Wednesday, 31 March between 2 and 7 PM
Representative to call 30 minutes prior to estimated arrival
Johnson and Johnson one dose and done.
I've pulled out old photo albums, gotten rid of two which contained photos and mementos which belonged to my mother and reflected trips she had taken that I had no part in. I also ditched an old baby book and year book, both coming apart at the binding. Few photos were labelled.
I am left with two family albums, bunches of baby pictures and an album of college photos of people I haven't seen in decades and likely will never meet again. Several are dead, via a withering grapevine.
My next task will be to sort through the remaining stuff and keep only a few items. Though I've never been one for memory lane while awake, my sleeping brain has had other ideas lately, it appears. While I rarely recall dreams, recently several individuals have popped in and out. Why, I've no idea.
Perhaps as a prelude to goodbye...
That is what I've been doing...
I've gone through my closet and drawers, the kitchen, the bathroom and organized the foodstuffs in the hall and the hurricane supplies in my bedroom closet So far, three boxes and an old suitcase have gone and my I MAC and a desk of my grandmother's remain to re-home. At some point, I will need to tackle the storage off the screened porch but that is so narrow I can't get in it. I have boxes of old papers and returns to sort out and would rather not leave those for someone else to deal with should I be gone. I also want to re-organize my current papers and make room for what is left in the bedroom closet so that every bit of paperwork is in one place.
A friend who works at the county health department has sent an email with contact information for homebound persons over sixty in need of COVID vaccinations. I will be calling this week for more information. Truthfully, I've put that off because I'm anxious about the whole thing. The thought of anyone coming in here or standing close enough to administer an injection now fills me with dread. Not so one year ago but we are in a vastly different circumstance at this point.
Spring blew in with chilly winds and it was jacket weather here until yesterday. Though warming it is still breezy enough for the blinds to move a bit with the windows open and with the sun creating spots on the floor, Lukas is happily lazing. I love sunlight on his fur. He almost glows.
Her name was Susan. She lived in the neighborhood and had taught Yoga for years at the university here and at other locations, as well as privately. She liked working individually and in small groups and was always welcoming regardless of level. I noticed a preference for guiding rather than physically altering the asanas of those in our classes. She would notice what I was attempting and say, "Try this," showing me with her own movement or pose what she meant. Other times, it was quietly positioning a chair in front of me for balance or suggesting I use the wall for support. More often as time went on I would hear, " Very nice" or "Good job."
Her manner changed and re-shaped not only the room but how I felt about both the breath and body work I was engaged in and, importantly for me, altered my perception of my own body from something I often fought against to that which was and remains resilient, despite the rigors of disability, time and injury.
Years have come and gone since our last encounter which was a crisis point for me and a life transition for her. I was in the grocery store in early 2019 when a woman I did not remember approached and asked whether I had been one of Susan's students and then told me Susan was gone. She offered no details and shocked and distracted, I did not ask. I dropped the melon I had been holding, and this woman and a store employee cleared the resulting mess as I apologized profusely, then made my way home...
I think of Susan often during these pandemic days when I struggle to sleep and find some help in meditation and breathwork. My most recent attempt at a formerly frequent standing pose led to a face plant as my right knee gave way Uninjured but for pride, I peruse the plethora of Yoga books and videos now available looking for a regime of sitting asanas to do in my bed beyond the confines of this chair.
A small sachet of lavender hangs from the knob of a kitchen drawer, a long ago gift from Susan. Yet. beyond just this small reminder. I have the gifts of her spirit and resolve to share and teach.
Namaste, from my spirit to yours.
Yoga has been part of my life since my thirties when I decided to try a class at my neighborhood recreation center. Confronted with the limits of balance and coordination imposed by my developmental disability, the challenge became incremental. After all, I could stand, walk, stretch and breathe, but how well and for how long could I hold a pose? Did I possess the focus needed for breath work and meditation? Was it even possible to hold both my body with its always too-tight muscles in a given position despite it always wanting to do the opposite, and manage breathing at the same time?
My first classes were led by a woman who spent most of her time re-arranging everyone's limbs. Though I sensed that she was a bit of a perfectionist, she was always polite and never openly disparaged my efforts. At the time, few books existed on library or bookstore shelves regarding yoga generally and none dealt with issues of disability, chronic pain or accessibility in relation to it. There was no Internet, and only a handful of videotapes. What did exist here was a small cadre of willing teachers. My first would say, "Do what is comfortable, the goal isn't pain. Breathe." Her classes always ended with a meditation and she would often use candle light at the front of the room as a focal point. No real information on meditation or yogic philosophy was provided and she emphasized strength and flexibility as a path to health. While I agree that both are a wonderful benefit of consistent practice, there is more to be had and learned. I was not surprised when she left yoga behind in order to teach fitness...
And sometimes, when someone leaves, space is created for another who comes bearing gifts, as I was to discover...
The Tillswall Electric Wand Scrubber has finally made it possible for me to clean my grout to an acceptable standard. The extendable wand means I can use the rotating brush to scrub in places I could not dream of tackling from my wheelchair before its arrival.
While that may not sound like much to those of you with no particular aspirations toward housework, I would point out that many of you live with others who can help with household tasks, get cleaners in to do the jobs you can't and generally get things sorted more quickly than can someone in a chair.
Because of COVID and my risk, I realized that if the dust built up, it was up to me to figure out how to keep it down. If the toilet stops up yours truely does the unclogging. The holey screens abutting my bedroom window needed mending, so I ordered patches and applied them from the inside. Perfect? No, but the ants and other insects which would fly in when the windows were open during rare cooler days have decamped.
Beyond the bare minimum of trash removal, laundry and cleaning the bathroom and wiping down counters and stovetop in the kitchen, my floors become repositories of dirt, courtesy of my chair wheels. The chair gets cleaned regularly but, the wheels need wiping at least daily and trap all manner of debris, My next project is to clean the floors of my hallway, bedroom and front room, freeing them of some of the hair which Lukas and I now have in abundance. It has been months since I cut my own hair and I expect some clips from Amazon later this week.
With temperatures already reaching the mid-eighties, the days of open windows are numbered. I would love to be outside a bit more and need to decide how to utilize the forlorn screened in area at the back of my place.
On the meantime, I am attempting to re-jig my sitting yoga and meditation regimen and hoping for more regular sleep.