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Like the Genesis story of Jacob wrestling with God/Angel, last night passed in a similar manner, only I was left with terminal illness, not with a sore hip, as was Jacob’s lot.

Stunned, I made it to my wing-back chair, my legs propped upon a hassock, and took stock: It felt like I was trapped in a monstrous ache, barred from all exits. My eyes burned. I rubbed them. I blew my nose, coughed. I began breathing, slowly, until enveloped in deep stillness. Outside my study window dawn softened the leafing lilac bush and patches of fescue grass in the backyard.



Other tumultuous images from the night flooded me: Joan of Arc’s visions, her suit of armor and white stallion, her slaughtering enemies, her restoration of the Dauphin upon the French throne, her arrest for heresy and imprisonment, her frequent interrogations, her death by burning in Rouen’s marketplace. I cringed, owning similar attitudes ill-suited to accepting the unacceptable, glaringly evident in my present circumstances.

Night work with another writer also assumed enormous importance. He depended upon my counsel and often sought my approval whether I was available or not.

Such disjointedness evidences yesterday’s curiosity about the global pandemic’s infection and death rates, stay-at-home-orders for the next month, governments’ measures to protect their people, on-line meditations/exercises to counter negative fallout from such untoward changes. Rather than keep up with developments I have no control over, better to maintain my usual self-care routines, pray, and move through each twenty-four hours allotted me.

My terminal illness remains…

It’s time to stop wrestling.


It is early morning. Floodwaters swirl through Main Street of a small town. Residents, dressed for work, wade thigh-high, to the other side. Some are nearly toppled by waters encroaching their necks. They seem oblivious to their appearance, to their hardship, unaware the rains had stopped. Like robots, they move into their day.

In this dream, water, critical for sustaining life, is out of control; it threatens all in its path, especially evident this spring, as reported by various news sources. Heavy rains and melting snow packs have been gorging the Missouri River, threatening cities from Montana to Missouri. This morning’s story features the plight of over 11,000 displaced residents in Minot, South Dakota.

We on dry land are uneasy, and have been for some time. Something is out of kilter. Who or what can deal with these precarious circumstances? Restore balance?

On a deeper level other questions surface. What about our own “flooding,” due to excessive involvements in work, in games, in substances of whatever kind, including Internet/TV surfing? What about instant communication with I-Phones, texting, etc? What has happened to our Inner Director’s cues, often lost in the clamor of instant satisfactions?

I, too, am subject to “flooding,” at times, but have learned to step back and seek help. Perhaps this comes with age and grace. At least it’s working for me. There’s nothing like walking beneath the shelter of maple trees in my neighborhood, greeting dog-walkers, enjoying trumpet vines, white and lavender althea bushes, and flowering hostas — at one with the pulsating energies enfolding me. Without them, I become disoriented, and vulnerable to more “flooding.”

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