Monday, November 18, 2013

The concept of Do and Be

With my recent retirement I developed this PLAN for a productive yet rewarding use of  my new found unscripted time. For all of October each Monday I would get up early, gather my tools together- paper and pen and nest with a hot cup of tea by the warm fire. I'd study and peruse my pages of lists: the garden to-do list, the maintenance list, the major fix list, and the 5 pages double sided single bulleted list of arty things I want to do. I felt it fair to choose something from each category for the week's goal. In that way I could get things ship shape at home and be the artist I thought I could be. The logic was so linear. I thought perhaps there was some harmonic balance that could be acheived through organization and mindfulness. Ha.

Only a few weeks into the plan Karma, the universe, something... had another plan.

It started on Nov 4th with two falls. By the 7th it developed into a hospitalization. For 7 days this was my spot. I had a good view of the patient, the tubes, and the hallway's comings and goings.

If it weren't for having to be the one to make every decision
 about every form of treatment or non-treatment,
and being witness to the bruised 87 year old body riddled with Alzheimer's
the view would have been fantastic.  
The 6th floor had a magnificent view of the valley.
Autumn had richly clothed the scene in nut brown, greens and gold.
 On a clear day you could see the bay.

Yes, behind every cloud there's blue sky.
See, there it is.
However, if a hole doesn't open up you have to go through
the cloud of unknowing to see it.
I call it the grey zone - where clear vision isn't an option.
The grey zone where decision making isn't black and white.
There are no feeding tubes and last rites in the grey zone.
The grey zone is where you play dice and hang (in time)
waiting to see how the game plays out.
Apparently, the grey zone is a place where an old guy
can put his right foot in the grave
and just as quickly take it out and shake it all about.
I'd be so focused I would catch myself holding my breath.
Imagine having to remind yourself to so something so automatic as breathing?
So, with positivity - onward and upward - next stop - a skilled nursing facility.
Unbelievable, how is this possible?
A lucid  day,
where recovering man expresses himself eloquently,
giving thanks to his Decider (POA), watchwoman caregiver, his mouthpiece - ME!
sniff and tear....
I own that lucid moment.
It is mine. All mine.
I am sorry for the others who did not get one.
Because the moment didn't last.
The ones that followed weren't the same.
Later a midnight call
and more weighty decisions about a fever, drugs, and readmission.
It is a roller coaster ride - just like the fair.
(I hate the rides at the fair.)
Hear my virtual scream.
I look down at my hands -
I am neither grasping the rail or holding my hands high.
In my mind I am PRACTICING riding the rise and fall.
I focus on the concept of BE and DO.
When I can't Do (anything about anything) - I can (simply) Be.
I can breath.


  1. Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans -- I think John Lennon said that. Just breathe...that's all you can do, that's all you have control over. All the best to you and yours.

  2. The grey space .. Full of potential ... So ripe .. So open to let oneself carried by the beginners of the moment ..neither here nor there, released from having to be black or white but filled with muted understanding ... Bright blessings your way for this transitional time x

  3. I am with you here. I was on that roller coaster for a number of months in2012-213, was off for just enough time to start my to-do lists and envision a different life, then was whooshed away again. There is much joy in amongst the grays and calm blues, I found. I imagine you have found that as well.

  4. Another week has passed. The ride more wild than the week before. I remind myself all we ever had was present tense - the moment of now. I do appreciate the moments of grace and calm and peace. Thanks Milliande and P.D. for your encouragement.