I am in some pain today and I’ll admit I am very, very done with the pain of shingles, but it is, apparently, not done with me yet. For nearly a month I have been disabled by pain and fatigue. I have looked for the lessons, for my body’s messages to me. What is this illness telling me? To stop? To rest? To give myself space and time? Probably. To bring my life into a better balance… all work and no play… you know what they say about that. I know once I’ve come through this thing to the other side I will understand the messages. I will take the lessons.
For now I am reveling in the experience of deep friendship. I am not one to ask for help. In fact I reject it all the time. I have this kind of armor that I carry around with me in the form of an idea that goes something like this: “I don’t need anyone else. I’m strong and independent. I can do IT (whatever IT is) by myself.”
But this disease has demanded that I accept a lot of care from my friends. Craig and Anna have worked all my days at the gallery for the past month. Anna did both weekends of the High Road Art Tour completely on her own—that’s entertaining thousands of people over the course of four days! Bill Loyd researched cures and gave me natural supplements that truly helped. And Julie and Jane (see previous post Wild and Free: A Feast From the Land) brought me all kinds of natural remedies, the most effective being the juice from hens and chicks, that pretty little succulent you see in so many rock gardens.
And Kim, who is living on this land (see previous post A Very Mini Artist’s Colony), has taken the brunt of it. He has seen me discouraged, blue, exhausted, suffering and, quite frankly, feeling so damned sorry for myself that I can hardly breathe. But even so, he has grocery shopped and cooked, feeding me wonderful meals. He has dealt with my wounds—something I don’t even like doing. And he’s done all this with a sense of humor that makes me laugh through my tears.
What a gift these friends are. There’s no way I could handle this one on my own. I need the support of good friends right now, and I am so grateful they are here for me. Maybe when all is said and done these will be the lessons: to let people care for me and to accept their caring. I have never, ever allowed this—even when I hemorrhaged (see previous post My Re-Birthday). I took care of myself back then. So perhaps this experience is also showing me my own growth.
But whatever the lessons turn out to be, I am honestly surprised by the outpouring of love from my friends. And I am coming to realize that they are what matter in a life. They are the basis for mine.
Love to you all,