She must learn again to speak
starting with I
starting with We
starting as the infant does
with her own true hunger
and pleasure
and rage.

-- Marge Piercy

I Survived the Stroke (Walk)

I Survived the Stroke (Walk)

Don't get me wrong...it was wonderful, inspiring, well-attended.

I couldn't go last year (I was in Portland for my Spiritual Direction Training), so this was my first time. I don't regret going, but...What made me think this would be any better than the charity walks/runs I've been to pre-stroke? Just hopeful...just clueless?

I was in a trance for most of it. The music was blaring from the stage, the well-meaning volunteers  didn't know where we should go, and they kept directing us where we just were. I still don't know if Overlake was a VIP, which gave us access to coffee and snacks (just to be safe, I didn't take any, although the coffee was calling). The pictures were on the stairs (because of the rain?), which I had a hard time navigating due to people. The opening ceremony speeches went on endlessly, the woman who sang the National Anthem was fabulous, despite the loudness. And, there was no place to sit, except the wet, wet ground.

And then the walk, which started out with a drum corps from the Seahawks and warm-ups led by a former Sounders player. This should be fun, I thought, not for the first time today. 

Uh Oh. Any time when I feel "should" slipping into my mental vocabulary, I've learned to get out and regroup. On the verge of slipping from a trance (which is bad enough!), as Tara Brach says, to a "trance of unworthiness,'' because others were having fun. I felt what I felt, and that was the opposite of fun--tired, wet, exhausted, nerves fried, soaking. So, I did what any sane person would do (as opposed to what I used to do...suck it up, and finish), walked back to the car while Karen finished the walk.

I'm not here to complain, and tell you how hard it is to be me. My life is different now, not good or bad...but it takes some getting used to, for me and for others, too. But mostly for me. Just a couple of weeks before, I went to a weekend long conference with Mark Nepo and I was FINE. What did I learn from the two experiences? Calm events are for me (especially featuring Mark Nepo), while the loud events are not.

You know that part where I wrote that I didn't regret going to the walk? I'm getting there now...

During the Opening Ceremonies, Jennifer said we could start earlier raising money for the walk next year. She brought up a bake sale, or we could get one of our member's of the stroke group who does woodworking to fashion a walking stick. I thought about it all weekend (when was I asleep, too, which I did plenty of).

What if? That's all it took to get my mind going. I could put together a book of contributions for our writing group. Or what about showing a movie in the theater at Overlake, My Beautiful, Broken, Brain or Aphasia the Movie. Or, we could make our own movie. Gabriela could teach Tango at a dance party. Or, we could make a little corner of the gift shop ours, selling Alex & Ani or Bravelets bracelets or other inspiring things.

You see, I wholeheartedly support the cause, just in a calmer way. We need loud, enthusiastic  people, but that's just not me. 

Thank you to Sarah Vogel (my Sis), Jeanne Vogel (my Mom), Chad & Bonnie Mitchell (Chadwick), Michele Feikema (Miss M.), Michele Cardon (my Kitteh), Ricky Gregerson (my Soul Sister) for your donations. I truly, really appreciate it!

And to Karen and Deonna who walked the whole WAY (5K)...I am so so PROUD of you!

And Jennifer, bravo on your new job as the Stroke Coordinator! I'm holding back until after your first week, but then....watch out. (Just kidding.) (Mostly.) 

 Jennifer's sister was visiting and joined us to get a break from the snow. That's me trying to get a selfie (on the right). Karen and I took a picture with Beat.

Jennifer's sister was visiting and joined us to get a break from the snow. That's me trying to get a selfie (on the right). Karen and I took a picture with Beat.

December Reflections: 2016 Edition

December Reflections: 2016 Edition

On a Tuesday

On a Tuesday