Monday, June 10, 2013

Three Little Birds Singin': Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright

It was three minutes.  Three whole glorious minutes.  I was pumping gas.  John Cougar Melencamp was booming over the speakers... and music, damn music has driven me mad.  Music in the grocery store, music at the gas station, just so much noise, so much waste of air space, scratchy, muffled "music" pumped in to every effing second, for what? for why? To clutter my feeble brain? I've had earplugs in for months. Imagine this: every synapse of your brain is like a hiker who crosses an abyss on a bridge.  Many of my bridges got wiped out, so for nearly 7 months, my hiker has had to hike around the entire canyon to complete a thought.  It is exhausting work.  And every sensory addition is like adding 10#s to her backpack.  She may not make it at all.  But over the past several months, with lots of help, we've been building new bridges.  Postmortem dissections show that these new bridges can't go in the same places as the old bridges, but go in next to the old location.  Plus, in some parts, we may not be making new bridges at all, but employing Evel Kneivel type tactics to make it across.  In some places all the walls of the canyon have collapsed and we just need to find a whole new route across.  It's been difficult, grueling work.  And then, this one glorious afternoon, it all came together for three whole goddam, mudder cluckin' minutes.  Holy Holy Holy.
Blue took some lovely photos of her brother's haircut-torture

There was this rush: I will get better. I will be different, but I will be whole again.

And then this deeper rush.  I am alive!  I was never in danger of dying.  But I was in danger, since the beginning of time, of not existing.  Such a long, sacredly random twisting of events has brought me here.  Going back innumerable generations, just the right people getting it on at just the right time.  And the long long evolution of humans, the geological evolution of earth, and planets and suns.  The whole thing, miraculously lucky again and again and again.

It wasn't just the fact of being.  It was the fact of being me, that was the rush.  Throughout this journey, I have gone very deeply, very intensely into the realm of self-worth.  Every day, I faced the fact that I was crappy at every single thing I am and do.  Mother, wife, friend, conversationalist, lunch maker, grocery shopper, driver, all, every single thing, I could either not do it at all or if I tried I did it real shitty-like.  And that is when my Faith kicked in.

The first UU principle: the inherent worth and dignity of every person.  And among them, me.  I understood, and felt, what I intellectually trust: there is nothing I can do or say that could possibly increase my value as a person, or decrease it.  No matter how crappy I am at every single thing I do.  No matter how little I do.  No matter if I'm CEO of some company, or remain a stay-at-home mom for the rest of my life.  No matter what.  No matter if I steal your truck or kill your kid or save your life or give you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it, every single time.  It Matters what I do and what I don't do, yes. But it never will increase my worth as a person.  That is being.  That is our birthright.  Just for being born, I have value. You have value and all the things and recognition we work for could all disappear tomorrow and we would still have value. The universe consciously or unconsciously put in a lot of work to get you and me here. And I respect that work and believe it was worth it.

In over 8 years of cutting his hair, this one turned out the worst, BY FAR
And after this long, scary journey, after fully understanding my worth, what happened in those three moments of healing is that I understood how incredibly awesome it is to be me (you too FYI!).  I felt like I'd been born again and in that moment understood the crazy incredible thing that I have: life and being me.  And here I am again, after all this time.  Here I am!  Being alive!  It's incomprehensibly cool to BE.  I want everyone to feel this, to know this joy of existance.

And these thoughts, these feelings, were beaming through my brain with absolute clarity, like a new pair of glasses, a new prescription, where the forest suddenly has trees and the trees all have leaves.  And that is when I understand some thing else:  I have really been through something.  The thoughts, if completed at all, have been like swimming through molasses.  The losses of self and self-concept and companionship and goals and dreams and the losses of those around me, Huck's loss of his partner, the kids' loss of a competent mother.  I saw that this thing, this head injury, is no trifling matter.  I felt a deep respect for those who have stayed in my life, for those caught up in this tidal wave, for myself and for the work I have done and for looking this all in the face and curiously turning my injury over and over, inspecting the spiritual and physical and psychological aspects from many fuzzy angles.

Blue's Window Comic "Book"
And then I slid back into the mud.  And I kept sliding until I was in a fetal position for nearly a week. It turns out, I had a small rupture on an internal thingy and there was pain and pain medication and scans and all that.  And I was grateful that I did not have chronic pain with my head injury.  But then they told me I might have chronic pain forever.  And then I felt my number was up here.  It was an absurdity of dog-piling ailments and snowballing symptoms, but that's chaos for you ... sometimes you flip 20 tails in a row. That sacred random that made me, can also take me out.  But then the pain abated and I am fine for now, although a recurrence is likely.  And there was backsliding on months of recovery work, as it all got buried under pain and medications.  And I have to work hard on word recall again. But I know that those three minutes are out there. They are there and I will likely me mine again.  But for now, it is enough to remember them, to remember me, to remember being myself with clarity and strength. And to look forward; it's coming.  I'm coming back.  I'm going to be me, a different me, but me nonetheless, and it's going to be epic.

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