life


Tonight my dog Leo lost his battle with cancer. Last November he was diagnosed with mast cell tumors. In May, he completed a round of chemo with flying colors. Unfortunately, as was expected, the tumors came back in August. We elected not to put him through another round of chemo knowing that it would only buy him another couple months. We wanted him to enjoy the rest of his time. Despite the tumors, he was a happy, hyper-active dog these last four months. But, tonight it was time. He was 12-years old. He will be very missed.

jalama

This is where I will be today.

Image: pOOfkAt via flickr

Image: pOOfkAt via flickr

Well, this is just weird.

In the mail today was a card addressed to my mother. Inside, a “Get Well” card signed by a bunch of people saying various things like:

My prayers and thoughts are with you.

Our prayers are with you for your health and healing.

Both my brother & I read the card thinking maybe it was a sympathy card for us, but it’s clear that it is a “Get Well” card. The handwritten notes are about getting well, wishing her good health, and they’re all in the present tense. I even checked the post-mark to make sure the post office hadn’t somehow screwed up and sent this late. But still, that wouldn’t make sense. She wasn’t sick before she died. It was sudden & unexpected. (more…)

Image: nomenombres via flickr

Image: nomenombres via flickr

Today marks 1 week until the first anniversary of my mother’s death.

I’m facing it with a bit of dread, but also openness to wherever my emotions take me. I realize I can’t fight what is coming, or what already is. I’d rather let myself go with the flow. Neither bottling up nor putting off what is to come is going to make it any easier.

The last couple of days have been a bit rough. At first I just thought it was because of other life drama, but then I realized I was reacting more emotionally to situations that at any other time I would have let slide. So, I’ve just given myself permission to overreact right now. Most of the people around me know what is going on and have thankfully forgiven me and my mood. (more…)

This morning I woke up in a foul mood. I’m not entirely sure what set me off. Before I even got out of bed, I told myself today was going to be a good day, even if there was nothing planned, well except work, to necessarily guarantee such. But then, as soon as I was upright on two feet, those good intentions were given a good beat down by whatever part of my mood that just wasn’t having it.

Actually, I think I do know the cause; although it might seem a bit ridiculous. For the last week, the area I live in has been beset by wildfires. In fact, this is considered one of the worst fires in California history. The Station Fire has burned over 140,000 acres (roughly the size of Chicago). The mountain range that I’ve grown up next to is barren and black. I live a mile south of the base of the mountains where this is all taking place. Far enough away that I never need worry about being evacuated. But the massiveness of the fire has produced such intense smoke that I, like most people around here, have had to keep all the windows and doors of the house closed for the better part of the week now. Add to that 100+ degree days and you have all the makings for an air quality designation of “hazardous” and horrendous.   (more…)

Image: Caros Lines via Flickr

Image: Caro's Lines via Flickr

10 months. Yes, it’s getting easier. The day passed with no tears & only a tad bit of mopiness. Still, while I’ve lost count of the number of weeks, I’m still hyper aware of this date, & will probably be so for some time to come. All I know is that 10 months feels like 10 days and 10 years  in the same instant. It’s odd how time progresses when it comes to death.

For now, 10 months means 2 months to 1-year. I choose not to consciously think about coming to that mark. I’ll ignore it as long as possible.

With the end of week 4, I have come a third of the way through this process. I feel a real sense of accomplishment that I’ve stayed with the process and committed to it. Now, having said that, I will admit to being a little lax in working through this week’s tasks. As this week was about recovering a sense of integrity, I’m owning up to my slacking. That’s not to say that this week was a bad week. It was actually a good week full of some good things in terms of where I am mentally and creatively. (more…)

This week’s theme: recovering a sense of power. Not so sure if I’ve recovered a sense of “power” or what this “power” is supposed to feel like. I will say that I continued with the Morning Pages. 7 for 7 again. Admittedly, more than a few days were mid-afternoon, or just-before-bed pages, but they did happen. I did slack a bit this week with keeping up with last week’s “little changes”: meditating & getting up earlier. But I still want to do those things, so I’m just letting this week be what it was. I did have some days where all three of those things happened. I choose to focus on those days. (more…)

The theme for this week was recovering a sense of identity. When I first sat down to reflect on the past week, I really thought I was going to say that I hadn’t connected with that theme. This week was busy–work deadlines & some emotional stuff that just made getting the weekly tasks done almost impossible. Since I hadn’t completed most of the tasks, I was sure I’d fallen short on really exploring the theme & wouldn’t have connected with what was going on in my head. But apparently, without realizing it, I did tap into that theme. The theme of recovering a sense of identity really could have been my theme for this week even if I wasn’t doing the Artist’s Way process right now. (more…)

Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity has been on my to read list for a while now. I finally picked up a copy a week & a half ago while book browsing with my friend Kim (Sassiland) who was in town & who recommended it as we were trading recommendations on writing books. Rather than read it through from beginning to end in one sitting & make some promise to myself to actually follow through with the 12-week program at a later date, I decided to start then & there. I do think my willingness to do it now of all times has much to do with the last 9 months of my life. The next 12-weeks of this process will take me through the last 3-months of what will forever be known as the hardest year of my life. There’s something about coming to the end of this process & focusing on my own creative process in the months leading up to the one-year anniversary of my mother’s death. I guess it’s a desire to really cement the fact that while this year has been the worst of my life, it has also (oddly) been one of the most interesting (& at at times even good), & much of what has made it interesting/good has been my interest in really figuring out who I am, what I believe, & what makes me happy. And much of that has to do with focusing on the creative process in general, as well as mine in particular. (more…)

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