Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Healing: Blue, Brown, Green, Black, White and Gray

All of the sky photos above were taken up in the White Mountains on the same day a few weeks ago, when Gordon and I had a mini-vacation. I imagine snow is covering the ground up north now, not simply streaks on a mountain side, but a lovely white blanket.

Our dusting on Tuesday lasted a few hours...barely sticking to the roof shingles.

By midmorning the sun melted it away, leaving us with brown earth, prickly grasses, moss and leaves, striations of shadows from light masked by trees. Here's an abstract  view of the color palette from my window that afternoon:

The image below seemed to want to know what would happen if it were black and white (and grays and silvers of course) so I let it "play pretend". I remember when my girls were little and we watched the old Disney film the "Shaggy Dog," it was in black and white and we had said to the girls that it was a movie from when we were kids. Rosie (probably 5 at the time) was astonished. 


Very good news on the healing front. I saw my neurologist yesterday. It seems that the Gabapentin was the culprit. This means that I am on the mend and will start receiving Tysabri infusions again in two weeks...NO PULSE STEROIDS!!!! Risky as the Tysabri is, so far it has done what it was meant to do and my MRI's are stable. So it will be several more weeks until we figure out "where" I land from the whole Gabapentin toxicity situation. I am hopeful that with continued pt I will eventually be more functional around the house soon. Maybe one of these days I'll even start driving a car again. But one gentle step at a time. For now, even if this is it for my recovery plateau, I am so grateful! On Wednesday I walked 1010 feet with my walker, washed dishes for 20 minutes (standing) and folded one load of laundry (sitting). That was HUGE progress. Fatigue haunts me, and hunts me down, but that is to be expected with MS. I've only fallen once in the last two weeks. LIFE IS GOOD!

Thank you everyone for all your support in so many different ways. Your emails and comments heal me in ways no medication ever can.

To view more shifting skies and monochrome moments around the world visit:

Skywatch Friday


  1. Open sky is so powerful. I'm reminded of that as I stay with family in Colorado instead of being tucked away in the big trees of the Northwest.

    I've had acute odd reactions with Gabapentin. Your story is a reminder for those of us with chronic illness to question, meds and supplements, that we take. Am glad this was narrowed down.

    I hope to hear of your continued healing on the physical front.

    Take care, Donna

  2. Thank you Laura! you are such a wonderful example and inspiration to me.....your determination perseverance and strong will....with a smile on your face....

    "The one who falls and gets up is so much stronger than the one who never fell..."

  3. Just a note to let you know I am sending continual healing blessings your way. Have a good day :)

  4. Hi Laura,
    Thanks for commenting on my entry. Am glad to hear from you the improved condition. Christmas is coming soon, miracle will happen!
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. So happy to hear your good news! I love the roof shingles, colorful abstract view, trees and sky, all gorgeous, lovely post. :)

  6. Like you and Donna, I too had adverse reactions to Gabapentin. I hope the impact for you is transient. We are all so biochemically diverse. I knew a woman, with MS, who swore it was the most efficacious drug she had taken. So go figure. I am glad you are feeling better.

  7. I LOVED the Shaggy Dog when I was a kid! Haven't thought of it in years. And hooray for your good healing news!

  8. Laura, your blog is a healing place. You always see beauty everywhere.

  9. Thankfully, they have found the reason for your decline Laura. I am "lucky" in some ways. I have so many medication allergies, the docs are afraid to give me anything, so drug toxicity is not an issue for me.

    I am happy to hear you may well be on your way to feeling better.

    Beautiful sky shots, and I love the textures on the shingle shot.

  10. I'm so glad to hear your good news, and may it keep on coming.

    Beautiful images, so different from what we saw in the White Mountains in the summertime.

    My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  11. I had to laugh when I read "1010 feet with my walker." Do you have a pedometer hooked up to it? : )

    I'm so thrilled with your news! I know progress has been slow, but so happy it is progressing! And hoping for more, while I'm glad that you have the ability to be grateful for what you have.

    Your photos, as always, are gorgeous.

  12. Thanks everyone for your loving pedometer pt has measured the distance in the gym...ten times round the main area is 1010ft.

    slow going...and my legs were doing their Gumby impression on the last round but I did it!!!

    I always loved the Shaggy Dog movies (the originals) too!!!

    And yeah, I have some definite sensitivities to medications too...

    today I stood up from bed and my head was doing it's helicopter/possessed thing, but it settled down pretty hard to know what my new "normal" will be after this...but how can any of us really know??? Our bodies, our lives, our experiences are in constant change as is the world around us...

    I'm grateful for each extra step I am granted...and when I have to sit in my wheelchair, I am grateful to have a place to rest and still be able to get out a bit.

    YOU are all so awesome...I am so blessed to have the time to blog and connect with so many beautiful souls!!!!

  13. Doing the happy dance for your Laura..."1010 feet in your walker"...finding out what has been causing issues with you is a good thing...your shots are always I am blessed to read your thoughts as they encourage me in my own journey...thank you...white stuff is falling from the sky again as I really is pretty...blessings to you and your loved ones Laura...((((Laura))) Hope your weekend is happy! XX

  14. Hi LauraX! Thanks for your visit! I admire you for your strength and the way you cope with MS. Your photos are witnessing beauty and hope and love! Thanks for that. Have a great weekend!

  15. Hi Laura, thank you for always commenting and visiting my blog. I do appreciate it so much. I am so glad you are doing well you had done a great deal with all the household chores. Take one step at a time. Take care and keep warm.


    Sky Watch

  16. Nice variety of sky shots,
    take care and do rest well while the body heals.

  17. I enjoyed your blog and seeing all the wonderful sky sights. Very nice.

  18. bring on the miracles.

    Healing of our body, even just watching a small cut on a finger knit itself up and seal perfectly, always astounded me. I am still smitten silly by the smallest things.

    love your images

  19. Laura, the photos are delightful, and it's even more delightful to know you're on the road to more stable health.

    What's even more delightful, a blessing really, is your positive attitude.

  20. I enjoyed your blog and seeing all the wonderful skies

    Gr, Bram

  21. The photographs are all beautiful. Glad to hear that the culprit was found and that your situation is improving.

    I've been taking 3600 mg of Gabapentin a day (divided into 8 hour doses) for almost five years. It manages neuropathy I've had following a groin lymph node dissection. I have been having additional problems lately and scans show I don't have any metastatic disease so I'll ask my doctor about the issues of long term gabapentin use.

  22. What fabulous news, Laura! I'm so happy for you! Gentle steps, yes, but ones so full of hope! Amazing!

    Your photographs are gorgeous. Nature never fails to astonish, delight, and center me.

  23. The sky pictures are lovely and moody. I love the things children say and think. So funny.

    I understand the fatigue, I don't have MS, but have another illness that the only symptom I have developed yet is the fatigue. Some days I don't have enough energy to do much but set and do nothing. I hope the new treatment helps you to feel better and to continue to improve.

    Thank you for your kind visits to my blogs.

  24. I'm so happy to hear that they found that it was your medication making you feel so awful and I'm even happy to hear that you are already doing better! I so hope that you will continue to improve and will pray for it! Your photos, as always, are lovely! I really like the abstract one :o)

  25. I am reassured that life is good indeed after reading your post today!
    I love the healing colors in your photos too. Take those gentle steps. . .
    Have a lovely weekend!

  26. I like those trees back-cutting their nakedness to the sky

  27. I love that first photo. Gorgeous!

  28. Your photos are a delight to see, Laura. I hope all gos well for you and your health.. continue to have a positive attitude.


  29. Laura!!!!!

    This is so fabulous. Rejoicing with you.

  30. Best wishes with your healing. Those photos are gorgeous. The first one makes me want to go skiing, but I haven't done that in a few years.

  31. Laura,

    Thank you for posting the lovely pictures.

    Let's hear it for 1010 feet! That's wonderful!

    When I began taking gabapentin and was titrating up on the dosage, I had some unfortunate side effects (too long to explain in a blog comment).

    I'm sorry you had a bad reaction. I hope you get the gabapentin out of your system as quickly as possible. (When I have a really bad reaction that forces me to discontinue a medication, I drink loads of water to flush it out as quickly as possible).

    Anyway, for me it's all about the dosage with gabapentin. I was on nowhere near as high a dose as my neurologist had planned for me to take - but the side effects made it clear fairly early on that going up had to stop.

    In my case, the neurologist was hesitant to discontinue it completely because the pain relief it had given me for neuropathic pain was massive.

    So, we went backwards (to a very low dose). We went to so low that one of my other specialists (knowledgeable in pain management) came out and told me that he didn't see how that low of a dose could do much of anything.

    While that specialist has helped me a lot in other ways, I didn't care what he said about gabapentin because I could feel that it was definitely helping me. (In a perfect world, I wish I didn't have to take it but since I was waking up screaming in pain throughout the night before I was on it, I wasn't anxious to just drop it).

    It does help my pain at a very low dose. Whether this is related to my multiple chemical sensitivity altering how I respond to the medication or what, I don't know. All I know is that I have since met other patients like me online (who get pain relief from a low dose of it).

    Before gabapentin, the neuropathy in my feet prevented me from standing up in front of the bathroom sink long enough to get through brushing my teeth. So, I had to find creative ways of doing tasks like that.

    So, I am grateful for the relief it has given me (no more waking up in the middle of the night feeling like someone is stabbing the soles of my feet with ice-picks).

    I am really sorry that you had an adverse reaction to it! I've had some pretty wicked adverse reactions to medications and it can be downright scary.

    Thanks again for the great pictures. That's awesome that you had a mini-vacation.

    You're right. LIFE IS GOOD!


    P.S. Thank you for posting the Love Beats Hate flower in your sidebar. :)

  32. Good news on the health front! How wonderful... And your daughter's comment about the world being grey is fabulous! Thanks for the smile.

    I do enjoy the soft greys and whites of winter. Your photos capture their loveliness so well.

  33. Hello Laura, I am so happy to see you are improving. It is great news. I will keep you in my prayers. I loved all your sky photos. Looks like you enjoy skywatching as much as I do.

  34. Wonderful shots, Laura!
    Sending positive energy your way ~*

  35. lovely sights/
    & wishing their reflection
    into your insides
    to heal & refresh & make whole.

  36. Lovely shots Laura!

    I'm so happy for you, about the good news on the heath front.

    Wish you a happy weekend!


  37. Glad to hear you are on the mend! I like the repetitiveness in the shingle shot and the dusting of snow is accentuates the highlights.

  38. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos.
    Enjoy the weekend.

  39. Such wonderful news, my friend! I see a connection between the starkness, the black and white and gray of winter, and the simple pleasure of doing dishes and folding laundry. May the coming of the solstice and the turning of the seasons, the lengthening of the days, bring a personal growing of the light for you.

    Gorgeous pictures as always. Love your daughter's question. :-)

  40. Hello darling Laura. I'm sorry I've been absent lately, but I just haven't had as much time as I'd like for all the words I'd like to read. Your beautiful photos were such a delight for me today!

    I'm so glad that you are beginning to feel better and that they've found the culprit. Yay!

    Wishing you all the best today and always,
    Love and hugs,

  41. Your photos are beautiful; I really like the one of the roof shingles and the abstract of your yard.

    Hooray and praise God that you are doing better and found what was causing the problem! I pray for your well being today.

  42. Lovely trees, such beautiful simplicity. Stay well.

  43. This calls for a celebration;) Doing the happy dance here!

    May you be healthy and strong ~


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