Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What I choose to carry

A (mostly) not-all-that-painful treatment at the MD/neurologist/acupuncturist. A very short, but to the point, dharma talk.

Oh, the poetry of the acupuncture-point names. Today's beautiful point names included "the Kiln Path," which is also known as "the Gate of Happiness," and one of my favorite points, "The Intermediary."

Coming down to the wire on the school year, and the end of my time as one of their full-time employees. Looking back over what have been turning into my "final days," they're beginning to remind me of the days leading up to The Diagnosis... Day upon day, month upon month, of knowing that "Something... isn't right." The pain of exploration—exploratory medical tests, including a myelogram (my acupuncturist's needles are smaller and hurt less, even when he sticks them in really nasty-but-necessary places). Getting The News. And slowly, so slowly, coming to terms with what The News actually means. And then really coming to terms with it.

And then realizing you hadn't—still haven't—really come to terms with It... what It really comprises, what It really means. It's like peeling an onion... take off one layer, and there's another layer underneath it. Which, itself, needs to be peeled. And so it is with the end of my time there...

Gradually coming to grips with The News... or, so I think. Finding that I'm not really accepting it and all that it means; again and again, finding new ways to rail against it, to rail against something that is completely beyond my power to change. And who's being harmed? The thing I'm railing against, in the silence of my inner railing? Even when I share my anger with a friend who's kind enough to listen, is that making any change in whatever it is that I'm pegging as the cause of my anguish?

Sound familiar? Especially for my friends and fellows on the M.S. Highway, does this sound familiar? Life is like M.S. is like life, ain't it? And isn't our "walk" with M.S. pointing to ways we should walk with ... life? With each other? And with ourselves?

"Walk." Again, I stumble upon the limitations of English turns of phrase, which have so many more meanings for people like us M.S.ers. (Like the phrase "stumble upon"—has different meaning for us, doesn't it?) Such as we find in Tiny Buddha's article on "Start the Climb: Take one purposeful step." Oh, my friends, for we wall-walkers and walker-walkers and non-walkers, "taking a step" has a very different context than that author thinks it does.

And yet, hobbled though we are by our malfunctioning wiring... we can still be purposeful, and intentional, and mindful, even in our troubled taking of whatever steps (or non-steps) that we can. A step taken with a pure heart and mind is a pure step, whether it involves a wall, or a cane, or a crutch, or a chair.

In the Five-Element world, the element Metal gives (among other things) the power to grieve. One of the points I got today, The Intermediary, is a Metal point. Grieving is not "railing against sorrow"... it is speaking truth to sorrow. And of sorrow.

When I finish this little missive, I'm going to go sit in the back yard. And speak with, and listen to, The Intermediary. It's interesting... simply "having M.S." doesn't weigh me down, as much as it inconveniences me. What weighs me down... is what I choose to carry.

1 comment:

nicole said...

You mentioned the onion to me before. As it so happens I'm still over here peeling away.