You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘patience’ tag.

This morning’s emptiness rankled—Nothing to blog about and time was passing.

So I looked up emptiness in J. Rodale’s The Synonym Finder and discovered entries related to things, time, scarcity, mood, and speech. Mine was lodged between hollowness and exhaustion: the indefinable perimeter of my imagination and its splayed energy. I was certain that behind this emptiness teemed vibrant images yet to be developed. I just needed to dig deeper in memory.

During much of my life, emptiness experiences triggered hidden landmines, their shocks plunging me deeper into introversion. Around me, the world was not to be trusted. Yet, tripwires still snagged my shoes. In the wake of such attacks, I soothed my distress with shopping. With the change of seasons, I donated armfuls of clothing to Good Will. Yet, emptiness still stung.

My 1991 joining of AA modified some of this disorder. The Fourth Step with its rigorous and moral inventory launched my first honest self-evaluation; its completion revealed a larger sense of who I really was. Seasonal deliveries to Good Will dwindled, then stopped. Rather than my attire speaking to the world around me, I learned to cultivate a personal voice. Yet, occasional emptiness still happens, as this morning.

Yet, my present sense of emptiness has paradoxical value in Jesus’s First Beatitude, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God: It breathes the spirit of Twelve-Step Recovery. The less of my ego, the more for Spirit to flourish.

So, within my impoverishment/emptiness brim the untold riches of Kingdom living. At the top of the steps each morning, light colors the world with fresh grace. Everything looks different, even my transition.

With the Psalmist, I pray, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. It’s working. As I approach the tenth month of hospice care, I love my life exactly the way it is unfolding, one day at a time. I’m almost home.

Like the garden snake that sheds its entire skin for housekeeping purposes, my eighty-four years resemble its transparency discarded upon the grass. That part of my life, examined, owned, and surrendered to God’s mercy, is complete. A corresponding lightness enlarges my spirit for still more growth before my transition. I was delighted to find corroboration of this attitude in the Jesuit Karl Rahner’s On the Theology of Death (1973) in which he decries passivity: Death, the defining experience of our lives, mandates full participation.

Each gift of twenty-four hours quickens my desire for communion with Creator-God, my writing partner. Our intimacy deepens with each blog, with each significant read, and with spirited family and friends. Contemplation opens my psyche for further nurturing. Silence offers its savory fruits, as well.

With minuscule diminishments occurring in my body, however, I’ve no sense of what will happen during the last weeks of life. On my dining room table are six pill bottles, still unopened, for treating anxiety, shortness of breath, restlessness, pain, nausea, constipation, dry mouth, and seizures: clues of how bodies decompose before death. Mine will involve suffocation caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis destroying my lungs.

Weekly visits with the hospice nurse and chaplain continue affording information and support. Because of increasing weakness and breathlessness, I’ve hired a helper to prepare meals, etc. With her guidance, we’re enlisting the help of spirited caregivers when I require 24/7 help.

I often remind myself that this is something I have to go through, the culmination of human existence. A great adventure awaits me. I will not be alone.

 

 

At midnight, this dream startled me:

A festive mood circulates among well-wishers, dressed to the nines, seated upon white folding chairs in a large clearing encircled by virgin pines. Beneath a brilliant sun the wedding party make last minute adjustments to their floral gowns, tweak daisies and yellow coneflowers in their bouquets while sharing stories of the couple. Near the tulle-decked canopy stands the minister who reviews the readings for the ceremony. Suddenly, like a summer squall, a pall douses the guests—the bride has died.

 This dream mirrors extremes in my psyche: vibrant health and death. Such information corresponds to my hospice experience, the richest period in my life.

Despite occasional symptoms that unnerve me, vibrancy of spirit permeates my diseased eighty-four-old-body with fresh élan. Each day’s adventure increases the aching for ultimate communion (the wedding) that awaits me. I am ready, but as in the dream story, I’ve still more dying to experience: The skid marks of self-absorption and rage, imprinted upon my psyche by a lifetime of chronic pain and illness must be addressed.

As in the dream, harmony evidences the Sacred-in-our-midst: the bright spirits of my helpers, the camaraderie of CPA recovery, the greening outside my study windows, the laughter of helmeted kids on scooters pumping along sidewalks—Above all, those moments of cherishing the hidden treasure in the field that Jesus talks about.

As also in the dream, summer’s riotous colors play upon my imagination, jostle words into figures of speech for use in my writing. Even yesterday’s squall refreshes my spirit.

Such dreams afford significant guidance and companion my nights/days as I move through end time, with its grace-in the-moment.

 

Available on Amazon

%d bloggers like this: