Wednesday, November 30, 2011

negative would have been positive...

“That’s the great paradox of living on this earth, that in the midst of great pain you can have great joy as well. If we didn’t have those things we’d just be numb.”

Kathy Mattea

Today didn't work out the way I'd hoped it would...the way I really thought it was going to.

My 'N' was going to be for negative but it turned out positive so all I have is numb.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mmm... thanks

"Mammograms are really sort of a gift. You can either catch something early or count your lucky stars because nothing was discovered. Either way, you're ahead of the game." Charlotte Ross

The recent celebrations involving thousands of turkeys led me to ask Uncle Google what the origins of this holiday were. He told me that it all started when a group of Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620. Their destination? The New World. Although filled with uncertainty and peril, it offered both civil and religious liberty.
For over two months, the 102 passengers braved the harsh elements of a vast storm- tossed sea. Finally, in late November, with firm purpose and a reliance on Divine Providence, the cry of “Land!” was heard.
This little Pilgrim has also had a journey of sorts. It all started in March when I was back in Cape Town taking advantage of vast supplies of wondrous Chardonnay my remaining health insurance and proximity to my Doctors, amongst other things! The year before when I’d been there getting my residence visa’s for Portugal sorted out I’d done the same thing and also decided that it was time to put on my big girl panties and have a colonoscopy as well as the rest of the usual check-ups. That was a joy as no sooner had I gotten those big girl panties back on I was in surgery having a chunk of my colon chopped out. Suffice to say that experience had left me feeling a tad vulnerable. Anyway on this trip back it was time for the Girls to be checked again.    
No it’s not a comfortable procedure but its quick and really should be compulsory. The crap part is the size of the cubicle that they sit you down in to await your fate. And wait I did. Eventually I realized there was something amiss which was confirmed 2 hours later after 5 scans of the left gal and the need for a few new magazines to read. And still there was debate about who was seeing what where. If you spend longer than necessary in these types of places you see lots of very sick people and start alternating between counting your lucky stars and shitting yourself. 
Eventually I was taken through for an ultrasound and I don’t know what I remember being worse...the dude sticking his elbow right into the colon op scar or him saying they needed to get hold of a breast surgeon.
You know we can sit and postulate all we like about what we will or wont do in this or that situation but here’s the times like these you hit the wall of your own truth so hard that there is no have to have an opinion and a plan. Okay first you have a panic. I was flying out 2 days later and in the midst of trying to keep a lid on my hysteria it hit me that I wasn’t just going overseas...I was going home. 
It was in that moment that I knew it was time to test out the medical system here on the island even though it, like the New World all those years ago was also filled with uncertainty, but hopefully not peril. I got the blessing from the woman who has been my Gynecologist forEVER and in a flash my entire medical history and all my scans were loaded onto a CD and I was good to go. One HAS to be thankful for the ease at which shit like that happens these days; at how small it makes the world and how international a language digitizing has become.
And I could not have asked for kinder care once I got back here. Slow...because we all bob along in the sea of the public health system so one does have to do a certain amount of waiting. One must therefore give thanks for the fact that one has a kindle! But they were thorough. All of the tests I’d had done in Cape Town they did again. They took 5 biopsies and could have waved me on my way saying all was well but no, they went the extra mile and booked me in for surgery to get an absolutely certain result. It is SO weird being so completely foreign in a hospital. The other 2 gals in the ward with me spoke no english so I really had no idea what they were having done. All I knew was that I was second in line for theatre. The younger one went in first and four hours later it was my turn so I knew it must have been major. And it was. Because her mother had died of breast cancer she was booked in for a mastectomy when her mammogram showed an inflammation - not cancer mind you, just an inflammation! So young!! Clearly these dudes don't take any chances!
And yes I’ve had problems with my scar and the stitches and the whole wound healing shit but this little Pilgrim is nothing but grateful for the fact that thus far she is intact. 
And at last...finally, late this November, tomorrow in fact, with firm purpose and a reliance on Divine Providence, I am hoping for the cry of “Negative!” when I have - hopefully - my final appointment.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

...we interrupt this long and winding alphabet wish y'all a Happy Thanks Giving
Artwork from Story People by Brian Andreas

Saturday, November 19, 2011

'ell 'ath no fury...

...ergo there shall be no angst whilst we ponder the letter L!

Of course the first word that springs to mind is Love. She is closely followed by Life and Laughter. And did you know that there are a whole legion of Lost words? I've read that there are rare words, and the there are even rarer words, but only a very special word qualifies as a bona fide lost word. And by lost it is meant never used on the internet. There is now a whole website dedicated to them ...hmmm... I guess those that were once lost are now found.
A few years ago I received a list of words that Collins (I think) were proposing to have removed from the next print of their dictionaries. Evidently they felt there were now too many words in the English language so the lesser or never used ones were lined up for deletion to make way for newer ones. There was a mad panic amongst writers to use these endangered words as often as they could before print date to try and save them from extinction. I must look for that list as they were truly worthy words...much worthier than the likes of 'unfriend'…’meh’.
I don't know about you but I can get lost in lists of rare finds words like Lairwite ~ a fine given to a married woman for adultery; evidently paid by her father! That alone might cause some to take pause and reconsider their morals! And what about Logogogue ~ one who issues laws or rules regarding words... not unlike the head honcho of Collin's but I guess CEO looks better than Logogogue behind one's name! And did you know that a Lambdoid means shapes like the letter Lambda (^) or "L"?

Anyway, in an effort to keep it Light and Limpid and not get too Largiloquent, my focus for this letter of my alphabet will be

It's colour, aroma and simplicity strike such a chord in me not unlike this picture. Suffice to say I have a Lot of it growing in my garden.

The last time I was in Cape Town I drove far and wide hunting down a pink flowered variety to go with my treasured white one. And don't raise those was only one little plant! The year before I transported...oh all curry tree, root cuttings from my precious rose bushes, the aforementioned white lavender plant along with a pink one and a yellow one...the last two subsequently died hence my quest.
I really do think we are getting off topic here people!!
Besides when I found a pink one, at a ridiculous price I might add, I was very thorough about washing off all the soil from the roots as its that that seems to bug the plant police. I guess they've had the Last Laugh as when it bloomed this summer it wasn't really that erm..Pink... not like the picture on the label. I Know...Lesson Learned...from now on I will just smuggle seeds in - although I'm pretty sure if they are hermetically sealed then it can't be deemed a smuggle! And no, there is no such a thing as a garden centre on this little island so to be fair (to me of course!) I have been forced into these bad habits!

I have a small plot of land that has lain fallow for all time and my plan is to slowly but surely grow enough of my beloved herb to replace the untold volumes of weeds that have found refuge there...imagine that!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Oooo...K (particle too)

Okay so my pinky promise 'tomorrow' has turned into a 'today' well over a week later…so be it.
Anyway… today is the day and its an auspicious day with its three elevens.
Now where was I?
Oh yes, turning towards the looking glass…hmmm.

There is nothing more important than the relationship we have with ourselves.
We know this …don’t we? We are not stupid…are we?
Yet we have it drummed into us that we need to put others’ needs before our own; be kind to others first; that any attention to self is selfish. And then to compound the whole thing we spend even more time beating ourselves up…how clever is that? How UNkind is that?

We all know what that delicious moment between sleeping and waking feels like…before life comes rushing at us.
So why does that feeling only last for a moment?
I think it’s because every morning when we wake up, before we have a conscious thought, we immediately log on to mypersonalsoundtrack dot com which tells us we are ‘too’ this or ‘too’ that and all our negative energy of anxiety, insecurity, anger and resentment comes rushing in. It’s like we have a drop down list in our head that tells us we are ‘too’ something, or not enough something else; less than, more than, early for, late for. And then of course we have all the ‘shoulda-coulda-woulda’ sound effects to jolly things up even more. Of course we wash that all down with a cup of guilt sugared with remorse and regret and THEN we get up, get dressed and go out into the world – the world whose needs we’ve been told we need to think of before our own. And it tells us even more versions of what we do or don’t lack! And then the Universe whispers in our ear that nirvana will be attained if we just let go of who we or others think we are supposed to be and be who we really are.
Shit…sit still for a moment world!

That concept, that idea of being who we really are, that got me asking myself… who are you Possum?
One person could see you as a genius who is wise and knows how to solve problems but another could see that same you-ness as being a know-it-all; being an inspiration to one could be another’s bossy and manipulative.
And of course all we remember, all we focus on, are the negative aspects of this spectrum, the criticized versions of who we are. Right? This sometimes has us jumping through hoops or behaving like chameleons in order to ‘belong’…to fit in.
But … if you sit still and think … just think about it… we might be too something for some people and not enough for others so in fact we just are… we are not ‘too’ anything… we are Worthy. And the kindest thing we can do for ourselves is consciously focus on that worthiness, on feeling comfortable in our own skin; accepting that no matter what you do belong.
We need to worry less about what people think or say and more about how we feel.  Just mind our own business and ask ourselves every morning when we wake up: What do I need to take care of myself today. I am pretty sure that if we change that inner soundtrack...change that negative default setting in our brain...we could go a long way to extending that morning deliciosity.(my own word)
If you want to be kind to others start with self. It is the only way.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oh....K (part won)


ManKIND is generally no such thing. Kind, that is.
I started pondering this topic a few weeks ago and kept hitting my head up against a negative brick wall. I KNEW that I wanted my K word to be about KINDness but all I could focus on was UNkindness. Do you find yourself doing that or is it just me?
Or was it just me and what was happening those few weeks ago?
You see what happened was I got a surprise visit from my ex’s mother. Not a biggie you might think but I live on an island and in order to get to it considerable effort needs to be made. So one has to take a moment and ponder what the Universe was up to when she conspired to cross our paths.
The ex's Mother now lives in the UK and works for an agency that does “caring” work - looking after old people in their homes – but the gig that had her sailing into town, literally, was looking after some wingnut who was being sent on her annual cruise and needed minding rather than caring.
So you can imagine the rise of my eyebrows when I got the text asking me if I was going to be around then and if I was able to see her.
I must say in terms of being kind, she has been nothing but.
And yes, I could have said no. But I felt it was important to acknowledge the effort the Mother was making and her moxie, cos if you think about it there is a big difference in keeping in touch with me via text message and birthday or Christmas cards, to having me arrive to collect you from a cruise ship and bring you to the family house for a visit with my parents and I! I don’t know if I would have the balls to do that if I had a son who had treated his partner as UNkindly as hers has treated me and risk the wrath of the family.
But it was lovely seeing her and so nice that she was able to see where and what my new life is like, and lovely that she was able to see my parents again even though the whole time she was here there was a huge big stinking elephant in the middle of the room, so to speak! Just before I had to get her back to the ship I brought out a large package of all of the Dorkus’s precious stuff and asked if she were able to take it as I didn’t feel comfortable throwing it all away.
(Yes, his shit from our life together in South Africa is still in our basement garage in storage where it has been since we moved over here!)
Talk about hitting the elephant with a stick!!
She got very tearful and felt the need to apologise to me for how her son had treated me.  It transpires that the Dorkus is now married to some poor unsuspecting slag with 5 children from who knows how many previous marriages and they live in a one horse town in the middle of butt fuck nowhere in the Texas Panhandle. Oh, that’s right…5 children, 1 grandchild and (drum roll please…) an American citizenship. Although I really don’t think that the old trick of marrying an American to be "in status" works these post 9/11 days…however this news really did allow a lot of pieces to fall into place…finally! Ironically the Dorkus' Father, the Mother’s now ex husband, treated her equally UNkindly after over 45 years of marriage – took off with all her money and some trailerpark-ish slag.
I was surprised how upset I was by all of this, but not for the obvious reasons.  Not because there is now some other female sleeping in what was my bed with what was my man…dear god…she is welcome to that part of him with bells and whistles.
No, it was the careful planning and conniving that had gone into making this all happen. Making it all look like he was the victim and I was the big bad wolf in the story. It was the very VERY conscious choice to be UNkind to me…not just in general…but to me. THAT is what hurt.
“A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.” ~
Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"
 When I read that quote I realized this was something that I had always known but chosen to ignore. His Mother even alluded to his streak of cruelty, how like his father he was behind his seemingly innocuous and kindly manner and this made her fearful for his sake. What I also realized was that for all this time that I have been getting on with my own life – laughing and doing and being and outwardly fine because the tears have stopped – the truth was there was still a huge amount of shit to deal with; still a whole heap of emotional cracks that I had just slapped a coat of paint over that actually still needed filling. Bugger!!
This also coincided with a gal here on the island, a so called friend, taking a big blunt knife and for absolutely no reason at all other then her own “issues”, sticking it into my back. So of course I made it all about me didn’t I?? I didn’t slip or fall, I JUMPED right back into that black hole of self justification, oh woe is me and how dare they, how could they; a veritable victim fuzz ball cocktail!
And all of this transpired when I was pondering KINDness! A big fat dilemma right? I just wanted to grab hold of it by the balls and shake it til it screamed!
But I didn’t. I stepped out onto my terrace one night when the bloody neighbours dogs were barking and keeping me awake; and realized why…it was full moon time. It was also time to call in the big guns; to practice what I have so often preached to my nearest and dearest; time to ask my Angels for help. But not just generalized help…very specific help. I asked them to get their asses right over to me and help me get right over this shit and let go of the sadness, the feelings of failure, the anger, the darkness. And I didn’t just want one of them here, I wanted the whole bloody “A” team!!
I really thought I had done this before but clearly I had not done it with intent because trust me, not a day has gone by since then that I have not received some or other validation that my Angels heard me and showed up. Silly little things like clicking on a website or blog and getting goose bumps because I just know that I have been pointed to whatever words I am reading, or whatever vimeo I click on either by mistake or on purpose, or even as far as when window shopping on Amazon for books to buy and the list of books that come up that “others” have bought that Amazon think I might like. Blow your mind away books that I DID buy and am busy reading!!  Even as we speak I know that there is more, that there will be more. And the recurring theme of the direction in which they have been pointing me is fear and forgiveness. Dealing with those two, in essence, is how I can be the kindest of all to myself. It is actually none of my business why the Dorkus chose to be so UNkind to me: my business is why I allowed it to happen to other people when I was with him – like the way he treated his ex wife, the way he treated his staff...
the way he spoke to the waiter!
In fact my only business in having allowed him to treat me the way he did when I was stuck out there in the middle of butt fuck nowhere in the Texas panhandle is not why I allowed it but how and what I am doing to move forward from that ever happening again and if there is a why…why am I not celebrating my freedom! Celebrating my me-ness
I have consciously resisted this whole forgiveness shit but I now realize that it is the path that I have to go down.
Okay change the wordage…not down…along…up…whatever J
It will most certainly not happen just because I say the words…it will happen because I feel them. And I must say there’s a whole lot of excitement I feel waking up every morning and consciously deciding that I will try to be kind in word, action and thought but let me tell you, it takes a LOT of intent and conscious effort.

But wait…there will be more…tomorrow!
Pinky promise people!