Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A luscious Work of Art

(Picture of my grey- I'm going with it for now! Pic of my nephew and I that captures my usual dark circles despite a few layers of cover up:)

My friend Hillary often evokes the softer side of my words. I have two sides that are both true- the logical, frank side that I find easier to write with, and the imaginative, bohemian, wonderlusty (I know its not a word:) side that takes longer to craft sentences but delves into the deepest heart of me. Hillary brings out the second side with her words. She often asks in her love letters to her followers, "How will you make your life a luscious work of art today?"

Sometimes certain people inspire that deep seated romantic in me. I do not understand poetry but I do love imagery at times. I LIVE the soulful bliss of imagery on most days which may seem a paradox for someone with chronic illness but I surround myself with lavish beauty and every day I find myself in a work of art. My writing though is often the opposite, with the vulnerable exception of a post maybe once or twice a year (see previous post.) I often save my blog words for hashing out something that is bothering me, or to bring awareness or practical comfort because it's a side of me that needs expression. But in the daily, it may surprise most of my readers to know that I live like Hillary writes.

Last night, on the new moon, Hillary sent some soul prompts. I wanted to answer two of them:

1.)What needs some attending? What seeds need to be pressed with love into the earth? Often the richest earth is black with lush nutrients and oxygen to nourish delicate roots.  What tiny plants need to be moved to deeper, richer soil? 

 Currently, I feel the push into my HYGGE (click for a post from Hillary on this concept) season. I live in hygge mode most of the year, but the dark Canadian winters press this concept deeper into my haven. I have found that once again, my children need attending. Tis the season to savour their beauty, hugs and time that is always running. This means less electronics, more music and plunking on the piano together, and more dance parties.

In a practical body way, the questions above show what I am lacking. I am lacking the richest nutrients in my blood. I am still lacking Ferritin at a level to thrive. My hemoglobin is now within normal range which is deceiving because it gives me the illusion that I am well. I no longer qualify as anemic unless the doctor sees my Ferritin...and then I am considered at risk for many conditions. I finally have fought my way to a 7 when hair loss does not even begin to turn around till a 70! It took me seven months to get from a 2 to a 7. I feel my lack of lush oxygen. My roots are withered. My leaves are finally reaching the sun but my roots are still small. I feel it deeply. It's a physical, literal answer to her question but it's one that still needs tending for me to feel whole. 

2.) What kind of difference would it make for you to surrender to the cycles instead of spinning your wheels resisting them? What does surrender look like to you? How does it feel in your body? 

This year illness has taught it's FORCED me, which then taught me, to honour my cycles. I had no choice. For a few months I could do nothing but lie in bed wondering what life will look like in a few months. I often could not even find energy for the computer. My words were taken from the lack of oxygen going to my brain and I felt a loss for the intelligence I once had. I had to mourn my concept of self. I went through a existential crisis (click) which is normal for me once a year, but this one was additional and shook to the core. I still have not found all my words. Every day I murmur or stutter over what I want to say and my kids fill in the blanks. I ask them to fold the clothes in the refrigerator and eat their shoes. I say a lot of nonsense and it's frustrating because inside I KNOW what I meant to say but it came out completely wrong all the time and not just when I have suffered a bad night. 

I resisted this at first. I hated sounding like a airhead or someone who doesn't know. This wounded me because inside I KNOW. I research, I am full of information and my mind swirls with intelligent thought and creative bliss...but I can not express that often. Words are painfully not what I often want to say. My husband and children get a kick out of it and they know me enough to often get what I am saying. I feel relief in that fact. But I have had to learn to surrender to my slurs and the times when the words are not there and the thoughts flee. The times people doubt me because I can not back up what I just said because I suddenly can not remember where I am or who I am with. It's terrifying. I thought I had the start of dementia...but my doctor assures me it can happen with chronic illness and lack of blood to the brain...and once my Ferritin reaches 70 it will all turn around...but I'm at a 7. Reading  Audrey-B's experience I found validation but I realized that this could be a two year journey at least. By then my words could be forever changed and my hair considerably thinner than it already is.

I thought I surrendered this summer when I hashed it out on my blog and started to be able to walk around and do basic chores. I thought I surrendered when I was laying in bed or lying in the sun thinking about how many would die to have the opportunity to lounge around for months on end. But the fact is- I was simply living. I loved many aspects of my life...I am not one to waste any time or not savour what I have- BUT my body could not be forced into much else so technically I wasn't surrendering- I was enduring.

I have a tough time remembering people's names or who I am friends with due to executive functioning issues. I could never remember in conversations with people the facts I was speaking about and what I KNOW to be true. I am better on paper due to Asperger's Syndrome. I have an easier time conveying through print. I have always remembered my next thought or concepts to convey facing a blank page. When that is almost completely taken away, I feel like I don't have a strong voice anywhere. I have had to find ways of existing that do not require a voice. This means soaking up the physical yet the physical for me is already struggling to be.

Surrender can be a tough concept. I have already surrendered so much in my lifetime. I have surrendered my reputation, my concept of self, my mindsets, my beliefs...I have come to existential questions and revamped my life consistently. I know how hard surrender is but I also know how beautiful it is. 

 I would be lying to say it's easy to surrender my hair falling out in clumps and not be horrified. I am feeling the deep loss of grief at something that others would perceive trivial. It means another surrender of my concept of self...It means surrendering the youth concept...which I thought I had already surrendered because of chronic illness but I realized I had simply given up the concept of vitality and energy in youth. I had not given up concepts of beauty in youth. I had previously learned through weight and loosing weight that my beauty concepts were relative and illusive, but hair loss took another layer of concepts and twisted them.

I feel I have surrendered all only to surrender once again. Perhaps this is why my life is so rich even though it seems so small? It's a humbling process but also a strengthening one. When one's complete concepts of life are continually turning, one has to go to the very core, the centre of life, to realize value. I have seen my value despite all. It is why I fight so hard for the value and worth of others...why I despise the concepts of achievement and ableism. I have had it taken away and I know that there is so much beauty without. The tears of the phoenix heal.

Surrender in my body means accepting the thin strands of hair and being thankful for them. It means accepting that I feel sick 90% of my life and that I still have to live through that and find beauty and meaning. It means consistently letting go yet still holding on enough to BE.  It's looking at the rashes and boils that come up for reasons we still can't figure out and instead of cursing my fate once again or changing yet another aspect of eating, it means telling myself, "You have done this before and it goes away. Until we know you have to do the best with what you know. You can not KNOW every aspect of life or health. You are still YOU. Still beautiful in your own way and you are still HERE." Surrender during an 'attack' means tethering my soul to sanity (CLICK) It means living right NOW. In this moment I am clicking on my keyboard as my gut churns with pain from eating some mistaken gluten. I feel my feet under my blankets cold despite the warmth. I hear my children giggling upstairs and realize that part of the reason I still write though my words are not my best, are because of them. I want them to just BE. I want them to see their value in whatever or whoever they are AT THIS MOMENT. Because at this moment will become another moment and another. I don't want them consistently torn by what they could or may be or what they were. I want them to BE. I have to struggle to remind myself that I AM too.

This writing is not a waste of time because it enables me to process. It's another form of surrender. It also distracts me a bit from pain but I do what is necessary to thrive in my body's own definition of thriving. It may not seem like it, but to those who can see beyond...I am a luscious work of art. Not despite these things, though that may be a legitimate factor, but also BECAUSE of who I am in them. I may not look luscious. I may look like a beaten up victim with a glamour spell but I am rich inside. Allura is a middle name of mine. It means divine counsellor and to entice and attract. I am capable of this. I am also capable of enticing and attracting pain but the flip side is beauty.

My dark circles are shadows of triumph. My scared body is a testament of endurance. My hair loss is a reminder of cultural concepts. I am a walking reminder to LIVE NOW.

*Links to Hillary pertain to a time period in her life when she was on a different path. Sometimes her links do not work due to a Hiatus . She is on a completely opposite journey that I am on currently. I do not endorse some of the beliefs held from anyone I cite. However, I will forever be grateful to Hillary for some key awakenings in my life when our paths met and we may meet up again. She is a beautiful soul regardless of stances. I hold to this for anyone I cite.*


S said...

I have been reading Hillary's blog for a long time and her writing not only resonates with me but also brings out in the open certain unconscious elements of my soul, which I was not really paying attention to /or thinking about. I think that she and I are of the same (INFP) personality type.
Kmarie, I am sorry to hear about your health issues. I think that with Aspergers or with Sensitivity issues or sensory issues, our brains gives many contradictory multiple signals to our body and we feel more body confusion than other people. For example, I feel a ten or twelve or even a fifty different levels/shades of me within the span of a single day. I feel and experience so many different levels of emotions, pains in a single day that it is difficult for me to describe exactly how I feel in a day, with or without pain. The intensity changes from hour to hour or even minute to minute ...and I am not a single person anymore ..rather as if multiple persons with different kinds of pain are residing within me ...
Anyway, I want to share with you a link that deals with woman's hormonal health and addresses many issues (that women are facing in their peri menopausal years) with food (rather than medicines ). Please read the story of the founder also. Here is the link-
Please go and read their "Articles" section. It has benefited me a lot.
Although you may not be facing the same health issues, this website is worth a look.
take care,

Kmarie Audrey said...

I love Hillary...I am an Infp/ Infj... yes she does open the unconscious elements of soul.
Thank you for your concern. it is what it is. I am also sorry you have to deal with unwanted pain. Yes sensory issues and different wiring further complicate conditions:) I can relate to what you say in the span of a an hour I can feel normal for a while and then suddenly be in pain ect. I get that intensity and change....good point
I love new links and information so thank u- I will def explore that! I hope you find more ways to live the best version of your life and I wish you less pain too...xo

Kmarie Audrey said...

P.s. I also responded to your other couple of comments on the other posts:)

S said...

Dear Kmarie, Sorry for writing here but I want you to have a look at the email that I have just sent you (containing some information regarding Christmas) and I hope you read it and get back to me. So please check your mail.
take care,

Kmarie Audrey said...

I sent you an email:)

Hillary said...

Dear Kmarie,

What a beautiful & truly moving response to not only the letter I sent, not only to me, but also to the wild nuances of your living. I'm touched & humbled by what you said about me, so deeply, and also your courageous processing of what you feel and experience each moment. It may not feel courageous but it is, just as you are.

As I get older and experience more and more of life I've grown to appreciate more than ever the souls & the stories who share what is truly real. This to me means more than popular ideas of authenticity; it has to do with the interweaving of dark and light between each breath and layered between the ribs, and the strands of hair falling. Even this is the ache and rhythm of poetry and beauty and meaning and depth.

Thank you for sharing yourself so freely, and for your kind words. I'm blessed & touched and so grateful. Warm hugs to you. xoxx

Kmarie Audrey said...

Thanks Hillary:) I feel the validation of my experience and the courage it takes deep in my bones. Thank you for taking the time to add your voice to my journey- it enhances it!

I feel the same way as I age...and deeply respect the interweaving of dark and light...

Thank you also for sharing yourself freely and inspiring me:)