16 March 2015

unexpected tenderness

Ok-- so-- first, the hair loss. Ratios of my thyroid levels indicate something wacky between the whole Make T3! call to action by the TSH and the T3 levels themselves.  So, selenium as a facilitator and we shall see. I am not optimistic my hair will grow back, but that's what hats are for.

In the meantime, so much else has happened that it is hard to even get riled up about it.

I had my first mammogram call back, after my first mammogram in 4 years. I had a lump last year, followed by an ultrasound, followed by an all clear and the lump vanishing. But I had never had a call back on a mammogram before.

I'll start this by saying, I'm ok. The reading was ok- and I go back in 6 months. But here is what I wrote while I waited:
I'm in the waiting room at radiology. Waiting waiting for a call-back mammogram. I am thinking if all of the waiting rooms. All of the waiting. The fluorescent lights. The linoleum floor. The cold air and scratchy cotton. I am thinking about turning points, decision points, change of plan points. I am thinking about love and connection and feel an unexpectedly tender love for my body.

Now, I have not felt much tenderness toward my body, ever.
It has caused me untold grief with colitis, acne, the whitest skin on the planet, bruises, bulges, infertility, the birth saga with uncooperative cervix then c section... anxiety, hair loss, blah blah blah blah blah....
it has always been it. not me. it.
a separate container for my Self to ambulate in, to use the sensors with great gratitude, but also a separateness, often hostile, or annoying, or shameful.

Suddenly, in the harsh light of that waiting room, I cradled myself in my arms, truly whole maybe for the first time ever. A surprise integration. Suffused with love. And I have a feeling of wholeness that is different now. I'm getting to know it. But the love and tenderness and gratitude are profound.

And, in other breast related news, we weaned. Not in any way I would have wanted. In fact, I don't think I can even talk about it.
I bought a beautiful bra to celebrate the parts of this worth celebrating (there are plenty, I know).
I don't want anyone to say "About Damned Time!"-- just don't.
You can't say anything I have not already thought or heard or worried about.
Here we are, finally, totally not baby led, or toddler led, or pre-schooler-led. Good lord, left to her, we'd nurse until the cows come home, and since we have no cows, that is a long, long time.

Now we're moving on to addressing the sleep deprivation in all of us, and trying not to make things worse by trying to make them better. Not succeeding yet. Della, in fact, is asleep right this very moment having huffed off into the other room when my beloved mom touched some toy she wasn't supposed to. So Della stormed off, lay down, and conked out.  11am.
Life, love, the pursuit of sleep.
We are in the midst of it.

16 January 2015

on hair loss and vanity

well now... I was not imagining it: My hair has been falling out. Lots of it. Enough so I can now see my scalp easily from the top, through what is left. and I have a near bald patch the size of my palm in the back (aided, of course by a cowlick that just opens up the whole area to cold wind, and vanity has kicked in, and I am horrified.

I saw the doctor. I am getting bloodwork. I suspect thyroid. Any positive stories out there to share with me? I will learn to crochet beanies if I must, but damn.

I'd love to hear powerful stories of regrowth.

The metaphor is not lost on me.

31 December 2014

the space in between

where have I been
busy, yes,
moving, yes
and being
and trying to find my way.
minimal childcare and the new old house and art shows and client work and managing my own ongoing grief work and anxiety.

i asked my new therapist about the grief, the why now, the what the hell, the why, the why, the why
and she said that grief does not have a time table.
it is not about calendars
it is about when you are strong enough

strong enough to come apart
strong enough to weather the storms, I guess. bend, not break. or break and mend. or break and make patterns with the pieces and call it art.

so this has been hard, strangely and unexpectedly.

grief and shame and oh
just so much of that.

and a vulnerability, raw, perpetual, just below the joy.

so I find myself laughing
I find myself
I am painting a little but not as much as I need to (4 shows in 2015!)
not as much as I need to for me

still finding my way into my new identity as  Kate.
not Engineer.
or Director.
or Scientist.
or Professional.

just, Kate.

I told my sister today, light can't get in if there are no cracks.
I hold my hands open, a bowl, to welcome the light.

wishing on you all, and us all, peace and fullness and hope and laughter, health and wellness and humor and moments of bliss. i send you big love.

10 November 2014

so much

yesterday, my amazing Della turned 4.

I cannot believe it, but here we are. She is amazing, dazzling, delightful, dramatic. She is her own fine self and don't you forget it. She is tender and bright as hell.

Today, we signed the papers for a small (read: tiny) house. This week is all about moving. And with that, and birthdays, a time for reflection and projection, and I am working, breath by breath, to remain or return to the Now.

I brush my face against her hair and breathe in.
Now, I say.

So much.

Photos soon.

13 September 2014

My art show!

In the Denver area?  Please come! And please let me know how you know me. I'll be there without Doug and Della, but with my awesome dad and dear friend Liz. (I AM SO EXCITED!!!)

12 August 2014

like a window

grief opens grief like a window

like a can opener

stirs silt from the bottom

shakes loose parts newly or incompletely mended

rattles around, making noisy messes, reminding me acutely of things that hurt to remember.

As I think about the brilliance lost in Robin William's heartbreaking choice, I think too about the losses we all share, those who have loved someone who has made this nearly unthinkable decision. And while I am so very sad for Robin, that this felt like the only choice he had left, I am more sad for his family, those who loved him, all of us who felt somehow connected to his wry smile, his tenderness, his humanness.  It exposes our collective vulnerability somehow.

After losing a beloved to suicide, 11 years ago this past weekend, I have finally gained solace of a sort during hard work this past year... a hard won healing. Tender always, but a new sense of something like peace, I guess... a still point of understanding I did not have before-- before, suicide was simply unthinkable, unimaginable, and my loss, the world's loss of my beloved, was totally beyond my comprehension.

Now, after experiencing being taken down by anxiety into an underworld of desperation-- I understand things I did not understand before.

I sought help, took it, take it, seek it. And thanks to this intervention I have returned home to myself.

But I understand now, desperation, in a way I did not.

I understand just wanting to make the pain stop. And simply not being able to stand it. Feeling lost, taken over, alone.

And I wish for all who feel lost, to reach out, get help, allow help in. Please.

In this moment, I sit with this sadness, with the echos of my own loss, my own grief, and let it (as best I can) move in and through... knowing, after all this time, that it will move like water, downstream, if I allow it to pass through my knowing, my heart, my memories, and not try to hold on for the sake of having something to hold on to.