Finding Beauty in the Ordinary
This has been a rough month, and it is only the 18th.  Maybe subconsciously I knew bereavement was around the corner, as I dressed up as a Sugar Skull (Day of the Dead) for Halloween.  In reality, November is always a tough month because it is a reminder of my abusive, divorced marriage.  And Remembrance Day always makes me melancholic. Added to this, numerous people have died, in my world, this month. Also, these past two weeks, I allowed my body and mind to shut down, and rest, from the years of fighting this growth on my spine. 

I know we are all terminal.  But there are some who are closer to death.  At times, I’ve lost hope.  I’ve tried to adapt my body and my mind, but my spirit is crushed. 

My body changed when a growth was found on my spine. The neurosurgeon was not concerned about paralysis, from the surgery, but I would die. I survived the surgery, but the recovery has been tremendously hard. I missed an entire year of work. And pain remains. My constant companions are loss: Loss of movement, strength, stamina, independence and creativity. Eight years.  

I have done everything I should do.  I have returned to teaching part-time as I knew my body was not strong enough for full-time, but knowing that my students would be good for my mind and soul.  I have done weekly physiotherapy, daily exercises, massage, acupuncture, steroid injections for pain and more. I am loved and respected in my community; I give to others. I have a wonderful support in my family and friends. To feed my creative void: I have taken up photography with my iPhone. I try to find the beauty in the ordinary.

Yet, I am no longer the person I once was.  I am unable to do the things I love and desire, because of lack of energy and strength, as well as finances.  I tire easily. I am unable to explore, as I did before, because my part-time job doesn’t even cover my bills.  I grieve for the loss of myself.

Through all this recovery, I knew something was still wrong.  My body felt off and my spirit was low. This past year, more tests were done.  In one year after the surgery, the growth on my spine was back and it was larger.  The experts don’t know what to do.  I am devastated.

I’ve had a hard time carrying on.  I have experienced a great deal in my life and have experienced loss.  But the loss of hope is devastating.  Nightfall is weighted over my soul and the light seems so far away.

So, with this being a month of dying, I see that Death, and its overthrow of life, have fenced me. As much as I feel trapped, I find myself trying to see through the holes in the fence that surrounds me.  Death, loss, deficiency and the midnight hour are apart of my life.  As hard as this seems, I see that endings are life’s (and death’s) way of starting again.  I am no longer the same person; my deceased nuptials, the passing of others, my battle scars and additional tumors have altered my existence….forever. Perhaps the Phoenix moment will arrive soon…I hope.  I want to come out stronger, more defined, grace-full and lit with hope.  Right now, I am not sure how.  So, I rest, listen to my body, reach out to others and take out my iPhone camera and try to find the beauty in the little things.

Here is photograph of mine, that summarizes the way I feel…