Monthly Archives: February 2017

St-ill-ness

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It’s been quite a while since my last blog post. A cold or flu virus had me flat on my back for ten days and it has taken me a while to recover and not just physically. This is my fourth attempt to write a new blog post and it feels like I lost the thread that connects me to not just my writing and creativity, but to the love I have for life. It is hard to describe the disconnection I feel. I wonder if the experience I had during my illness has something to do with this. Perhaps by retracing my steps and telling the story I will gain some clarity or perhaps even find the thread again.

p1140366So here it goes: On the day I got sick, my elderly dog Frodo also showed signs of not feeling well. This didn’t surprise me. We have been sick at the same time before and I wonder sometimes about the strong link between us. Frodo stopped eating that day and did not drink or eat for two days. He was getting weaker and weaker and we had to help him get up and take him outside to do his business. The snow did not help matters, making it even more difficult for him to walk. As I was lying on the couch watching him decline, I began to accept that his time here with us might be coming to an end. The power and phone line went out for a few days as well and when it came back on, I decided it was time to let my sons know about Frodo. Soon after I sent out the message the power went out for the second time and Frodo surprised us by suddenly showing interest again in food and water. As soon as he was getting better, I was getting worse.

Perception of time shifts when you are ill. I was lying there day in and day out watching the snowflakes come down in all their various sizes and forms and transform the world into winter wonderland. p1140900We had a surprising amount of snow, at least eighteen inches over a few days and much more on other parts of the island. Sometimes the snowflakes were as big as feathers. While watching them float gently to the earth I was reminded of one of my favourite childhood fairy tales “Frau Holle” or “Mother Hulda” in which a girl meets and lives with an old woman and when she shakes out her blanket it snows. I always loved the image of a Sky Goddess shaking out her huge feather blanket and somewhere in the world it would snow. In our world many branches and trees were cracking and breaking off under the white weight making our long driveway impassable. It felt like life had ground to a halt.

One morning after the worst night of coughing and headache, and the continues sounds of trees and branches breaking, I woke up and looked outside at the familiar view of the bay. p1140910I noticed right away that something was different: not what I saw but how I saw. The trees, ducks, water, the white landscape all looked the same, yet everything was so clear, like someone had cleaned a really dirty window or lens that I have been looking out of probably most of my life. I gazed at everything intently and suddenly knew what was so different: I was seeing the world before me without any resistance. It was so beautiful to see without any layer of judgement or preconceived notions. I was able to see that being without resistant to life lets love flow freely. It was remarkable to see the trickery of the mind, always wanting to change or improve reality or improve others or myself. It felt like a huge relief and joy to accept reality as it is. It wasn’t like being in the flow of life, but being the flow.

Many days have passed since this remarkable experience. I so wish I could have held onto experiencing life without resistance. But I wasn’t able to. I woke up this morning feeling as grey as the morning that greeted me. Now the rain is coming down heavily and Frodo is sleeping peacefully beside me. I don’t know what the next moment will bring, but in this one I am grateful to be alive and to be able to listen to the rain drumming on the roof. It is up to me to let life’s magic in and it is up to me to accept life on it’s terms not mine. It is in the stillness that I find my way back to the gift of life.

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