we do have and experience, and that makes all the difference.

No comments:

Post a Comment