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Nothing aggrieves the psyche like disease, destruction of property, desertion, divorce, or death. Such losses, of whatever magnitude, shade the psyche for indeterminate periods of time—in their wake, steaming pitch burns useless dross from unlived lives.

At the onset of loss, thick soot obliterates identity and greases confusion into riderless barreling skateboards. Impenetrable night shrouds the spiritual faculties, rendering them inert, colorless, and isolated. Kettle-black metal chains bind imagination and fog memory. Tears moisten lead pieces of “what used to be,” which further stab throbbing hearts. Shadows of reality trick ill-formed decisions necessitating correction and more change, perhaps dislocation. Panther-like, anger blazes, then subsides and hides until its next surge.

Such are the shades of grief as sufferers pick up the pieces of their lives and move on. Many have already perished; many wounded; many homeless.

Such is the painful plight of Haitians and Afghans and countless others. For them, we continue praying: “We ask Your protection and care with complete abandon.”

The Light of Life will return–It depends on where you look.

“It’s hot this afternoon. Would you like a Popsicle?—I didn’t know if I could offer you one,” I said to the delivery man, after signing the form for my monthly supply of oxygen tanks and supplies for my nebulizer. Tall, muscular, his blue uniform T-shirt rumpled around the collar, his khaki shorts besmirched from the day’s deliveries, I could feel a wide grin behind his mask as he loaded up the empty tanks on his gurney.

“That’s mighty nice,” he said in spirited deep tones that resembled preachers pastoring their flock. “You’re right. It’s been one of those days. I’ll take these empties to the truck, then come back.”

In no time was he again standing on my front porch; his choice: blueberry, received with a hearty “God bless you!” his dark eyes dancing like fireflies.

Although our exchange was brief, I was touched by his cheerfulness, his listening to my limits without my mentioning them, his touching my loneliness with God’s sweetness, and his enlarging my crimped world with meaning. Both us us knew we were loved unconditionally, within the particulars of those few moments: lightness buoyed our hearts and drew our gaze toward the Immense. It only took a Popsicle.

At 5:45 A.M., I was jolted awake by this dream:

For over one year I’ve been preparing to join a study tour abroad. Hours of research, procuring special clothing, and a suitcase have filled my free time. The morning of my departure arrives. I’m excited as I lock my suitcase and hurry outdoors to meet the cab that will drop me off at the airport. My tickets are all in order. As we near the airport, my heart plummets: I’ve forgotten my passport, still sitting in the bottom drawer of my desk. I’m frantic.

This glimpse within my psyche reveals considerable activity. The over one year corresponds to the length of time I’ve spent in hospice, blogging new learning processed through Hours of research: significant authors, dreams, and discoveries outside my study windows and during short walks in the neighborhood. 

The buzz is all about the study tour abroad, a faraway place I’ve never experienced. Nor has anyone else, save for glimpses mystics have experienced, in all times, around the world. Travel to this realm calls for meticulous preparation.

Special clothing alludes to my persona, made comely, through continuous Twelve-Step work that ferrets out the unacceptable in my psyche and disposes of them. The suitcase, a container for the feminine, one that I could manage, would hold these garments.  

I’m excited denotes turbulence in my psyche, of such severity as to splinter much-needed focus at this critical time of departure. Among my airline tickets, there is no passport. I’mnot going anywhere.

And this is true today, despite past blogs referencing my eventual demise and the imminence of Eternal Life. This hasn’t happened—such expressions are veiled expressions of my willfulness. I’ve much to learn about patience and humility.

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