Archive for the ‘mindfullness of experience’ Tag

The Ten “May We’s” (according to Grandma Googy)   1 comment

Judy Bloomgardener passed away at 9:35 p.m. on 11/11/11, Ultimate Noodle Day and a day full of symbolism for new beginnings. She died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, with a sweet smile on her face. Judy wrote the Ten May We’s as suggestions for her grandson Sam on his 13th birthday/Bar Mitzvah day. We read these instructions for living as our final goodbye and commitment to her to carry her spirit forward in the world. The 11th May We, of course, is May We Always Celebrate Noodle Day.

The Ten “May We’s”

(according to Grandma Googy)

  1. May we love ourselves, for each of us is holy, made in the image of God.
  2. May we treat everything with respect, for all beings are holy, people, animals, plants, as well as beings too small for us to see, even the earth, the air, and the water, all of which come from, and return to life.
  3. May we think globally while we act locally. May we honor, protect and be loyal first to our families (including our dear friends), then to our communities, and then to the world, for that is the natural order of things.
  4. May we protect children, animals and the world they will inherit: We have no more important task.
  5. May we live simply, so as to remember who we are. May we not be distracted by the multiplicity of things.
  6. May we not wage war, but love diversity, for life has many aspects, and everything that exists has its complementary opposite. May we always seek a compromise among the conflicting voices within our own complex selves. In relating to others, may we seek a balance between the other person’s needs and our own. May we listen actively to every voice that seeks to be heard, straining to hear the softest voices or those that speak in foreign languages.
  7. May we not hurry nor worry. May we breathe deeply and rest when we are tired, trusting in the natural rhythms of all things. May we be comfortable knowing there is nowhere to fall but into the hands of God.
  8. May we give full attention to whatever we do, no matter how humble, since the present moment is all we ever have. May we know that every day is a good day.
  9. Whatever our unique gifts, may we express them fully and fearlessly, for each of us is a treasure not to be wasted. May we be gentle with imperfections and lavish with praise, towards ourselves and others.
  10. May we remember the past and teach it to our children, for it is our heritage. And may we use our God-given imagination actively to create the future anew. For the creator of all things has endowed us with memory and imagination so that as we gain in experience we might remake the world, more peaceful, more just, more beautiful and more joyful.

Who is This? and What’s Really Going On? Some Efforts to Tell the Complex Truth of my Unfolding Self Experience   2 comments

I prefer to speculate about transformation and recombination, using my favorite body part, my imagination.  But other aspects of my experience insist on intruding forcefully.  The other day, I had a bad experience with the Foley catheter I use because getting up and down constantly to pee with my lymphedema-bloated legs is very problematic.

Mostly, living with the catheter is just one of the countless things one accommodates to.   But on this particular day, unusual circumstances altered the routine, with the consequence that, unbeknownst to me or my caregiver, the hose of the catheter that drains the pee into an external pouch got doubled under me.  It takes a lot of doing, more than 15 pillows carefuly arranged just so, this one here and that one there, each with its name and place (Phyllis and Marie, Bertolucci, Dotty, Howie, Naoko, Michiko, Tadashi, the two Goldie Lockses, etc.), at least twenty minutes worth, at the end of a long and arduous daily treatment process, to get me settled.  Reyna and I both wanted to be done with it already, so I (later realized that I had) suppressed awareness that all was not well.  As Reyna prepared to leave, I began to have spasms — these are like neg-orgasms, in the same region as orgasms, but sensation that is extremely NOT desired.  The yelling these spasms induce is analogous to the outcries famously associated with orgasm itself.

So here I am in my bed with Reyna about to leave after more than five hours, yelling my head off.  With the balcony door open and everyone able to hear.  I’m yelling because I’m in extreme pain but what I think to myself, insofar as there is any thinking at all, is that I have to stop yelling!  STOP YELLING, JUDY!!!  Finally, it is not me but Reyna, who has tears streaming down her face in response to my pain, who starts pulling all the pillows, etc., apart, to discover that, yes, the tube is doubled under me so that the pee can’t get out but is being forced back up into my bladder…. Once she undoes the bed arrangement and is able to unkink the tube, the problem is soon resolved and my parts that felt as if I were being electrocuted calm down.  And then I am stunned at how unfaithful a friend to myself I had been, ignoring the intense pain, definitely 10 on the famous scale of 1-10, because it wasn’t convenient!  Reyna had already been here the full amount of time allotted and I myself didn’t feel like going through all the arrangements again.  Wanted to get on with the day, the part of the day that is “mine,” not lymphedema’s,  when I get to be my mental and social self.  Telling myself the problem was that I couldn’t stop yelling!  Could hardly feel the pain because I so deeply disapproved of my yelling.  Yi yi yi!

I’ve been studying lovingkindness practice, which starts with oneself.  All of oneself.  Bile, blood, bones, bone marrow, and connective tissue, etc.  All those necessary but, I have come to feel, as a result of so much prior conditioning, boring and lesser aspects of my joodyness.  I want to but it’s hard, at this late date, to turn around and acknowledge and give due attention to the co-inhabitants of this fathom-long bag of “flesh.”

Much, much work to be dome in this arena.  I welcome your help.