Emerging from the Cave
It has been so long
since I wrote on this blog,
I don't remember the "me"
who wrote last time.
But I do know that I haven't
had a way to write words here,
because I have been "inarticulating"
(being actively present to something
that has not yet found the right words).
There is the sense that I have been in a cave. This image resonates.
My body immediately relaxes and says, "Yep, that's the right word for this, "CAVE".
The difficult human process of surgeries, ER visits, feeding tubes and chemo was dark,
chilly and isolating, even as I felt the warm oil of the presence
of family and friends.
What I have been surprised by has been
the weird difficulty of emerging from this cave experience.
Like in the image above, there is a brightness that can be blinding.
Like the Leadville winters which stun the eyes with its whiteness,
rendering it difficult to see when one enters indoors.
It takes time for the eyes to dilate and adjust to the light of indoors.
But in my case, it isn't my eyes that need time to adjust.
It is my words.
How to reenter the verbal/cognitive world freshly from my stunning experience...
Frankly, each time I have attempted to speak from the felt realness,
I have felt misunderstood.
And this is not about anyone misunderstanding me.
Some have tried, sincerely to understand.
So then there's THAT layer, too.
If I feel misunderstood, others might feel defensive
as if my sense of being misunderstood
is a criticism of their efforts to understand.
And of course, that would make sense, because the feeling
of being misunderstood makes me a monster.
It is a maddening experience that makes me want to spit or kick something.
WHEW!! The efforts to understand have been above and beyond...
The fact is that I can't possibly be understood
when I am inarticulating. No words are quite right.
The moment words are out of my mouth, they are not quite right.
What has been helpful has been when some have been able
to hold space while I've inarticulated my "Something"
with patience, knowing my words don't mean what I want them to mean.
George has been finding this patience on a daily basis.
Thank you to each of you. Thank you for stumbling around in the murk with me.
On this blog, I begin again to speak, just a little.
I have grown some hair, and while I am grateful ...
( it is important, so I hear, to be grateful, dammit!)
... my new hair has a poodle quality to it that isn't what I remember as "me",
in spite of those who tell me its cool, I'm not thrilled.
But I will not forget the first time someone said, "Nice haircut!"
and I realized, delightfully, that she had no idea...
Better than bald! Yes, I can say that!
My bones are rounding out into flesh again, slowly, delightfully.
Now this is completely awesome!
And I'm chewing and crunching and swallowing
large amounts of food.
And I feel more my familiar self than I have in a year and a half.
I'm beginning to re-member. I like that!
This morning, I read an article by Eugene Gendlin, which says:
People could not change,
problems could not be solved,
if one works only with what is already clear.
Any problem can be shown to be irresolvable,
any difficult situation can be shown to be impossible,
if one is closed to the implicit complexity,
if one wants only to work with
the already cut and defined pieces.
But it is difficult and unfamiliar
to pay direct attention
to what is as yet only sensed,
only a bodily unease.
One's attention must descend into the body.
It requires some degree of relaxation,
and quietude ...
...There needs to be a cessation of thinking
at least for some brief periods.
I appreciate each one of you for reading this.