December 26th, 2005

Book Cover

Thoughts -

I am again awake in the night. My throat has become quite an issue now, and it is really uncomfortable to feel its soreness rubbing down into my esophagus. I sit up, hoping to feel better.

I look for something to share to get my mind off of my discomfort. It is not here.

Perhaps I will just picture you asleep, and that will put me back into dream-land. I remember now stories from my childhood. Perhaps I should look there for something to share.   Ah, of course, The Sugar-Plum Tree by Eugene Field. 

    The Sugar-Plum

By Eugene Field


Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
'Tis a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollypop Sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.

When you've got to the tree, you would have a hard time
To capture the fruit which I sing;
The tree is so tall that no person could climb
To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
And a ginger bread dog prowls below-
And this is the way you contrive to get at
Those sugar-plums tempting you so:

You say but the word to that gingerbread dog
And he barks with such a terrible zest
That the chocolate cat is at once all agog,
As her swelling proportions attest.
And the chocolate cat goes covorting around
From this leafy limb unto that,
And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground-
Hurray for that chocolate cat!

There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes
With striping of scarlet and gold,
And you carry away of the treasure that rains,
As much as your apron can hold!
So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
And I'll rock you away to the Sugar-Plum Tree
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.

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The Little Engine that Could!!

I am now caught up in the nursery rhymes and stories of the first Book House.

I had forgotten that The Little Engine That Could is about the delivery of Christmas toys.

Here is a poem I still love. I think of it when I watch the busy squirrels that live here, scampering on branches, fences, and trees.

Whisky Frisky

Whisky Frisky,
Hippity hop,
Up he goes
To the tree-top!

Whirly, twirly,
Round and round,
Down he scampers
To the ground.

Furly, curly,
What a tail!
Tall as a feather,
Broad as a sail!

Where's his supper?
In the shell;
Snappy, cracky,
Out it fell.

May I now fall out of this shell of discomfort into a deep sleep!!
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Another peaceful day -

Today was restful, and I did get out for a walk. I continue to be amazed though at how weak I have become, and so, it is. I am trying to sit with acceptance today, knowing that suffering is wanting things to be different than they are.

I consider again today on the caterpillar as it changes to a butterfly. I read in Deepak Chopra's "The Book of Secrets" that "The caterpillar's organs and tissues dissolve into an amorphous, souplike state, only to reconstitute to the structure of a butterfly's body that bears no resemblance to a caterpillar at all."

I think what I have been struggling with the last two days is this incredible discomfort and what it means to my health. If I can view it this way, as a transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, then, perhaps, I will be okay. I find myself resistant to going to chemo again. It makes sense in light of what happens, and, so, I am trying to feel my way through this, knowing that my attitude is key. I think having everyone here shows me how weak I have become, and that is upsetting to me, but, again, if I can view it as that I am dissolving in "an amorphous souplike state," perhaps, I can feel okay about it. I like those words for some reason, "an amorphous souplike state." They are helpful to me.

I hope everyone's holiday continues to fulfill.

For some reason this poem by Ted Kooser is appealing to me today.

Old Cemetery by Ted Kooser

Somebody has been here this morning
to cut the grass, coming and going unseen
but leaving tracks, probably driving a pickup
with a low mower trailer that bent down
the weeds in the lane from the highway,
somebody paid by the job, not paid enough,
and mean and peevish, too hurried
to pull the bindweed that weaves up
into the filligreed iron crosses
or to trim the tall red prairie grass
too close to the markers to mow
without risking the blade. Careless
and reckless, too, leaving green paint
scraped from the deck of a mower
on the cracked concrete base of a marker.
The dead must have been overjoyed
to have their world back to themselves,
to hear the creak of trailer springs
under the weight of the cooling mower
and to hear the pickup turn over and over
and start at last, and drive away,
and then to hear the soft ticking of weeds
springing back, undeterred, in the lane
that leads nowhere the dead want to go.

I think what I identify with in this poem is that, in some way, I am like the dead as represented by Ted Kooser. I am here, noticing detail, and loving and appreciating quiet, and I do not currently have a lane I need to follow. I have nowhere to go. Despite all my complaining, I am in some place of acceptance, some cocoon as to my path. I am content in waiting to see what unfolds.
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Considering -

I think what I have learned in these last few months is not to take anything for granted, especially not life.

Jan was excited to go out today, and stock up on the half-price Christmas paper and cards. In other years, I might have been there with her, but I realize now I have no idea what will appeal to me next year, and I don't want to store extra stuff, and perhaps, most importantly, I now "get" that it is not a given I will be here next year.

What I saw this year is that what I purchased ahead at half-price, certainly did not appeal to me after what I went through this year. I paid full-price for my Christmas cards this year, and I was fine with it. Why not, I thought? Can't I afford that? I love Christmas cards. I can pay full-price, and send out what suits me now, not a few days after the Christmas of a year before.

This perhaps sounds trivial, but it is a big step for me. I have perhaps hoarded a bit, afraid of a lack. I worried about starving. I like to know the house is stocked with blankets and food. I like my "cave" well-provisioned, and I am letting some of that go.

I am enough. I have enough right now. I need very little, and I am, of course, wealthy beyond imagining. That is perhaps both literally true, and figuratively. Look at all we all have. My goodness, and what matters to me now is that my heart beats in tune with other loving hearts. We are attuned. I am grateful for You! Thank you for filling and fulfilling the pulse of my heart, the beat of my Life!