Why I Must Write

On Friday, I shared this recent poem with you.  I published this one in particular to be an encouragement to you, but I wrote this completely for myself.

Today my mind is foggy, my throat a little sore, even after drinking green tea.  Over the past few weeks, it feels as if my body is disintegrating in small ways.  My stamina is gone. My allergies and mold in the air are affecting my enjoyment of being outside.  Eating out a few times last week has disrupted my eating patterns.  Today I am frustrated, sad, and weary.

It feels like so much work, only to be lying on the couch again exhausted.  I do grow weary in doing good.  I do grow weary in my self-care, in my meal preparation, in my epsom salt baths, in morning walks and yoga, in my every-3-week IVs, in explaining to people why I eat the way I do.

I’m also still weary because I’ve let myself grieve.  Because of Hashimoto’s, my body does not handle grief or stressful situations as resiliently as it used to.  So when I work through strong emotions over a period of time, my body grows weary.

I grow weary on days when I fixate on what I’ve missed out on, rather than claim the gifts I have to bring into the world.

I grow weary simply because I have Hashimoto’s and choose to not start of the day like this.

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I must write because I need to re-read what I’ve written.  I need to remember the sad days, the happy days, the boring days, and the weary days.  I need to remember that I’m loved just for being me on all those days.

I re-read all the entries in this journal before I feel asleep one night last week.  I was caught up again in all the questions I was asking, in the anxiety of transition, and the excitement of Spring Break.  I saw glimpses of why I love spiritual direction in a fresh light, and why I’m drawn to solitude.  I filled this particular journal with lots of poems that I read through and copied down at Carmel Library.

I must remember that my body is beautiful because it’s mine.  Because when my brain gets foggy because of allergies, I do not perceive myself well.  I need help remembering, and so I write.

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My Body, Beautiful

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It’s not because of make-up,

a slim figure, gorgeous hair,

or silky skin.

 

It’s not love letters or cliche

compliments.

 

It’s in the moments I choose

to be present in my body:

epsom salt baths,

the walks where I discover

my breath.

 

It’s in the coffee mug of bone broth

and the coconut oil slathered sticky

on my hands.

 

It’s peeling sweet potatoes and

smelling steam from ground beef

cooking.

 

It’s scribbling in my notebook,

listening to the Lumineers,

taking time to smell the hyacinths

orchids, and tulips.

 

My senses compel me to sit with my body,

to converse, to laugh and cry with

this entity who seems other-than-me.

 

This body tells me that her favorite job is to

whisper, “You are beautiful” to me all day

long.

 

She waits daily for me to respond,

 

“I believe you.”

Stepping Back

I’m stepping back into routine today, as I had a week off from work before I ramp up for the summer.  And it was healing to step back.  I watched summer sink in as the weather was in the 90’s and the Indy 500 celebrated its 100th race 3 miles from my apartment.  I rollerbladed on a flat trail by my parents’ house, went to a coffee shop and shared a pitcher with coffee with Chels.  I visited two different farmer’s markets, buying maple syrup, rhubarb, kohlrabi, and lettuce.

I baked a vanilla pudding pie, and it melted in the Memorial Day heat.  But even in its soupiness, it was delicious.  I threw a frisbee and a football for 15 minutes until it got too hot.  I sneezed like crazy and my feet got scratched from the tall grass.  I watched Food Network while getting my long awaited IV.  I ate dinner and listened and talked with people from church at the barn.

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Chels and I signed our lease and are getting excited about moving in July, especially about having more room!   Chels and I celebrated her 1 year remission day by going out to lunch at Garden Table, which then extended to dessert after.  My sister Laura spent the night and we celebrated her being done teaching by getting tapas and dessert and falling asleep to Gilmore Girls.  I had a few coffee dates with people from church.  Chels and I went to explore 8 different houses in the Meridian-Kessler home tour, which made it feel like participating in a local HGTV show.

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My mind had time to wander and wonder about my health and my vocation.  I had time to write and brainstorm about what I hope the fall will look like.  I let myself feel small pangs of anxiety of my health flaring up, yet hoping that my work is sustainable even as though it’s looking that my diet will need to change somewhat again.

Yet, the past 10 days has been this beautiful free space.  Space for me to be still and hospitable.  Space for me to feel intense fatigue and still have trust in this healing journey.  Space to put work away for awhile and engage in deep conversations with people.  Space for my to dream and hope and know that I’m truly living in abundance.

 

“Summer is the season when all the promissory notes of autumn and winter and spring come due, and each year the debts are repaid with compound interest.  In summer, it is hard to remember that we had ever doubted the natural process, had ever ceded death the last word, had ever lost faith in the powers of new life.  Summer is a reminder that our faith is not nearly as strong as the things we profess to have faith in-a reminder that for this single season, at least, we might cease our anxious machinations and give ourselves to the abiding and abundant grace of our common life.”

-Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak