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Daily blogging continues building a foundation within my psyche, intimately related to living with terminal illness. Still far from its acceptance, I am no longer at odds with it, even name fresh insights into this mystery, grace. Each day that passes, the urgency to compose deepens as I discover my authentic self for the first time in my life. Curious, that I never have to root around for something to write about. It just comes.

Such requires listening for precise words at any time of day or night, entering them into my word processor, revising phrases and punctuation for more effectiveness, and scrapping drafts of pieces in favor of more exact renderings. Such requires a consciousness that I rarely activated before the onset of my terminal illness, and with it, a strange energy that sustains my chronic fatigue.

As months pass I’m aware of having discarded concepts, attitudes, and some behaviors that no longer serve me. Upon this foundation-in-process, I stand with a newfound confidence and consider my end time; I discern and welcome Precious God’s coaching from significant others, from dreams, and from CPA’s 12 Step work with my sponsor. Daily, I surrender the outcome.

In this process, Jesus’s parable about foundations also speaks to me. He likened persons who came to him, listened to his words, and acted upon them to builders securing their homes upon rock beds, lest floods destroy them: to accomplish this, they had to dig very deep. Some mornings beyond exhaustion, I still compose, but lean heavily upon my foundation teeming with Light.

And another blog happens for my ongoing instruction. My gratitude is boundless.

 

 

Listening for the stream of words coursing through the unconscious, then expressing them opens writers to the bedrock of their identity and the resiliency of change.

Such discipline Etty Hillesum (1914-1943) imposed upon herself at the behest of Jungian-trained psychoanalyst Julius Spier whose guidance she sought when twenty-seven years old. He also recommended she steep herself in the Bible, St. Augustine, Rilke, and Dostoyevsky’s novels. Through assiduous study, Etty’s incipient God flamed within her psyche, pried open childhood scars whose bondage had kept her miserable, then empowered her to let them go. Inner freedom smiled through dark eyes onto the world of Hitler.

From 1941 to 1943, Etty filled ten notebooks that tracked this amazing psychic transformation: the Nazi terror in Amsterdam, prayer to her Companion God, humor, sensitivity to beauty, Russian classes to private pay pupils, translations, the ups and downs of relationships with Hans Wegerif and her analyst, and aches in her stomach and head. Within this mix, she learned to embrace the tension between opposites: evil and good, dark and light, disharmony and harmony, etcetera: All find resonance within her God, experienced not as savior but as One to help reverse evils that wracked His world. Loving others patterned her days, despite the ever-tightening noose of the Nazis, intent upon annihilation.

This attitude accompanied her cattle-car transport to the work camp at Auschwitz in 1943 where she died of starvation and typhus.

An Interrupted Life – The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum first appeared in English in 2002, and since has been translated into sixty-seven languages. Her legacy continues, for those inspired to do likewise.

 

 

 

Like a weaver, you roll up my life and cut it from the loom…I twitter like a sparrow, I moan like a dove. Isaiah 38: 12-14

This quotation from the prophet Isaiah speaks to the quaking in my depths that sets my teeth on edge: I’m confronted by the Weaver’s power that will end the ongoing project of my life, one I dearly love, but so late in its actualization. Clearly, I am not in control and I don’t like it.

This time, it is nerve pain in my left heel, stinging as I sit at my word processor.

Other bothersome symptoms, related to the Dexamethasone I’m taking, continue shadowing my day: moonface, increasing fatigue and shortness of breath and dizziness, weight gain, increasing deformity and flexibility in my hands, intermittent knee pain. Coughing up infected mucus exhausts me. Only physical death will free me from these symptoms.

In the interim, it’s critical to interface these downers with CPA’s 12 Steps and to receive daily support from my buddies during meetings and phone contacts. Although my terminal illness tries to waylay me into believing that I am alone, that no one cares, this is gobbledygook. Together, we surrender, afresh, to Higher Power and live.

Only the Weaver’s shears will set me free, whenever, however. Until then, like the twittering sparrows outside my study window, I watch and listen. It’s about growing spiritually, one day at a time, with still more opportunities to unfurl my birthright.

 

 

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