End of Days

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5119659_ce595b7b4c_m

Wheel chairs
Hospital beds
Institutional foods
Card games that never end
Hanging on
Often long
To precious moments
With children gone
And minimal time
To spare or care.

The roller coaster of life
Spins faster and faster
Throwing off lives
With increased frequency
Surprise deaths
More stress
Exaggerated distractions
Electronic contraptions
Wiling away
Yet one more day
Long hours alone
Listening for the phone
Putting in time
Till time is gone.

The ticking clock
Never stops
Tick tock
Tick tock

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Love letters to my Mother

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rose

I wrote these in the hours before my Mother’s death, and the days afterwards. There’s a three-hankie warning on these.

 

Mama
on her way out
is she just holding on
till our hearts can let go?

I hate death
I want her to be here forever
I want to talk to her everyday
and tell her about my silly dogs
and have her laugh
at the antics of my life.

I want to hear her voice
on my birthday
telling me about the hot day
in July
I was born.

I want to tell her
over and over
how much she is loved
so she can love herself.

I want life to be different for her
no pain
no worries
no hardship
no suffering

just love
sweet love.

 

 

And the world goes on outside
as another soul prepares to leave
and another comes in
the sun continues to rise
and set
the grass continues to grow
and the earth continues to turn

We come, we go
how come it’s so hard to let go?
Hearts cannot bear to say goodbye

If she would just wake up
one more time
I could look in her eyes
and smile
I could hold her, squeeze her hand
and then, she could go
knowing she was loved
taking that with her
wherever she goes

Life is odd
Death, even odder
Hearts are a strange beast
I try to accept
what is

 

 

I never realized how precious
the last moments of her life would be
I long for her eyes
looking at me.

The connections, though fleeting
have meant the world to me
like precious gems
indelibly printed
on my memory.

So many times
I have been scared of her leaving
it’s imminent now
so they tell me
I like to think
I am big enough,
powerful enough
for love to be enough
to pave the way
to another day
with you.

It just seems weird
when you are so near me
not to be here.

I will sing for you
cry for you
pray for you
beat the drum for you
and love you
on your way.

 

 

Every single day
you are in my Heart
and every single day
you are in my thoughts
and every single day
I will remember you
and you will be
a part of me.

Never casual
or taken for granted
a precious stone
the gleam in my eye
forever remembered
forever loved
forever in
my Heart of Hearts

A love song for you
precious Mama

 

 

I thought I would be ready
to let her go
I thought I had cried
enough times
to be ok
I thought I was
big and brave

But my two year old
still clings to her leg
crying ‘Mama, don’t go’.

It’s ok
I hold my two year old now
I let her cry
I let her grieve
and my big me
holds her from behind
as she cries out her tears

Her grip is beginning to loosen
I hold her in my arms
whisper in her ear
You are with me now
I have you
right here in my heart
you are forever safe
inside of me.

 

Mama
you are gone
have moved along
I hope to a place
that loves you strong

I hope you felt
our loving arms
I hope you visit me
frequently
I hope I see you
in my dreams
I hope I feel your presence
next to me

I kiss you gently
and hold you tenderly
my sweet Mama

 

 

My Mother is gone
I am a river of tears
returning to the sea

How do I go on without her?
She is such a big part of me
My greatest cheerleader
who will call me on my birthday?
Death is such a cruel master.

I must cry these tears
till they’re gone
may they cleanse my soul
may they renew me
may the phoenix rise
from the destruction
of her ashes
may she return to me
may I feel her inside
may she be happy
and at peace.

I pray for this
I pray for peace of mind.

 

 

I can hardly stand
this packing up
Every ‘thing’ has a memory
attached t it
A feeling
Sure, they are just ‘things’
but they are all
emotional memory holders

My heart breaks
over and over
I want her here with me
alive, breathing, talking
her familiar memory
her familiar presence
I can’t stand it
I can’t stand being
without her.

 

 

It is done
the umbilical cord
has been cut.

Her name was June
and she died
in the month of June
with flowers blooming
the sun shining
and color everywhere.

I will miss her forever
Mother, Mum, Mama.

Happy Mixed Feeling Mother’s Day

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rose

Ahh Mothers … what a mixed review they receive. Yesterday was Mothers Day, and Hallmark has instructed us it’s time to honor our Mothers. Some of us have followed the established program of flowers and cards, sending our I Love You’s, and some of us are torn apart inside by the toxic experience of abuse we received from them. And there is everything in between.

At this time, Mothers Day is especially poignant for me as my mother slowly wanes away in hospital. There are tears everyday to deal with as bad news and good news and mixed news come across my door in its various forms. Her body is pretty well completely controlled by the medical system model of care, and in the big picture, I don’t hold out a strong hope for any real kind of recovery, but letting go of her is a slow and torturous process, with the child in me clinging to her leg; don’t go Mama, please don’t go. My adult logical side whispers in my ear ‘it is time to let her go.’  The struggle is within, as it always is.

I prepare for the bad news, and it still hits me like a ton of bricks, over and over, until it doesn’t. The fat lady has not sung yet, but she is getting closer and closer.

I find myself squirming in my seat reading messages from women who are bravely admitting in the midst of all this mother guilt that their mother’s did a right fucked up job on them. I have spent a lot of time in this place, acknowledging and moving my rage at the various behaviours of the disfunctional mothering I have received. And yet, I also have a part of me afraid to acknowledge this, afraid to say anything in opposition to the sacred cow of the Mother label. But, there it is.

What I will acknowledge is this; That my relationship with my Mother has been the most difficult and profound relationship of my life, has had the most far reaching effects on me, has taken me a life-time to come to understand, and will continue to take me years to sort through and heal from as I move into my mature years.

I have had no children myself, as I observed the difficulties of my own upbringing and came to the conclusion that I had best work some of these things out before I pass them on to the next unsuspecting victim. So healing this relationship and all the ramifications of it has been a primary focus in my life.

Have I healed it, you ask? Not entirely, of course, but some very hard places in my heart have softened and I have found love for her in many places that were hard and closed off between us, and I am so very grateful for this softening. So I guess that my Ode to my own Mother this Mothers Day is ‘with what love I have, I send to you.’

Happy Mothers Day. Hardest job in the world, and the least appreciated.

Jean Mary E.

 

Win the War against Flatulance

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beans

I love legumes, but sometimes they don’t love me. I have tried soaking beans for 48 hours in water and vinegar, and still the flatulance followed me. Then a friend mentioned recently that his Ex used baking soda when soaking beans and he had no problems with gas. This was totally new information to me. How come, after 30 years of cooking beans this is the first time I had heard of it? Life is like that sometimes.

So I tried it. 24 hours of soaking with a tbsp of baking soda (though I think now try 1 tsp instead), then I rinsed the beans and brought them to a boil in fresh water. I was amazed at the crud coming off them, way more than usual. Well surprise surprise. The alkaline end works on beans.

Do skim the crud off though, and they’ll be lots of it. The beans cooked up faster than usual and not one fart. Really.

Try it. You’ll be pleased with the results.

Territory and Imprinting, or Meeting the Troll on the Road

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barking dogstrolls

In some ways, having never owned a piece of property puts me in a position to observe behaviors that property owners might never see about themselves. Like how we become viscious dogs when our territorial boundaries are crossed, or Trolls.

I had an encounter yesterday with someone who turned into a frothing dog when I crossed his territorial boundary. Let me lay out the scenario. I am a pet-sitter, and I often take dogs I am care-taking off leash on some country roads behind where I live. Oh, how i love this walk. It goes through a lovely farm area with cattle grazing, and I rarely run into anyone.

However, there is a property that has two dogs that run free (actually, most of the dogs in this area run free), which is generally cool with me, except that one of the dogs is a 6 month old puppy. The owners leave these dogs for many hours at a time, maybe up to and over 14 hours. The puppy follows anyone who walks by because it’s fun and he is lonely. I spoke with a neighbour there and she often has to drive the puppy home and leave in the car or he will follow her home again.

About a month ago I was walking with one of my dogs and puppy decided to follow me. I walked back to the property and called to see if anyone was home. I knocked on the door. No one was home. There was a back fenced area that I put doggy in but he quickly escaped. I knew he would follow me all the way home, which includes a busy road. That wouldn’t do. So I eventually decided to open the door of the house and put the dog in. First mistake. It is illegal to open someone’s door. The fact that I probably would have been charged with dog-knapping if I brought him home was my seemingly only other option.

I mistakenly assumed that the owner of the dog would appreciate that I cared enough for his dog to try to make the best decision about his welfare in a dicey situation. I was wrong.

Yesterday, I was walking along the road again and puppy excitedly followed me again. Again, there was no one home on the property, so I put the dog in the house again. As I was leaving the property the woman showed up. I spoke with her about the dog and the troubles I (and others) were having. She wasn’t coming up with any working scenarios, so I gave her my business card and asked her to call me with a solution when she had it.  I wanted to help her out, and I didn’t want to put puppy in jeopardy.

That evening, her foaming-at-the-mouth husband called me and screamed at me that he was calling the police and charging me with break and enter and burglary. I begged (yes) him to see that I had the best interests of his dog in mind, and to soften his stance, but he repeated the American Property Act to me. This was one redneck motherfucker.

Of course, I was totally traumatized by the event, and had to process terror, grief and rage over this. I also had an interesting experience when he was threatening me. My lower back became completely weak; not being able to stand up for myself.

He demanded my address, which I did not give him, and he hung up on me. A day later and a sleepless night, I am seeing some things, such as that I assume people are generally friendly and well meaning, like me. Wrong. That most people generally want to work things out.  Not always correct either. That sometimes with the law set up the way it is, a Good Samaritan act can get you in a shitload of trouble. Right. This is America. Land of the Paranoid and Heartless.

So I don’t know if he is really going to send the cops over, or whether he just wanted to get rid of me walking by his house by intimidation. He certainly did that.  So really, he achieved his aim.  He doesn’t have to do anything about his negligence toward the caring for his puppy.  It will be a while, if ever, before I walk up that way again. As well, I realized that I do have some power here. I have the power to report him to the dog control or humane society and have his dog removed from him. This is so not me, but if push came to shove, who knows. Mostly, I just want redneck assholes like him removed from our dear Earth, so the thoughtful, nice, caring people with the ability to discern a neighborly act can be left to work out their differences.   Bye Bye Assholes. You won’t be missed.

Giving into Pain to Find Relief

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lying on floor

Yesterday I woke up feeling pretty awful;  kind of nauseous, and achy all over. I had pain in the right side of my body, and was also VERY TIRED. Doing anything felt like a great struggle, like I was dragging my body around and I felt very old.

So I decided to do only what I HAD to do, and allowed myself to take as much time as I needed to pamper and nurture myself. For me, that means a lot of lying around on the floor, and going into the pain in my body.

Usually I worry about feeling lousy. I worry about a lot of possibilities around WHY I feel so lousy. But yesterday I decided to not worry, and just allow myself to go into the pain in my body and the accompanying feelings.

I became aware how often we pop a pill or go on a diet or go to the doctor to try to ‘figure out’ why we feel so crummy. Or, we dismiss it as the aches and pains of growing older. What happens to me quite regularly is that I feel energy gets stuck in my body, and when it does, my back and my entire muscular system gets backed up. That is why I spend so much time on the floor, feeling into the pain in my body and doing my Alexander Technique in order to allow the energy to move through my body.

I have a chronic muscular pattern of tension particularly on the right side of my body. When I lay down and allow my body to relax, and breath into the tight and painful areas, and sometimes make sounds on the exhale (if I feel like it), the tension often dissipates.

I am always analyzing what may have caused me to feel so crummy, because that’s the kind of brain I have, but yesterday I really saw this ‘fix it’ pattern I have, and also, how I judge myself as not being ‘productive’. Yesterday I said ‘f_uck it! I am just going to allow myself to be in my body pain for as long as I need to and see what happens.

I ended up having a great night’s sleep, woke up feeling pretty good, and was quite active this morning with things I had to do including a sink full of dishes, 2 dog walks and 1 1/2 hours of housework. And I am still feeling good (cause I’m writing this). That sure beats the aches and pains of yesterday, so I’m feeling I just might be on the right track.

One of the things I notice about people who have chronic pain is that they are caretakers. They are so busy taking care of family and friends needs that they tend to put themselves last. ‘I don’t have time for myself’ is something I see and hear often.

And truly, when they look at their lives, they don’t. This is where judgement release can be helpful, to help open the mental space to create something new for yourself. Here is an example of judgement release:

I now release the judgement and forgive myself for believing for so long that I don’t have time to take care of myself properly.

I don’t have time to relax.
nothing will get done if I don’t do it.
too many people depend on me.
it is not loving to put myself first.

This is what I think: First and foremost, you need to put yourself and your needs first. What kind of caretaker can you be if you cannot give to yourself? I know that many religions teach selflessness, but that is not loving to self. In order to take care of yourself, and your chronic pain, you need to see how you are creating it. And, you are creating it. Taking responsibility for what you are creating is the first step in making changes.

So go ahead, lie on the floor, and let yourself relax. You deserve it.

JME

Living my Dream

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screaming

I had an interesting experience the other day that I would like to share. I was walking a couple of dogs I am care-taking down the country road behind where I live. People let their dogs roam free in this area, and I am generally ok with that, but these two little dogs are rather dysfunctional as they were rescues and were on the lam for a long time as puppies and were very terrified. They are easily triggered into their fight imprints when other dogs are around and almost always go snakey.

i was walking them down a section of the road where I haven’t run into free roaming dogs, but as fate would have it, there was very large dog off leash there with his owner. The big dog approached the two little dogs and my dogs when in ‘kill or be killed’ mode, which triggered the big dog into his fight imprints.

One of my little dogs got out of his collar and started running away.  I went chasing after him with the other dog on leash.  He just kept running and running.  I tried everything … my nice voice, my commanding voicing, my screaming voice, and he just kept running.

I then realized that I was living my dream.  Sometimes in my dreams everything is going wrong for me.  I have developed a technique where I just start to scream in my dreams, no matter who is around.  About 95% of the time, things start to change for me and I get what I want.  So there I was, running after this dog, afraid of him getting close to the main road, afraid of losing him for good, and I realized I was living my dream (and not in a good way).  So I just let myself screech, and swear and express very loudly.  There was no one around so there was no embarrassing, shaming reflection for this behaviour.  The dog stopped, I knelt down, and he returned to me.  I was very very happy with this outcome.

I came home and felt I had moved through something important.  I really feel moving emotional rage can open portals of energy that are stuck in a negative pattern.  Like an energetic door that is stuck closed and blocked, looking like there are no solutions and no way out.  After all, don’t we want our lives to work in a way that is pleasing to us?  Don’t we want to live our Dreams, but in the best of ways?

So next time you are in a frustrating place in your dreams, try screaming and raging.  And of course, you can do it in real reality too, just be careful where you do it so you don’t get a shaming reflection to shut you down.  Rage is a very judged form of energy movement, and it doesn’t need more judgement than it already has.

JME

I Bleed

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heart

I bleed now
It’s a full time job
But my job is to not stop the flow
My job is to end the denial
Of how I bleed

Big. Red. Heavy.
A constant flow now that can’t be stopped
By my usual devices
May as well relax now
Into the river of blood
That flows from me
The dams are overflowing
There ain’t no band-aid big enough for this

And I see you
I see you Bleeders
Trying to keep it all under wraps
Still wearing your platform shoes
And your fancy hats
Still holding onto the last vestiges
Of the image you created of yourself
Before you die

And the animals
Oh, the animals
They have never dressed
Or covered their wounds
They lick them bloody
They suffer silently
Their sad eyes
Staring at me
Know there is nothing I can do
To stop the flow
Sad for themselves
Sad for me

I am lying in the pool of blood
of my Heartbreak
We are one now
I have never wanted to feel this
I have run from this pain
Forever
Hiding behind corners
Peeking out
Letting love go
Walking away
Rather than stay and feel
What must be felt
But there is no running anymore

It bleeds from me now
This open wound of despair
‘Tis a good day to bleed
This Virgo Full Moon

The Crabby One

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cancer

So afraid to come out of my shell
Such desire to come out of my shell
Carrying around this load of self hatred
It won’t be long before someone
Triggers my shame
And I go scurrying back
To the safety of my cave
My cage

My cage is self created
It keeps me safe
It keeps me small
It keeps me safe
Safe
Safe safe safe safe safe

If I say it enough I will be
Won’t I?
Till I can’t stand safe anymore
Then I peak my head out once again
Cause the sun is so inviting
Cause the desire to live
so enticing

I scurry back and forth
Between my two worlds
Cancer the Crab
I am The Crabby One

Help for Chronic Pain

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leonardo

Chronic pain. So many of us, by the time we reach 50 years of age, have chronic pain in our bodies. My chronic pain pattern started when I was 16 years old, so I’ve been working on my body pain for a very long time, and I’ve learned a few things along the way.

Not everyone has chronic pain for the same reasons, but I’m going to talk about what I see is a very common pattern. Maybe you will find yourself in this pattern, and maybe some of the things I say will be helpful for you.

My chronic pain pattern began from what I see as 2 sources.  One of them was physical, and one was emotional.  I’ll talk about the physical.  I was very involved with athletics when I was young.  I worked very hard at the sports I was involved with, and I developed repetitive muscle patterns that gave me a muscular imbalance in my body.  The muscles on the right side of my body were overdeveloped, and they threw out the balance of my entire body.

The emotional side of my pain pattern involved emotional repression from my upbringing.  Instead of blooming in a natural progression, some of my emotional developed was stymied by a difficult family environment and pretty severe emotional repression.

My recovery has been over a long period of time as I’ve had to learn a lot through the hard knocks of life.  But, there is nothing like direct experience to learn things deeply.  What I especially want to talk about here are patterns that I see in people that contribute to their Chronic Pain Pattern.

When I was 28 years old, after much searching, trial and error, I found a form of Bodywork called The Alexander Technique.  With this technique I learned to go into my body in a conscious way and connect to the habitual muscular contracting that I was doing, and learn how to release it.  I have been doing this technique every day for the past 30 years, and it has worked to keep me mobile and pain free.  Many people, I have noticed, work on their bodies from the external.  We walk, run, do yoga, exercise classes, play sports, etc.  We deal with out bodies in a Yang way, meaning we try to force change on our bodies from the external.  I do things a little differently.  What I do with my body I would call a Yin approach.

I lay on the floor A LOT.  When I lay on the floor, I allow my body to completely relax.  I get in contact with my body against the floor.  What parts of my body are tight and sore?  I put my attention on the pain, and follow it around.  You’d be surprised how much pain moves around in your body when you put your attention on it.  I also sometimes breath into the pain through my nose, and make sounds on the exhale.  This can help to break up tension patterns.  Sometimes, as the tension is letting go, emotions come up.  I allow whatever emotions that come up to move out of me through sound.  This might be grief, fear, or rage.

Laying flat on the floor is the first position I do.  From there I might take a couple of hardcover books, from about 1 – 3″, and put them under my head.  These help to get in touch with another level of tension patterns in my body.  From there, I bring my knees up to bending position.  That brings another whole level of tension patterns to connect with.

I have three other positions I do, with variations.  This allows me to go deeper and deeper into my tension patterns.  I also use different things under my head and neck to get different variations.  With my set of tools I have been able to contact many levels of tension patterns in my body.  I have been able to work through any pain that comes up in my body rather quickly.

Where does pain come from and why do we have it?  I’ll answer that in my next blog.  Thank you for staying tuned!

JME