October 30th, 2007

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Mitchell -

I am posting from Mitchell's journal today, just copying and pasting the whole thing here.  I have no answers for this, only a deep feeling of pain.  My heart hurts.  I don't understand, and I do realize that hope is probably what keeps us all here.   We move optimistically toward what comes.   Take care, and again, I request, prayers.

Mitchell’s health has declined, no longer able to swallow or eat solids/liquids. He is on a bipap breathing machine most of the day and reserves his energy on as needed basis to talk. We appreciate those wanting to visit but we are limiting visitors at the moment as Mitchell is very tired.

We continue to have hope and tell Mitchell that it's ok to feel tired and wanting to let go to the Lord. We tell Mitchell to believe that the healing is taking place even when we can't see it. Believe that God has a higher purpose for Mitchell or else he would have taken Mitchell a few weeks back when he stopped breathing and we had to call 911. Believe that Mitchell's spirit wants to stay and continue living life but his physical body is shutting down. Believe that Mitchell's emotional state will turn the corner to allow energy to begin flowing. We just keep believing.

Mitchell lives to eat, loves reading the menus, loves watching the Food Network, wants to know what’s for dinner and how you cooked it, favorite place in the house is the kitchen, has to have something sweet along with his meal, and loves food period. Yesterday, Mitchell asked this question which I did not know how to answer. Mitchell asked, "Why would God take away the thing I love most? Why would he prevent me from swallowing so I can no longer eat?" If you have an answer or explanation to tell Mitchell, please share that with him.

Man can live for about forty days without food, and about three days without water, about eight minutes without air ... but only for one second without hope.
Hal Lindsey
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My Morning Writing -

I speak to Jane and tell her of my grief.  We don't talk, just write.  This is what comes for me.

I read late into the night and completed the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer about Christopher Johnson McCandless, who idealistically walked into the wilderness, and through various circumstances, did not survive.  What is it to know this is the end, to be lonely and scared, and know the importance of family, in his case, too late?


In contrast, the first email I read in the morning is the posting of the family of 15 year old Mitchell Louie, the posting that informs he is now unable to eat.  Mitchell asks the Lord why he takes away what he loves most, the community and communion of food.  I can only answer in myself that Mitchell is being filled with the Lord, pumped so full there is no room for food.  It seems this young man who has had the best of medical care, and hearts leaning his way, bursting with prayer, may soon be called to go, and I suppose this time, too, the portal will be held open for me to see and peer through for a moment or two.


Marion Rosen believes we are even more powerful after death.


I have in my life felt the influence of those who have died, been reassured over and over again, helped, lifted, held, and I feel at my age, it is I who should go, not a child, and I cannot know the path of another.  Perhaps Mitchell has learned all he needs to know to take the next step.  I always feel sorry for we who are left behind, left to look up, not understanding, where the other has flown, grubs unable to see the flight of butterflies, and, sometimes, we do.  We feel the shift in the air, the flash of color, the touch that pollinates and spreads the flowers, the scent we share.


I can barely stand.  I feel weak.  I look up as the sun, like a snake, winds its way through the clouds, and, there, I tuck, like a child, in a tree.  I find a sunbeam reach for me, and I climb aboard, and like a child with a blanket, sit, breathe, breathed.


The pain in my heart begins to ease.  I hang my prayer on the wings of a bird, not knowing where it flies or why.  It leaves my sight, the vicinity of my eyes, but, inside, its flight is mine.   We glide, unpinned.



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The portal is thin -

This is the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead is thin.  I look at the Live Journal ghost and witch.  They are friendly.  Perhaps our relationship with death is also able to smile even through waterfalls laced with salt.   Rivers become oceans in our eyes, oceans in which to sit and cry.
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Values -

Today I read about Hannah Montana.  Obviously I don't have a young teenager since this is my first exposure to her.   She doesn't sound like the most inspirational role model, and yet, here she is, bouncing into town to be seen for a healthy ticket price.

It is odd to read of her after just finishing Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild.   Here was a young person, Christopher McCandless,  who truly lived his values, even though some perceived him as misguided.  He most likely was a virgin, seeing celibacy as part of his spiritual fulfillment and a necessary accompaniment to his search. His guides were Thoreau, Jack London, John Muir,  and others.   He wanted everyone to read Jack London's Call of the Wild.

Krakauer has this to say about Jack London.

    "McCandless has been infatuated with London since childhood.  London's fervent condemnation of capitalist society, his glorification of the primordial world, his championing of the great unwashed - all of it mirrored McCandless's passions.  Mesmerized by London's turgid portrayal of life in Alaska, and the Yukon, McCandless read and reread The Call of the Wild, White Fang, "To Build a Fire," "An Odyssey of the North," "The Wit of Porportuk."  He was so enthralled by these tales, however, that he seemed to forget they were works of fiction, constructions of the imagination that had more with do with London's romantic sensibilities than with the actuality of life in the subarctic wilderness.  McCandless conveniently overlooked the fact that London himself had spent just a single winter in the North and that he'd died by his own hand on his California estate at the age of forty, a fatuous drunk, obese and pathetic, maintaining a sedentary existence that bore scant resemblance to the ideals he espoused in print."

    Well, that seems a bit harsh, and yet, it is perhaps important to separate imagination, art, and reality.   Via Magazine this month has an article titled, "Shopping:  Is It  the New Adventure Travel?"   I always felt travel was about expanding the horizons, not shrinking them.  It seems people enjoy shopping in the same shops they have at home. The article goes on and on about how the endorphins pump when we buy new shoes.  I know it is to find the balance, but I wonder what it is to live as the Mitchell family is living right now, and what it is to make purchasing new clothes and shoes, one's life entertainment and goal. 

    How do we find the balance, the stretch, the place to weigh our love of love of family and friends, and the individuality of soul?

    Some of the last words of McCandless were these:  "HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED."

    Maybe it is easier to just take Bush's advice, and shop, but I think it is important to consider what it is our country is doing.  The United States manufactures and sells weapons and places to use them.   "Shop," we say to the world.  Shop!

    The mall can be a dangerous jungle if complacency allows us to believe that new shoes mean life, and new weapons mean defense.

    The Buddha once said:  Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.

    The Dalai Lama says:  My religion is kindness.

    Perhaps in allowing the soles of our feet to touch the ground, we can rise in meeting what connects and surrounds.  Love is juicy.  Juice!   Connect!!

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Thoughts -

I believe I have spoken of Steve, the nurse at radiation, who on my last day, said how he prayed for us all each day.  At the time, I thought,  I am well.  I don't need prayers, and somehow, today, I surrender to you and myself, that yes, I do.  My body aches as again I lean into acceptance.

I realize that one reason I never felt my situation was "dire" when I was sick, was that I knew somehow it was not my time, and maybe I won't know when it is my time.  Maybe we always hold onto delusion, but I wonder if there isn't some softening as it truly is our time to go.

It is odd to be brought into the realm of letting go, again,  today.  I put up my barriers sometimes and hammer intention to carry my own will on through, and there is a place for that, and there is a place to let go.

I am working with Jane today in the East Bay though I told her I felt too weak to drive, that I didn't think I could get there, and she encouraged me to come, to come in this weakened state and explore.   What comes now?   What is there for me to know?

I am wrapped in double turtlenecks and pain.   This with Mitchell continues to hit me very hard.  I suppose I again wonder why his life, and not mine.  I have lived my life, and yet, there must be more for me to learn, and more for me to teach.   I want to place pillows under him and lift and kiss.  I want to ease his way, but does tightening my own body into pain help him?   Perhaps.

 I realize I want him to know I care, and I also realize that when I was sick I was floating around all that.   It was like a huge bubble I looked into, but  I was outside of it too. The well that holds us is huge enough to simmer the roots of pain until their essence is held and drunk, and what we drink heals, and sometimes the healing needs rest.   I am tired today, worn out, and in that place of surrender is presence, patience and love.

I give thanks for that.