No Mud, No Lotus

IMG_6931I felt human this week for the first time in awhile. When I look back it has been a rough two months in part recovering from the radiation and also in forgetting that I am again on more classic chemo. So it is rather ridiculous when I question why I feel so crappy! I finally wrote down a “new normal” day so that I could accept finally the fact that I just don’t have the stamina to be a “doer” now the way I used to. And I realized that saying “I used to” is a waste of time because I am where I am. A friend reminded me “what you resist will persist” and it is liberating to let go. When I’m obsessing about anything my brother is always good at getting me back into the moment, and Creighton has been so helpful in reminding me to simply be kinder to myself on those tough days. Instead of being so self judge mental recognizing how hard my body is working just to be here.

This week is a massive milestone in that I am here for the kids’ birthdays! In February that wasn’t a given. I am so grateful for that.

I have been reading up a storm with all my couch time. I very much enjoyed the short and true stories from Broken Open and The Moth, and found Homegoing both hard hitting and provocative. If it weren’t written so well it would be too difficult to read, but her prose is superb as she takes you from the 1700s in Ghana to the plantations to jazz age New York and all the tragedies and unfairness that came with each era. It made me think that no matter how open minded I want to be, I cannot begin to know what it is like to be part of that culture. It it easy to be too quick to judge. No Mud, No Lotus is a wonderful book of lessons and meditation practice. I tend to do best using the Headspace app (he added a cancer section but has everything from health to acceptance). Here are a few lines that struck me:

That from birth we are always moving towards dying, but also that cells die and are reborn everyday, and that we are the continuation of our ancestors so no one goes into true nonbeing.

Show compassion by listening rather than talking. Oh it took me a long time to learn that.

Dont compare yourself to others. The grass is always greener. Release grudges. Let go.

Water the good seeds. Don’t indulge the unproductive ones essentially.

and of course the title itself is just a good reminder that no life comes without trials and tribulations. That is what makes up life. In fact I think it is funny that we work so hard to give our kids stability and routine, and that we too thrive on the same, and yet nothing is permanent. Everything is always changing. So in a way we would do well to have our good routines but leave plenty of room for uncertainty and learning to live with the uncomfortable nature of that.

Birdseed will play 8-10pm at Neck of the Woods on Clement at 6th on May 31st. No ticket just ample bar purchases 🙂  It is a real dive bar, but will be fun. That is my goal for the month to revive my voice and be able to perform that night.

and finally…..whole tumor markers are still high indicating loads of cancer, my blood stats have been good and liver is stable. Onward and one sacred day at a time. Thank you as always for the remarkable kindness and generosity that keep me going even on the dark days.

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