WEBLOGS I LIKE
WEBLOGS I LIKE
I learned a lot about patience in the last couple of years.
A little more than two years ago our nation held national elections. My preferred candidate wasn’t on the ballot; none of the names that were gave me any confidence. The stress was more than I should have allowed to build for me. I was, no doubt about it, a political animal.
For a couple of months before the election I tried to stay away from the relentless onslaught of political advertisements, requests for donations, and emailed threats of impending disaster from various PACs. It didn’t work.
My health was deteriorating although the decline was not attributable to any single stress. The usual issues we all face were there, too. Financial concerns, the effect of a bad economy on my family, and illness in my extended family took their toll.
On November 7th of 2016, I died. Three times. I think.
It sounds strange, I know.
My memory of that day is so muddled and incoherent that I cannot swear to what did or didn’t happen. I know it took several tries to get my heart started again. They would succeed and then I was gone again.
I woke up in the hospital, barely aware of who and where I was. Staff was forbidden to talk about the election. I was grateful for that when I remembered that there had been an election. It seemed so inconsequential compared to death.
The day after the election, during an exam by my medical team, I had a stroke. I vaguely remember the trip from cardiac care to the neurology care unit. My husband’s face, when I finally woke, showed fatigue, concern, and a strange calm. I cannot imagine what his experience of this was. I know he stayed with me every step of this journey. For that I will always be grateful. I’ve always known he was a “keeper.”
Recovery is like battling an angry animal, one you can’t identify and have no idea how to avoid. It is an unending challenge; overcome one attack and a new one begins, unpredictable and somewhat incomprehensible. From singing the “alphabet song” and my “1, 2, 3 little Indians song” to see if I could still speak intelligibly to tracing words so I could begin to connect the motions of my hand to the ones I could see in my head, I kept trying. When those were learned, I had to practice walking, not easy since my heart and chest were filling with fluid on a regular basis, making breathing difficult at best.
Baby steps are hard when you think of yourself as an adult.
Of all that I had to learn again, the hardest lesson was patience. It is, indeed, a virtue, not one that I have ever had in abundance. I needed the refresher course.
Yes, I would have liked to have found my inner calm, my patience, another way. I doubt that it would have had the impact that this failure of my body to cooperate with my impatience and conviction that I was in control of things that no one can manipulate accomplished.
My battles now are on new fronts. I work on endurance, distance, strength, and courage. I try to do things I haven’t been able to do physically, like looking over my shoulder while moving without getting dizzy. Mostly I try to live each day without fear of another heart attack or stroke. I try to overlook the obstacles that all disabled people face, knowing that most of them come from lack of empathy. Not all, but most.
I care less about most of the things the media obsesses about. I try to see the future. What do we need to do to get from here to there with compassion, hope, and love?
I try to focus on my strengths. I try to show patience.
CREATING A COMMUNITY
Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program provides “equine-assisted activities and therapy to children and adults with a variety of physical, cognitive, and psychological disabilities in eastern North Carolina.” They train handlers and volunteers to work with their clients. Those clients include PTSD survivors, disabled children and adults, and community outreach programs in assisted-living centers and schools. Two of their mini-horses are now local sheriff’s deputies!
WEBLOGS I LIKE
“This blog is about life on our little piece of land. It’s about tapping into the farm girl ways I grew up with, and utilizing the best of what I learned; to enjoy life and live simply. This blog celebrates my relationship with nature, and my appreciation for experiences that have changed me. The most influential teacher of my life has been Daisy deer, an orphaned fawn we raised. I still spend time with her in the woodlands… and I am still learning from her.”
My flash fable, “Cheshire Cat Moon,” will appear in Soundings East, to be released in May 2018. This is one of my personal favorites. It is a midnight tale of life in the forest.
Melanie Arrowood Wilcox is a North Carolina native and a Carolina graduate with a Bachelor’s in Journalism. A writer and artist, her themes often involve spiritual issues presented as fables or modern interpretations of old texts. More information about Melanie is available at:
Commitment to Your Art
Find a workable schedule that encourages daily work time.
“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
(Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist)
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
The real “circle of life” is harsh and beautiful. The river flows still.
The story begins back in 2003 when Baja gained Washakie and her two-year old daughter, Bacardi, during a skirmish with Prince. Since that time, Baja and Washakie, have been inseparable. Fourteen years is a long time for a band to stay together in the Pryors, yet these two forged a strong and enduring bond. They were a striking matched dun pair. Baja was unmistakable with his two-toned mane and tail and his strong, muscular build. Washakie shared Baja’s dun coloration and had soft, doe-like eyes. These two with Washakie’s blue roan daughter, Bacardi, became a fixture on the mountain. They were quite elusive and weren’t always seen, but when they were, there was no doubt to their identify.
This was one of the first photos that Nancy took of Baja’s band. This was in May 2005. Bacardi had her first foal, stripe-y little grullo foal named Freedom. He did not…
View original post 1,156 more words
“Papa” was the first author whose work I liked enough to look for more. I read a collection of his short stories in third grade. Yes, a bit early, but books were my best friends at that time.
Since then I have read his novels, stories, and poetry.
I never stopped loving his work.
Along with Youth
A porcupine skin,
Stiff with bad tanning,
It must have ended somewhere.
Stuffed horned owl
Chuck-wills-widow on a biassed twig
Sooted with dust.
Piles of old magazines,
Drawers of boy’s letters
And the line of love
They must have ended somewhere.
Yesterday’s Tribune is gone
Along with youth
And the canoe that went to pieces on the beach
The year of the big storm
When the hotel burned down
At Seney, Michigan.
This poem is in the public domain.
Mexican village uses fireflies to halt deforestation by local logging industry
Spring is such a strange time of year. I love the newness of everything, but there is a part of me that cannot shed winter so easily.
by Ford Madox Ford
All within is warm,
Here without it’s very cold,
Now the year is grown so old
And the dead leaves swarm.
In your heart is light,
Here without it’s very dark,
When shall I hear the lark?
When see aright?
Oh, for a moment’s space!
Draw the clinging curtains wide
Whilst I wait and yearn outside
Let the light fall on my face.
This poem is in the public domain.