Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thanks; doing and not doing

A very great and sincere thank-you to the kind people whose supportive comments responded to my recent post.

One of my big struggles with kyudo (Japanese archery, and my style is an "internal," contemplative style) has involved "doing." I'm a big "doer," it's got its advantages and disadvantages, but as a "doer," "not doing" directly confronts one of the very things you need to work on the most. My style of kyudo is more about offering and then receiving with open arms than taking ownership; the more you take ownership of your shot, the more you miss the point of the whole process. I'm currently at a bit of an impasse with the practice (a very interesting position, to be at an impasse with a practice centered around "openness") specifically because I'm not bringing myself to the bow, I'm still holding the bow away from me--I know I'm afraid of the bow, of something, and "doing" isn't going to show me the solution. Listening will--at least, I'm pretty sure it will at least get the journey started; but currently I can't hear what the bow is trying to tell me.

And that's where I'm at with the MS. The way through this disease's process is found by being open to what it's saying to you, not by contending against it. For a "doer," hearing "It's over" is very uncomfortable.

And yet, I'm absolutely nowhere near "giving up." My qi gong practitioner was very kind to me at my last treatment; he said, "You're a very patient patient--most people would have given up by now." But here's where being a "doer" has its advantages--let's say that I give up, I throw in the towel, and just run out the clock. I give up everything because "it's over."

But then, there's just one question: "Now what do I ... do?"

One of my dear friends from my college days told a panel at our 25th reunion that he had had some very dark times in his life, some crises within the family that by all rights could have simply put an end to the family; and yet, horrible as those experiences were, what he learned was this:

"No matter what happens, you go on; because 'on' is the only direction you can go."

So yes, "it," whatever "it" might be, might very well be over; and yet, we go on, because on is the only direction we can go. And no matter how weird and unsettling "it" being over may be--and it is both weird and unsettling, I haven't quite processed it enough to tell whether it's tragic or not yet--despite all that, I always come to the same question:

"Now what do I do?"

Sometimes, there are advantages to being a "doer."

Thanks again for your kindness and support.


Diane J Standiford said...

The first thing I did with my MS in 1990, was to embrace it, thereby embracing ME, loving both and moving with the hit not stiffening against it. Smooth flow ever since, even over fast currents and hard blows.

Denver Refashionista said...

I am with Diane.

The last few days I have been feeling kind of lousy but I am trying to let go of the idea that I should be doing something and to just go with the flow. The woman who did my "Human Design" told me that I am a "generator." It sounds like you are too. That means that a thing like chronic illness will not stop us in our tracks for long but take the time to pause, it's ok.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I do not have MS, but I can relate on many levels because I have other physical infirmities....Sometimes it is so hard to realize all the things you've lost along the path of illness and not feel really bad about it....then, somehow, there will be a little light that comes in and allows you to find the way to go on...in a different way, no doubt, but, it is still going forwad even if it is at a snails pace....

I came over from Anne's and I'm so glad I did.
Keep on 'keeping on', Robert.

Anonymous said...


I am glad I sent some readers over to you. We all need to hear how other people handle our illnesses and the support they give doesn't hurt either!

Take care,