Happy new year of the Metal Rat! 🎉
A dense fog blanketed the night and early morning. I could see out my window, the pillowy cotton white mist obscuring all else beyond the back porch line.
Waking today was slow, I felt congested in the head, headachy, and dehydrated. I kept nearly rising but then falling back again into a fog. I suspect I got a little carried away with sunshine and heated seats a few days ago and am still paying the price. Having fallen off my morning meditation for the last couple of mornings, and this being the first day of a new year, I was committed to rising for meditation practice before beginning the day today.
Eventually I persisted and was able to lean in enough to pull off the waking trick. After sitting for about 20 minutes, I reached out to Greg – still not feeling 100% I decided to start the day with a rehydrating glass of coconut water and immune support supplements, covering my bases as it were.
Greg came back that he himself was still under the weather and I should expect him in a few moments, hazmat protected.
Facemask and purple gloves intact, I could nonetheless detect a bright demeanor as he came through the door. Greg is nothing if not a trooper, countless life scenarios – beginning with a childhood in apartheid South Africa – have given him practice in resilience. With smiles and good cheer we made our way through our respective mornings ailments.
The morning routine was otherwise uneventful, if a little late and slow, and I was out the door and down the hall just shy of 10 AM. On one hand I’ve surrendered to this little peculiarity of living with quadriplegia, on the other hand, the minimum one hour, and often 90 minutes or more that it takes to move from sitting up to leaving the bedroom does still hold a little grab of tension for me. This is particularly true where time feels a factor as it does today with so much to do and so much at stake.
The usual morning clerical and correspondence out of the way (including learning by the way that my birth year was that of the Metal Pig – still need to look further into what that means) and I drifted into the first wave of what would be the days “professional” engagements.
One of my professional duties, and one that I love dearly, is serving individuals to reflect on their process of internal maturation and growth. This is a lifelong process that each of us undergoes to varying degrees. We “grow up” and may plateau at various stages in our lives, sometimes for many years unless and until some new circumstance or challenge ruffles us out of our comfortable identity and compels us to explore new perspectives on our “self” and ways of seeing the world.
There are, and will continue to evolve, a number of ways of approaching, taking a perspective, and making meaning of this developmental trajectory; the one with which I am most steeped and familiar is the STAGES model (https://www.kabirkadre.com/offering/stages-development/).
Today, as is occasionally the case, I had the privilege of reflecting on the Stage Assessment of an individual client in preparation for a “Debrief conversation” we will be having this week. Having previously taken an assessment (see link above) which I scored for them, with comments on the insights derived, they will be sitting down with me for what is invariably a rich conversation about meaning, values, process, and direction in their lives.
Preparing for this engagement is one of my professional duties, and a profound honor in my life every single time.
After this engagement, Eleña arrived for her afternoon care duties, covering for Miss Caitlin today who is away on other business. Eleña was in a special state of expression having been up late to a concert of one of her all-time favorite bands. She was mostly deaf in one ear, a little bleary from lack of sleep, low in energy, but being carried by her sense of good fortune and joy. Like the clouds of morning I could feel her fog, and at the same time she radiated that spiritual quality of well-being that is the signature scent of gratitude.
I returned to a few clerical matters while Eleña made one of her always exquisite lunch salads and we adjourned outside to the sun to take a meal and hear stories of the concert and her recent trip to LA to visit an old friend.
After cooking some more in the sun, an irony considering my earlier complaints, we settle on the surmise that quadriplegia, over age or climate change, has weakened my ability to absorb solar radiation with impunity. I danced for a while between the shade (too cold) and the sun, before deciding it was time to adjourn indoors for a cup of coffee and biscotti (thanks Tresa ;-).
Then to the weekly study of the continuing emergence of the technological phenomenon known as crypto currency – this is a subject I particularly enjoy but also encourage everyone to at the very least take note of. Money, value, and its transmission is something that we all swim in, but that it’s subjugation by the forces of evolution often escape us, perceived as an unchanging aspect of the landscape of our experience, yet it is anything but. (https://nakamoto.com)
Keeping up with the relentless dynamic of my current four-quadrant evolutionary context, I spent some time processing doctor’s orders and other forms related to getting some much-needed in-home support services and setting up some visits for the coming week to skilled nursing facilities as these are one possible outcome for my housing situation in the coming months.
Finally it was back to the professional focus, with luck boding well for the year to come. 🙂
Reviewing and signing a contract for professional consulting services. This effort represents the most substantial engagement in this context that I have yet to undertake and as such carries a kind of sacred weight. I will be working with people I know and they have respected for some time now to advance work I both value and admire greatly.
I may have mentioned previously in these writings that the question of “Reciprocity” as it has to do with engaging ones (my) work in the world in a way that allows me to both contribute meaningful value, while also being resourced to support that engagement to continue to grow and flourish, is an area of substantial developmental opportunity for me personally.
Signing this contract for fee looms large in my awareness as a primordial context of that developmental edge. Very exciting, and a profound source of gratitude for me right now.
Lastly, I will mention that as I wrote these words this evening, as the late hours of this first day of the new year of the Metal Rat began to wind down, I received a note from a friend announcing the passing away of an acquaintance. Her death came yesterday, largely it seems unannounced and unanticipated. She is someone I didn’t know well, but have experienced a growing appreciation for over the time that I’d been exposed to her. I noticed as the news arrived, that I have had a sense of anticipation of getting to know her better.
The feeling of both noticing and letting go of that anticipation in one breath is one more gift I will attribute to her friendly acquaintance in this lifetime. I find myself grateful now to know others who knew her and look forward to learning more from them of the gifts she had to bestow, gifts I know she did give, and benefits I know others did appreciate from her.
So, the end of a life, the end of a year, the beginning of a year, the beginning of a new professional relationship, and the beginning of a new appreciation of one now past.
Happy new year to you, may you find it filled with grace, greatness, and gratitude in all of your life.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…