Dear Friends and Readers,
Nine years ago, I became a mother and (as many new mothers discover) came to blogging as a means to rejoin a community of artists, writers and other visually-oriented creative folk in the midst of an otherwise isolated life. I created A Sacred Friendship as a way to explore the relationships that make up who we are-- for who are we, I wrote, but ourselves in relation to others? In time, though, oddly enough I saw many of my relationships crumble and disintegrate; and each time I'd attempt to regain my bearings by shifting my focus to another relationship (to home, to family, to friends, to body), again there would be a maddening, undeniable disintegration. With regards to the last relationship, I became very ill, and doctors were not able to explain very well just what was wrong with me. At last now the culprit has been found: a rare genetic condition that is often misdiagnosed (being the slippery medical fish that it is) called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
In a previous chapter of my life, long before the possibility of joining other blogging bloggers in a blogsphere, the word sojourn blossomed before me and became the term I chose to best describe my reality. I was a zen student living in a temple, training to become a priest. I then became sure that the chapter that followed would reveal relationship to be the blanket term that I could apply to my reality in much the same way; and yet the very opposite of what I'd intended occurred, and rather than experiencing a great "coming together" after my ordination and leaving to join the temple of the wider world, things fell horribly apart, and my failing health was the apex of that. Early on in my new relationship with Rheumatology, I distinctly remember searching for just the right word to tell my doctor, in one quick sum, the total experience of my condition. "I feel like I'm disintegrating from the inside," I said pathetically. But instead of offering the comprehensive treatment I'd hoped for, she rolled her eyes, labeled me with fibromyalgia and handed me a referral to a psychiatrist for "mood stabilization." (I know that many of you who suffer with a chronic illness can identify with that experience- and for those of you who do not, just know that that is indeed and all too often the norm!) I find it so interesting now that the very nature of EDS is a sort of disintegration, as it is a failing of one's cartilage, or the glue that holds the body together.
Perhaps that is just the way of careful, close observation: the things we believe to be real and solid tend to disintegrate. But even within that truth there lies more of a chance of full integration, because the artificial boundaries that separate us diminish, and reality is able to fully express itself, just as it is. As such I find I don't have a good word to describe my next chapter, and perhaps for the first time ever, I'm comfortable with that.
And so it is time to tuck in this blog, my effort to understand the
nature of relationship and self coming to its own natural conclusion
after 9 years. 9 is a number sacred to the Celts; beyond 9 lies new beginnings and a sacred unknown. The Deer's Cry, being
one of the oldest Celtic prayers became my invocation at the beginning of my effort here, and today I find the same strength and light as I step off of this old rock of knowing, and toward a more sure-footed unknowing. Here on the eve of Imbolc, nothing seems more appropriate.
With a million thanks for the friendships I've forged here, and a smile for all who visit!
late August in my garden
9 hours ago