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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.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Looking UP (and out and down and in)

Friday's small stone: 
Looking back to the beginning of this week I am aware of the way words can tip me off balance, words like "You have JC virus." A good cry and a night of sleep, combined with meditation and the dawning of a new day can just as easily bring me back to center. 

Monday: Looking out the car window and up, I saw the tree, the sky, caught in a moment of reflection. And that's where I am dwelling too, in a reflected glance up and out, down and in. Some days it is easier to see the intricacies of life mirrored back to me and discover beauty in a moment like this, outside of my body, but when I sit and look at the complicated network of my neurons, okay, FEEL them randomly firing or misfiring... every bit as wondrous and miraculous as the delicate branches of a tree reaching into sky...I know on one level I am the tree, my nerves are the branches, my soul is the sky...yes I know this, and yet, I am caught, reflecting on what was and will be...because this moment is so hard to stay with, to be in. But this IS where I am. With breath and tears I draw myself back into my body, the sensations that are becoming increasingly uncomfortable on the side of my face (residual neuropathy from varicella, the virus that causes chicken pox and in my case, shingles, two years ago,  is no longer masked by the Gabapentin that had become toxic to me) and I practice staying. Because the truth is, there is no other place to go.

It turns out that there is yet another virus living in my body, JCV that is not compatible with Tysabri, the infusion I receive to slow down the progression of new MS lesions. This is the virus that can lead to PML...a secondary viral infection that could potentially kill me. Thank God, I don't have PML, but this piece of information is vital for making decisions about my care from here on out. Is the benefit  of Tysabri still worth the risk, now that we know for sure I have the JC virus and we are in year two of the drug? Is it worth it, as I seem to be losing ground again, my movement becoming less coordinated despite this powerful medication? Are there changes in my central nervous system that the MRI's just aren't picking up? We thought stopping the Gabapentin would have me back to where I was in the summer. We saw tremendous improvement for a couple of weeks, but now I am  regressing, struggling again to lift my legs after small amounts of activity. We need to regroup, the doctors, (it was my local neurologist who shared the news with me) Gordon and I, to discuss this and decide if it is best to stay the course or change it. There are not a lot of other options here. But there are a few. And so you can understand how my discomfort goes beyond physical sensation to the roots deep down in my heart. Hence the reflective pull toward past and future and the reluctance to stay where I am. And I am remembering my own words of courage to myself; All IS WELCOME, the fear, the uncertainty, the discomfort, the reality of this moment. AND with it, the clear, certainty and comfort of knowing that we will come up with a plan, the fear will give way to peace soon enough. Nothing stays the same. Just as our car passed the window reflecting the tree and the sky, my view will shift, I will be okay. I will learn to be okay with the changes one by one. I'll just keep looking in and down and out and up until I feel my soul is the sky again, and root myself there, in faith.
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Tuesday: I went to sleep soon after writing the text above Monday evening, with a prayer in my heart, to wake up with a new view in the morning. I looked straight up, still tucked beneath the covers in bed and out the window. There I spied a planet winking at me from the darkness. I sat up, put on my fleece jacket  to ward off the chill, and meditated in our shadowy bedroom. When I opened my eyes next, this is what I saw...
I watched the sky change.
I turned my head, physically shifting my perspective, and watched the sun rise.




I turned my gaze again and observed the lines of frost, the light, the sky the trees.
Watching the frost slide down the window, the blush of pink mingling with the hushed blue of the sky, I saw myself softening on the inside, as well.  Settling into the beauty of the moment, anxiety slipping away with the news from the afternoon before, the words that had caught me in fear and grieving, released me as presence gently nudged me back to center. I really am okay.

Wednesday: I'll see my doctor in Boston in two weeks. I will continue to wake up each morning with gratitude, because that's what I do, because this world is so breathtakingly beautiful, because I can turn my head from side to side and my mind from one thought to another and welcome another view.

Thursday: Please forgive me for not stopping by your blogs much this week because: 1. I'm wicked tired. 2. We had a huge snow storm Wednesday (photos tomorrow) so the girls were  home on that day. 3. My friends came to visit Thursday, and 4. We have family coming up to visit from PA later today for the weekend. (Yay!) But after Monday, I'll be back to visiting the bloggy neighborhood again.

gentle steps,
~Laura
linking to:





39 comments:

  1. You are a remarkable woman. I needed your words today. Like you noted, I experience renewal each morning with a night's rest, the dawn of a new day, and meditation/yoga.

    I'm sending you warm {soul hugs}.

    Namaste,
    Kathryn, Collage Diva

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  2. That's been an intense and long week Laura... so full of all types of moments... You describe every single moment and feeling oh so well my dear.
    Hey
    there is no reason to say sorry here... never never never
    Love always
    Be well
    and enjoy the rest of your busy week!
    :)
    Dulce

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  3. ((((Laura))) Nothing to forgive dear friend...you are focusing on what is before you and that is how it should be...it brings me joy to read that you had friends there with you and now family is there to surround you as well...what perfect timing...as always you have encouraged me with your words...thank you sweet friend...blessings to you and your loved ones as you spend time together this weekend. XX

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  4. What kind of nutrional regime do you have in place?
    Have you noticed much impact on your general wellbeing with you alter that from time to time?
    Sorry for you additional bad news. Don't think just pile up at times.
    I'm just now embarking on a different comination of nutrition factors and always hope for the best :-)

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  5. What is clear from the sentiments expressed and the photos displayed is that, despite the challenges you are facing, you are still you, a gentle, peace-seeking spirit.
    Judy

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  6. I am sorry you have so much to face. It sounds like a grueling week but your strength shines through. You captured what you see with your camera so well.

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  7. What inspiring photos! Just gorgeous.

    Hope you start feeling more invigorated soon. Enjoy your family visit.

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  8. Even as you teeter-totter, I feel your compassion, our connection. Bright Blessings, beautiful soul.

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  9. Your photos so beautiful and inspiring as always, Laura. I'm sorry to learn about your new challenges. I know you will enjoy visiting with your family this weekend.

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  10. You are full of inspiration, strong in mind, body and heart.

    May God continue to bless you and give you the strength you need to go through the challenges.

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  11. Great shots! The bottom one is my favorite. I hope you feel much better soon.

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  12. Hope you have an enjoyable visit with family. You have been an inspiration to me today, both with your words and photos.

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  13. Sorry you're going through all that, hugs your way! Your photos are so pretty though - the colors are just great. Like James, the bottom one is my favorite. Feel better soon :)

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  14. Laura, I want to say so much but the words escape me. My heart is with you. Thank you for reminding me that it is a beautiful world regardless of how life has unravelled itself for us. Yesterday, as I was cleaning up the bathroom floor because my mother had had an accident, I felt sorry for myself. Today I saw a brighter sunrise. My challenges do not compare to yours and thus your words are so inspirational and helpful to me. Enjoy the weekend, forget about blogging for now and have fun.

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  15. I made the journey of this week with you, through your words. You have a lot to deal with. My spirit rose with you, and with the beautiful photos, as you woke up to watch the sky changing. I , too, settled into the present moment in the midst of the spectacular beauty of this planet. Take good care, one day at a time........I hope those doctors will find effective treatment for you. But I believe, as you do that, no matter what, you will be okay.

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  16. I'm very touched by your words...
    It is true, the world is a beautiful place to be, and we shall be thankful for every minute we breathe.

    Keep looking at life positively, everything will be ok :)


    loveNlight
    Gabi

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  17. Once again you have raised me outside myself ... all those little things I frustrate myself with ... are exactly that. Little. To know you, my friend, is to rediscover the joys in life ... no matter how limited that life has become. You amaze me, you humble me, you inspire me.

    Love and Peace to you today, Laura.
    I can never thank you enough - for being who you are, and for sharing with us your courage and beauty - heart and soul.

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  18. Laura, wishing you strength to cope all the chalenges in your life. Greetings from Inge

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  19. Wonderful to look "up" to your photo and words!
    Much inspiration to find here in your place:-)
    Be blessed! Hugs from Tania

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  20. Hi Laura, you have nothing to be sorry for, none at all! Keep warm and happy weekend! You are always in my prayer.

    xoxo
    Kim

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  21. Your faith and courage is always so astonishing to me. If onle everyone took things the way you did! And don't worry about not stopping by my blog, your visit and kind, caring comment on Wednesday was worth one thousand visits all wrapped up together :o)

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  22. Sending healing wishes, blessings and my love to you..........

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  23. I feel bad that you are facing the disappointment of having JC virus and the uncertainty of what will happen next. All the best, Laura, as you wait for your next visit to your doctor in Boston. Meanwhile, I hope you have a glorious weekend with your visitors from Pennsylvania!

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  24. I really like your window photo Laura.

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  25. You've captured beautiful photos despite your challenging week. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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  26. Beautiful sky photos Laura. The small twigs look like spider web, nice capture!

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  27. Gentle steps to you, dear Laura. Your words touch my heart like no other. I am glad you keep us posted on what is happening with you, your body, and all that you must accept, embrace, as it is. :-) May your heart be happy with the company of special guests. Enjoy all the love...xo

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  28. Your looking up has me looking up and feeling the beauty of life and wishing you peace and joy.

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  29. Your images are exquisite- may you know the beauty you share is truly light filled. I Add my prayer of blessing and comfort.-- how very appropriate the word verification - addlite-

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  30. Beautiful photos Laura.
    I wish you well.
    Have a great weekend.

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  31. I love the shot of the frost on the window!

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  32. As I've felt your love and prayers for me in these last weeks, I offer the same to you as you find ways to make peace with your body and the pain and the fear. Please know you're not alone, that the way you're living the challenges of your life helps so many with their own struggles. You are truly a messenger, a teacher, a woman of wisdom.

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  33. Roz reads your blog, and she mentioned this update to me, but I haven't had a moment until today to get over here. I am weeping... for the wicked onslaught of this illness... for the beauty you find and share, in spite of. May you continue to have grace for each moment, each breath.

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  34. oh, Laura,
    I just asked, because maybe it felt like a while since an update.
    Holding you tight in love and prayers always sweet sweet Laura.
    You humble me with your true living life as a gift heart.

    thank you for that .

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  35. May peace be yours, dear Laura. This is so much for one person to deal with. I marvel at your courage and grace.

    This weekend two separate people close to me, who know you as one of my wonderful online friends, asked me how you are doing ~ they, too, hold you in their thoughts and prayers.

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  36. laura, i see you rise with faith that is beyond all comprehension. i see you fly.
    my LOve{and my faith, too}
    michelle, thewanderer

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  37. laura, i see you rise with faith that is beyond all comprehension. i see you fly.
    my LOve{and my faith, too}
    michelle, thewanderer

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  38. You embody grace, Laura. And, you WILL be okay.

    Sending you much love on this day.

    Carolynn

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