Monday, February 6, 2012

Picking Up Where We Left Off

Remembering presence has been the work lately. It has been absolutely right for me not to focus so much on the benign meningioma in my skull. After seven weeks of working with a wonderful allergist/immunologist, Dr. Michael Volz, we have induced my body to tolerate the anti-seizure drug, Dilantin, so that I may have surgery. Today I had my blood work done to find out if the medication is at "therapeutic" levels that are acceptable to the neurologist and neurosurgeon in charge of my case. I have a good feeling about it, enough so that I'm willing to share that my surgery is scheduled for a few weeks from now.

What a quest! I have learned so much already. By diverting my attention away from the little-dirty-gray-ball-of-laundry in my skull, I managed to start a few projects that I can imagine picking up again with eager joy as I am recovering from surgery. Yay! This is the smile I was looking for in "Resting in Ambiguity" - knowing that there was something in me that was left to express and be in this world. I felt I had to have some sort of baby to birth, even knowing that the baby would have to be myself. I knew that simply looking forward to recovering from having "Titanium Snowflakes" adhered to my skull was not the fuel of living I count on. Now, I know without a doubt that I have work to do, people to meet and stories to tell, and I'm looking forward to getting there no matter what travails I have to wander through on the way.

If you've read any of my earlier blogs, from say 2010, you will know that I've struggled to come into my life meaningfully. After years of  having the main goal of fixing others around me, and, of course, of course, failing miserably, I had to sit in some "fallow fields" and accept there was nothing to do in that moment. In a sense, my journey with the benign meningioma was already well underway, though I was unaware of it. I had a great deal of fatigue, a constant headache, hearing loss, and a general feeling of malaise and I thought I had spent all of myself already on the failed pursuit of my first marriage, and career misfires. My field was full of rocks and permafrost, and from what I could tell, fully depleted, and all I could do was plant a cover crop of experimental writing that I knew wasn't really going anywhere, just to put some nutrients back in the soil of my life. I have to admit I had doubts that it was working even up unto this fall. Truly it felt like a last ditch effort to save my dreams.

When I had the clarity that actually there was something physically contributing to my sense of hopelessness, it managed to actually pull in my focus, like a closing aperture, to find what it is that I do love about living. Besides my children, my husband, and my dog, I knew there was something else. I admit it. I love writing. But, what I love about writing the most is not what I thought I loved. I saw a PBS special in December about our Poet Laureate 2010-11, W.S. Merwin, and he nailed it: "Poetry expresses what cannot be told." Now, I do believe this is what has interested me about poetry for so long, but I also have seen it in the best films of our age.

The intangible quality of fine art that communicates underneath opaque structures and reaches into our hearts rather than into our minds is what I have always wanted to pursue, and what I have always denied myself by trying to write acceptably, commercially and with the audience in mind. In fact, as a writer I have gone down all the wrong paths for my particular longing. Grin. It's all right. I don't have to wonder anymore whether I could be a social media maven, a content provider extraordinaire or a Rom-Com dudette in Hollywood. I can't seem to pull it off. Those are not in my bag of seeds.

Here we revisit the notion of trust. Can I trust this knowledge and pursue, finally, what I am truly capable of producing? Ah. You may rely on the fact that the question emerges nearly everyday still, and so it is with effort that I hang onto, "Yes," as the answer. Brain surgery is not cheap, nor is having two kids. I struggle with the notion of letting my husband carry this weight while I seem to be namby-pambying around with "creativity" rather than practical pursuits.

It so happens with all the effort I put into trusting that "yes," something has happened. I wrote 78 and more poems since September last year. You may see some of them on Kosmic Egg Tarot, and on Kosmicegg and even still I wonder if I can accomplish anything this way. Then as I was devoting my heart to poetry I realized that even that is not enough for me.  I've taken up landscape photography, oil pastels, co-writing a novel with my daughter, futurism and more. I used to say "more is more," and frankly it was a rebellion against my father's mantra, "less is more," but in the field of creativity it turns out that the more diversely I let my talents express themselves, the healthier the productivity and consistent the flow of ideas is for me.

I have a talent for extrapolation that thrills and entertains people and finally looks like it could be a business in futurism for me. This is funny to me since I had such trouble figuring out my own future for a long while, but like me, the world is sort of in a "fallow field" state with glimmers of hope coming and going with each nation's debt crisis. Indeed having a vision for a prosperous future seems to be a battle for more than just me alone. So, as I'm recovering from brain surgery I now have abundant plans and things to work towards. I don't know for sure that it's all going to work, but I do know that I must have this bridge to my future because fording the river Styx is not so wise if one is keen on remembering presence.


MarcusP said...

Oh! I am so happy to see you back!

Amanda Morris Johnson (aka Amanda Morris Conti) said...

Thanks, MarcusP! Didn't mean to leave you hanging...:)