Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sleep does wonders, as does the kindness of Ruth and Chris, Liams smiles and a lighter work day. I feel much better tonight and Bob also seems less tired. I think yesterday was just one of those low points - an incident pof the blues. i feel more hopeful today, not discouraged, like good change is possible and that there is so muchg good even without change.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hard week. Bob is too tired working and I'm dragging at work too. I feel discouraged - need to find some way to cheer myself up.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter is the season of my birth and philosophically if not always practically my favorite season. Writing prompt from Ann triggered a poem cycle that pleases me right now because it captures honestly what winter means to me now,especially givenBob's recent health crisis and my dear sister in law Heidi's remarkable well being despite a crightening diagnosis.

Winter Fear

Flu, falls, suicidal despair,
pneumonia, hypothermia,
ski accident, spin out on
black ice. Some people don't
make it though to spring.
Death hoots through winter trees.
Reminds me, spring will not
come for everyone.

Winter Truth

Winter tells core truth.
No flowers obscure rot.
Flaws meet my eye.
remind my conscience
change is optimal.

Winter Stories

Short days encourage stories
as we sit around warm table
sharing soup and warm cornbread.
Time to remember and honor
gardens past guilt free.
Can't plant yet. Can bask
in recounting memories.


Winter Hope

After longest night,
light begins to return,
creeps in minutes sooner
each cold dusk.
Reminds me life force
gathers unseen beneath
chilling ice. Roots hold
energy after leaf fall,
protect and build hope
for one more cycle
of blossom, leaf and fruit.
Joy and fresh strength
regroup through out the
darkest night of soul.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sweet sweet Sabbath - enriched by relief that Joanna's house closed, making everybody's money situation more viable. The Sabbath dinner question tradition moved into it's second week, to my delight. We asked a number (and I love it that K.K. participates thoughtfully and honestly). Introspective exercises with multiple generations participating are about as good as it gets for me. I';; kust share three questions and my own answers, and hope again some of you will respond with your own answers.

What is the root cause of most of your fears? - that I will be unable to provide safety and wise counsel to people I love in situations in which it is within possibility for me to do so - or - at deeper core, failing those I love.

If heaven could look like the home of someone you know, whose would it be - My Grandma Anna and Grandpa Rudolph's house as I remember it from childhood, with peach preserves perfuming the kitchen, the scrap box in the pantry full of bright quilt squares, and the screened in back porch resonating with the singing voices of a loving family.

If you could be any farm animal, what would you be - the sheep dog, tending protecting, herding the brood, and getting some pats and cuddles of approval along the way.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I just haven't been blogging - stressed about details that really shouldn't be such a big deal in face of Bob's recent health crisis. He is doing fine teaching this week, has an appointment with the Corpus cardiologist tomorrow which should give us some more answers about his future health status. I know I'm not clear on whether or how much the recent incident with the blood clots will affect our future life together - especially travel. I want to believe everything is still like it was, and I don't know what's true.

My answers to last week's Sabbath questions

What favor would I ask God for myself personally? -mindfulness, the ability to stay in and behave appropriately in every moment.

What would my wish be for all the souls of the world? - empathy, that each would know it was no less or more important than any other, that the well being of each depends on the well being of all.

When have I felt spiritually repressed? -at times, in religious services and elsewhere, when I have wanted to sing out, to sway, to dance, and everyone around me has been proper and quiet and contained.

Thanks for sharing your answers in comments Mary. I hope others will too. And I bet we get another set of questions tomorrow night.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sometimes at Night

Sometimes at night when I put myself to sleep
between soft green sheets, beneath wedding quilt
my grandmother made from my childhood dresses,
I remember that I am one phone away call from terror.

Sometimes at night when I put myself to sleep
in my book-lined nest, clean, safe, fed on blueberries,
I cry for women lying awake in refugee camps,
war zones, hospital rooms, hovels, hospices.

Sometimes at night when I put myself to sleep,
expecting to wake to work I love, family that loves me,
bead work to finish, letters to write, books just opened,
I remember to cherish each of my very finite, blessings.
Victoria hendricks, September 2, 2008

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's been a long short odd hard sweet week - passsed without seeming to. Here we are at Shabbat again, the dishes washed, K.K. asleep on the couch between dance classes, Ruth and Chris and Liam in their rooms, Bob and I under quilts, both typing away. He seems well, and I feel less scared about his going back to Corpus and being alone - believing the Coumadin is working and he will be fine. He hasn't seen his class since before winter break, so Tuesday morning will be odd. I'm glad he has a four day work week going back.

Ruth started a newq tradition at dinner tonight - sharing our answers to questions from a book of "big questions". Pur three questions tonight, and I was thrilled K.K> participated in sharing answers, were
If you could ask God for one favor for yourself what would you ask for?
If you could ask for one change for all the souls of the world what would you ask?
What was a time when you felt spiritually repressed?
I'll share answers tomorrow. Now Bob is about to turn off the light.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ordinary, sweet ordinary weekend. My most extraordinary accomplishment is the thorough purging of my closet - major trip to thrift store tomorrow. Bob watched a lot of football and, while watching, used my Dad's old hand held slide viewer to look at slides from earlier phases of his life - lots of pruning - but many kept and stories shared. It's funny having married closer to forty than twenty, two whole decades of each other's adult lives we missed.

Friday, January 08, 2010

It took us a while to get discharge and prescriptions, but the trip back was fine and it's good to be home with Ruth and Chris and Liam. Bob even got to read Liam a bedtime story. It's 21 out - cold for these parts. I'm glad to be in..Thanks for all the love, prayers and good wishes.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

For those who want updates, all is still well - one more day away from the threat of sudden death. I'm very thankful. I think it will still take a whiole for me to really get how close a call this was. Bob is doing well now. Brushing his teeth as I write the last post of the day. Modern medicine is something I don't always credit for what it is worth. I think part of me is still mad it didn't save kerry. But it has saved Bob and I am thankful, thankful, thankful.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I'm beginning to have feelings tonight - even this afternoon - tremendous tenderness toward Bob and relief I didn't lose him this time (at least haven't yet and probably won't), Also tremendous tenderness toward others I love. I was so without feeling yesterday when crisis was greater. One of the writing prompts this week is "hollow feeling" and I've come up with two very different poems.


Crisis hollows me out,
leaves no room for feeling.
I do not inhabit my body,
merely control it, hollow robot
able to do the essential.
Feeling is irrelevant in crisis.


Empty, open, hollow,
Ready reed receives
holy peace, holy flow.
Hospitals are interesting. I think we are more courteous to each other in hospitals because everyone is aware that other people eating in the cafeteria or buying a tooth brush or looking for a car are probably dealing with the challenge of the illness of a friend or loved one. I have been treated really kindly and have felt similar kindness toward others negotiating the hosiptal halls and shops. Another thing I've noticed in this particular hospital is that someone has very carefully chosen the paperbacks in the book shop - only one or two of any given title by a variety of popular authors inseveral genres. there are a number I would enjoy reading. As one who falls back on a book in times of stress - the crutch to get through the darkest nights sometimes, the person who did this selecting is truly a hero. I hope I can remember that people outside hospitals are facing challenges to and treat them as gently.
This week sure didn't begin the way I expected. Bob had an undetected blood clot in hisw leg which went to his lungs which caused an abnormal heart rythm (AFIB). Apparently blood clots in lungs are a common cause of sudden death, so this is a near miss situation we've just gone through - hopefully fine from here on out. I'm writing more about all of this - as is Ruth, on the family blog I think I'm avoiding writing talking too much about Bob's illness to keep from being scared, hence the poem I wrote last night.

Far Less to Say

I have far less say about Bob's illness
than seems reasonable or right.
I don't want to talk about it.
I just want it to go away.
No more to say

Monday, January 04, 2010

Bob's gone back to Corpus and I'm thinking maybe this is the last new year that will begin with his return to teach in another city. His desire to come home is strong and I'm beginning to get excited, hopeful - don't want to break our hearts if no jobs are available - but he does have reason to hope. So much has changed in the last year. I don't think the change rate will slow in the next few months - still feels like I have a rocket by the tail and am holding on with difficulty - but enjoying the view.

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Day 2010. It seems like a breath ago that we were moving from the 1900's to the 2000's - All the concern about some kind of computer bug that would mess up all the infrastructure and that didn't happen =- Y2K I think they called it. subjectively, time does pass faster and faster as I get older and the current perceived rate is a bit freaky.

At this moment, Bob's clothes are in the drier fopr him to take back to Corpus when he heads back to work on Monday. Chris and Ruth and Bob and I have spent a thoughtful evening discussing the old year and the new year, our hopes and dreams and fears for ourselves and our families. It's been a really good winter break and I have so much more to write than I have focus to write tonight - so, a poem about endings and beginnings and a promise to myself to write here regularly again whether I feel like it or not.


Old idea, regeneration.
Pheonix rises from ashes.
Serpent swallows tail.
Wheel of life, cycle
of seasos, circle of
birth and death.
Each beginning requires
the preceeding ending.
Old like the velveteen
rabbit, source of comfort.