Monday, June 30, 2008
I am back in Southern Illinois, but no one is to blame for the sudden change in my plan to finish massage school; it's nobody's fault. Hubby and I stopped at Ferne Clyffe on the way back from Florida. He said this split in the rock might be the result of a fault line in the area.
I quit the massage program because of the PITA I mentioned in an earlier post. The pain I began to experience just a couple of days after returning to Florida in late May began to interfere with my activities of daily living. Once I became seriously sleep deprived and had to take ibuprofen around-the-clock to keep the pain at a tolerable level, hubby insisted I see a doctor. The chiropractor I went to said I might have a herniated disk and wanted me to go to a medical doctor for more testing and possibly an MRI. Our insurance coverage in Illinois does not permit out-of-network referrals or expensive tests. So my only option, if I didn't want us to be bankrupted by exorbitant medical expenses, was to quit school and return to Illinois. I wonder if my spine is beginning to look like this juniper I planted in Florida a month ago?
Hubby came back to Florida last week to pick me up. He took Sarah and me out to dinner and for a nice long walk at the beach a couple of days before we had to leave for Illinois again. It's hard for me to lose the sand between my toes but even harder to leave my beautiful daughter in Florida. She is being brave and optimistic about the whole thing.
Early in the morning before we left, hubby and I took a walk in the neighborhood. This huge tree I am standing next to is a live oak, one of the biggest and oldest in the area. It owes a great deal of its strength and stature to the grove of oaks which thrive here. They have withstood and triumphed over many trials in their lifetimes.
Like Sarah, I am keeping a positive attitude about everything. I know I am blessed beyond measure with a loving and supportive family, friends, and neighbors. Nothing that comes my way can uproot the strong bond we have among us.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits...
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty."
(John Keats--from A Thing of Beauty and Ode on a Grecian Urn)
Sunday, June 15, 2008
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master;
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Several weeks ago, I posted about my intention to trim roses and clean up the various jungles which now overwhelm my flower beds as summer gets underway. A recent bout of sciatica--I affectionately refer to it as P.I.T.A. for obvious reasons--along with the stresses associated with starting massage school and a recent spate of tests have prevented me from acting on that intention.
When I trimmed this Knockout rose bush last fall, I must have been thinking bad thoughts about it, like maybe that it's crowding out some of the other plants in this front flower bed. It was planted at the same time and given the same care as the shrub next to it and pictured above, but my overzealous haircut and perhaps my murderous intention have almost killed it. This week in school I learned that research on the therapeutic value of touch has revealed that touch combined with healing intent produces better results than touch without it. In the early 1960s, a biochemist named Bernard Grad studied the effects of including a faith healer in his experiment with growing barley seeds. The seeds that were irrigated with water held by the healer fared significantly better than the seeds irrigated with water held by a group of disinterested students. I will have to be more careful with my thoughts the next time I wield any kind of implement in the garden.
This morning before I mowed I was determined to tackle not only the roses which snag me with their thorny arms as I ride by them on the mower but also this sago palm (cycad) growing in front of the porch. It seems to be suffering from some kind of blight, maybe powdery mildew.
I thought that maybe a good trim would allow the air to circulate better and prevent the mildew from attacking the new growth.
I had such a mess to clean up after trimming the cycad that I didn't get very far on the roses. Then a thunderstorm popped up and kept me from finishing them altogether as well as getting the mowing done. Woe is me! There will be no rest for the weary tomorrow (Sunday) morning.
After trimming back the cycad's fronds, I thought it best to clip off its then highly visible pollen cone. I had the best of intentions for the poor thing. Honestly!
The garlands fade that Spring so lately wove,
Each simple flower, which she had nursed in dew,
Anemonies, that spangled every grove,
The primrose wan, and hare-bell mildly blue.
No more shall violets linger in the dell,
Or purple orchis variegate the plain,
Till Spring again shall call forth every bell,
And dress with humid hands her wreaths again.--
Ah! poor humanity! so frail, so fair,
Are the fond visions of thy early day,
Till tyrant passion, and corrosive care,
Bid all thy fairy colors fade away!
Another May new buds and flowers shall bring;
Ah! why has happiness--no second Spring?
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Out on some borderline
Some mark of inbetween
I lay down golden--in time
And woke up vanishing...
(Joni Mitchell--Sweet Bird)
On our visit to the Huntsville Botanical Garden, we stopped inside this enclosure to marvel at some bonsai that have been around for a while. This particular one, a pine, was begun circa 1946. It will probably still be around after I turn to dust, as long as there are gardeners who know, and are willing to practice, the secrets of keeping these containerized plants healthy. In massage school, I keep hearing about the importance of boundaries. It seems that licensed therapists today must constantly work on keeping professional and ethical boundaries intact in order to maintain the integrity of the profession. Its history, particularly recently, has been much maligned and mocked in movies and in the minds of uninformed people. For example, in the movie At First Sight, starring Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino, the therapist/client relationship gets out of hand when the two characters fall "in lust" with each other after a session. If you have seen the movie, you'll know why I hesitate to call it love. Self-sacrifice never enters the picture. It's understandable why some people shy away from getting a massage. They learn from Hollywood to believe in the sensuality of the experience and to not trust its therapeutic value or the ethical standards of the profession. In the small Illinois town where I lived recently for a few months, massage is practically unheard of. One person who works at a fitness center there (and should know better) refers to the female practitioner as a masseuse and proudly asserts that a practice would never thrive there. I hope that kind of attitude will die out eventually and be replaced with a healthier, better informed one.
...Calendars of our lives
Circled with compromise
Sweet bird of time and change
You must be laughing...
Hubby agrees to be my human "gnomon" on this analemmatic sundial. It proves to be remarkably accurate. The time in this picture measures 10:45 a.m.
...Golden in time
Cities under the sand
Power, ideals and beauty
Fading in everone's hands...
...Give me some time
I feel like I'm losing my mind
Out here on this horizon line
With the earth spinning...
...No one knows
They can never get that close
Guesses at most
Guesses based on what each set
of time and change is touching...
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Last week in massage school I learned that the most effective massage results from becoming and remaining centered (grounded) on the client from the beginning to the end of the session. Some therapists begin a massage by placing one hand on the (prone) client's sacrum and one hand on the upper back, then gently rocking the client's body back and forth while meditating on delivering a positive flow of energy. I like to consider the action and meditation a form of healing prayer.
After only two weeks apart, hubby and I decided to meet halfway in Decatur, Alabama. Can you blame me for missing him? He sure knows how to have fun, even at a botanical garden. The one we visited is in Huntsville, and I'm thinking it might just replace Bellingrath as my pick for the Jewel of the South.
I was impressed with not only the overall design of the garden, which included many water features, but also the strategic placement of lovely potted arrangements.
Even the simplest of plants, like this butterfly weed, seem to have power that centers on healing. Asclepius takes its name from the ancient Greek physician and god who supposedly initiated the medical profession and whose staff and snake remain an enduring symbol of that profession. According to one website, Diamon Naturals, this native of North America is not only edible but also has medicinal properties, as well as playing host to the monarch caterpillar and providing nectar for the tiger and black swallowtail butterflies. Perhaps its most interesting attribute is its reputation for curing "love addiction." Apparently, its essence promotes commitment to long-term relationships when the first stirrings of love appear to evaporate into thin air and vanish with the passage of time.