May 4th, 2009

oregon, willamette, 1 proxy falls

Good Morning!!

My local high school is closed until May 7th because of the swine flu.  Jon Carroll had a great column on that, and here is another on celebrating what is before us.

Jon Carroll:

Monday, May 4, 2009


A long time ago, my friend Anne Lamott, before she was a famous novelist and spiritual adviser and moderately well-off mother of one, lived on a houseboat in Sausalito Harbor. Actually, she lived on half a houseboat - she was subletting.


As you might imagine, she did not have a lot of room for fancy appliances or, indeed, for any appliances. She had a toaster oven. And so, because she is a resourceful lass, when she wanted to have a social gathering, a brunch, sort of, even for five or six friends - which was maximum capacity, definitely - she had a Festival of Toast.

"Come to my Festival of Toast," she said, as though a Festival of Toast were as common as a wine and cheese reception. She bought various kinds of bread, so that those with different opinions about toast could have their desires fulfilled. I, frankly, was looking for some kind of catch, some bagpiper band and swirls of haggis and "Ha ha, Festival of Toast," but no such event occurred. Our Festival of Toast was a Festival of Toast.


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alexander calder

Dealing with illness -

This is an inspiring article on how one man dealt with cancer.

Finding Peace and Empowerment

By Scott Norris as printed in SEARCH issue No.60

Unbelievable. That's the word that kept coming to mind the first couple of times I went to my oncologist. Unbelievable. I distinctly remember exiting the elevator, turning to my left, and seeing the words "Neurological Oncology" on the sign. It's somewhat disheartening, to say the least, when the sign you are looking for has "Oncology" on it. But that's where I was headed. Unbelievable.

I actually don't remember much at all about the first meeting with my oncologist. I'm glad I had my wife, Cheryl, with me. She remembers more. One thing I do remember is that my doctor asked me if I had been told my condition. I told her I had. Her response was, "These can be difficult tumors." Now that I know a little more about glioblastoma multiforme, I think she was being gracious in her use of adjectives. I also remember seeing my post-surgical MRI, which showed a big hole in my brain where the tumor had been. Unbelievable. The last thing I remember of that visit was the sense of urgency I felt as my doctor left the exam room and headed for a phone to get my radiation treatments scheduled. I'm a cancer patient. Unbelievable.

From what I gather, my experience was fairly typical as far as operable, malignant brain tumors go: the usual assault of surgery, external beam radiation, and a Gamma Knife procedure. The reason I'm writing this article is that I want others out there to know that in the face of a malignant brain tumor, or any other life-threatening disease, there are resources and strategies that can help you find "the calm at the middle of the storm." You don't have to look further than your own circle of family, friends, and medical and mental health professionals that you choose to surround you. You also have tremendous inner resources that can be harnessed for your own benefit. I want to share how I gathered people around me, and how I gathered my inner resources together, so I wouldn't have to bear the burden of this disease all on my own. For those who know, it can be a terrible burden.

Before I go into how I gathered my resources together, I would like to describe how I approached the disease in general. You hear a lot about people who have "battled" or "fought" cancer. From the outset I, too, considered it somewhat of a battle. I have, however, tried to incorporate love into the fight. For example, as I was lying in the emergency room after they discovered the tumor, I somehow was given the strength to repeat over and over and over to myself, "I send Love to my brain." In a sense, I guess, I was forgiving the disease for invading my body, at the same time forgiving my body from allowing it to enter.


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alan - lilies in the shade

Evening -

I am absorbing the richness of this day.   I ran into a good friend on the bike path and so we strolled briskly along together, enjoying the soft mist, and shared what is up.  She is working with vets, with kids really, she says.  

Peace, please, I say, Peace, Please.  The rain continues and is the most soothing of treats. 

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." 

     Dr. Seuss

New organs of perception come into being as a result of necessity.
Therefore, O man, increase your necessity, so that you may increase your perception.

            Jallaludin Rumi

It takes two to know one.

                        Gregory Bateson