Sleep was wanting yet again. I didn’t fight it. I sat up and meditated and then just rested into the early hours when, like gossamer lead, exhaustion covered my eyes and consciousness with deeper slumber for some moments.
Cassandra made dinner and helped me to bed last night. While we still have the natural texture of any human dynamic, our time together through the vulnerable processes of care has given us a comfortable fluency in moving through routine in a state of mutual appreciation.
Working with her has become like wearing that old and favorite sweater, a dance of harmonized movement, warm and easy like second skin…
We flowed gracefully through the evening routine, even encountering some version of physical distress in my body – autonomic dysreflexia with sweating, spasticity, and discomfort to distraction. Cassandra adapted with veteran skill, her disposition remaining cool and spacious.
The distress lasted probably only 20 minutes and then it was off to sleep.
The morning was another iteration of psychophysical effort to rise, meeting a once again gray day, late to the office, and even a difficult conversation “first thing” on arriving. “April fools”, I thought to myself – getting the joke. I scrambled my way through the morning clerical and inbox, making my way to that new and sacred ritual – thanking the contributors to my campaign and responding to any of the connected correspondence.
Like meditation, this ritual practice of expressing gratitude reliably returns a sense of grounding in love and appreciation to my state of mind.
This morning was precious – of course they all are – but today I was gifted with a reply to one of yesterday’s thank you letters. The woman had donated to the campaign, and was new to me – it turns out a friend of a friend – and in reply to yesterday’s thanks and inquiry to get to know her better, shared in just a few paragraphs a window into a life touching and familiar.
Her husband has been in a wheelchair for over 60 years, they have been married for 30. Their good friend also in wheelchair and with injuries more similar to my own was an inspiration for her to connect with me through the campaign. Recently her husband’s condition has declined, leaving her in an intensified condition as caregiver. She gratefully reflected on my description of living with quadriplegia as akin to running a small business. (see the update section of my crowdfunding campaign.)
My heart broke open. The effort and care that it took to establish the campaign – the writing and reflecting and refining – has met someone where they are, in a position of vulnerability, and has added value and some strengths to their condition. I hereby declare the campaign a wild and overwhelming success!
Checking the Guestbook and morning updates for new contributors lifted my spirits one notch further. Two names appeared, both unknown to me, both having come by the encouragement and recognition of an old, if distant, but loving friend. Strangers stepping forward in this time of our collective need to offer strength and support – how could I feel anything but love.
Noon came quickly, the morning grey burning off into the familiar San Diego blue skies and warm air…
I’ve had some contract work on hold for the last month, just scrambling to get my feet. Today that came gently back with just 30 minutes of task landing ripe on my plate. Nice to feel these crumbs of connection and vital creativity resurfacing after so many months of hard labor in the mines.
I headed outside for lunch and coffee and sunshine. Caroline was here in the midday today – ordinarily only covering nights, this was the first time she had even seen me outside of the house. Our friendship has been fast and synergistic and feels old already. It was a funny surprise to see one another in the sunlight, with birds and butterflies and garden scenes zipping about.
While Caroline made lunch, I made calls. Lunch turned into three hours of conversation. I’m noticing how important it is to create an opening for people to share and to listen to them right now. So many projects on hold, or broken, or confused, so many efforts brought suddenly to a halt or some strange new surface in the road… People are disoriented yet, as we do, continuing to find ways to move “forward.”
It seems that when we make space to really stop and listen to one another, the voices I find begin to narrate and navigate the transition from – “I thought I knew where I was going.” To “Everything has changed and I’m doing the best I can to find the way.”
With varying degrees of spark and possibility, I was privileged to connect with eight people today in the space of that New World dialogic.
The last of which was a two hour conversation with a woman who had come to train her first night as a care partner here with us, and found instead that while we would not be a fit professionally at this time, the camaraderie and friendship here was the true value.
So as the day winds down, peaceful music humming in the background, I feel I have done my work to the best of my ability today. The campaign is doing well on many fronts, beginning to hold me aloft. I received two direct reflections today from people saying that my recent work really helped them in some specific way. Finally, due to all things Corona 19, my mortgage has also been deferred for the next three months.
Aloft. As if the falling sensation of the last four months has been met with an updraft and I am all of a sudden lighter, with wings perhaps…
My dear friend Tyler recommended that I close my journal entries these days with a link to my crowdfunding campaign, just in case any of you in my exceedingly wide readership have yet to learn of it or care to be reminded. 🙂
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…