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Sitting Shiva
Sitting Shiva (Mouse Over)

Dear Kim,

I am still thinking about Phillip and the memorial service last night. In the Jewish tradition, this is why one sits Shiva for a week and says the name of the departed every Sabbath for a year. Because the need to make a space for those feelings and thoughts is important.

Ritual.

Sometimes, you gotta love it.

When you think more closely about it, making space is really about making time. Something that we all have, of course, but probably use poorly in the rush of contemporary life.

I am thinking about how I use time and wondering about how you use yours.

(Kim: I've never been impressed by how I spend my time. When I have lots to do I do fine, but otherwise I tend to spread out the job(s) into the alloted time available.)

People often remark upon how much I do, or accomplish. About how well I seem to use my time.

I am not so sure.

I am a little regretful that i did not go to the wake last night, after the service. So many of my theatre friends and colleagues would have been there. People who do not see each other enough.

To work in the theatre is to be an exotic creature, to live and work outside the routines of most people. It is to be an art making bat.

In the past, I have always pushed myself to do more, even when i was tired.

I am trying to rethink that way of being in the world.

I started off the day tired. I have been feeling the stresses of making decisions about Pseudonym and getting ready to leave town for an extended trip. So i have had lots of work to do.

Yesterday was a very full day.

Exercise and working with someone in the office.

Office Depot to order Microsoft something or other.

The bank with our monthly payroll deposit.

The post office because they raised the cost of stamps.

Therapy with Pseudonym who has changed her mind again and wants to try to stay in the relationship.

A few hours of correspondence and working on several different proposals to present at an international conference on spinal chord injury for psychologists and social workers in Las Vegas of all places.

A visit to my massage therapist/body worker because the recent changes in weather have been wreaking havoc on the lymphedema i have subsequent to my breast cancer surgery.

Back to the office.

Then the service for Phillip.

Breathe.

Breathe.

Breathe.

There are people who do much more in the course of the day

Many, many people. Then they go home and deal with their spouses or families. Maybe they go to a second job.

I wonder, how do they cope? How do they relate? Where do they locate themselves in all of that?

(Kim: Perhaps church allows many to get in touch with their spiritual being. It is certainly a luxury that we have to be able to create and/or solve problems all day long. Many are just given jobs that are fairly well defined.)

I run out of steam. And it is when i don't accept that I have run out of steam that I get into trouble. i eat more than I should or things that are not good for me, in a kind of somatic and narcotizing behavior.

I say more than I want, or dopey things. Because i know that in many instances, words are supposed to fill the space and I guess I am too much about pleasing.

(Kim: I also say things I shouldn't say. I'm getting a little better...but still regret somethings that could come back to bite me or someone else.)

When i am tired, i cannot find my words and so what I pull up can come out jumbled, like a string of regurgitated alphabet soup.

I call someone by the wrong name. I forget their name or lose my place in the sentence.

I get hotter flashes than usual and suddenly feel really irritated in a close room with a lot of people.

Maybe I just become an overly tired child. Babies know the authentic response when they have had enough. They scream or they cry.

On a day like yesterday, also layered with loss, I want to do both.

Yesterday, there was not much more gas in the car.

And yet...

There is always an and yet.

And yet I wonder who and what i would have been had i gone to the wake.

I wonder what stories I missed and what relationships I might have deepened.

I wonder why I want to be in community but have less of a capacity tohang with it than many people I know.

I get overly stimulated so easily.

I am wondering what that is like for you. Do you often find yourself in a position of feeling very caring about people but also like you have reached your saturation point?

(Kim: I don't think I have a conscious though, "now I'm feeling caring." I think of all people as my people, my family. I help because that's what I do. I certainly get tired, though. Sometimes helping one person is in conflict with helping one or many others (like in hiring/firing). Those situations are much more difficult.)

The biggest thing I wonder is why I second guess myself. I made a choice. It was based on an access of my real needs. As a cancer patient with other health issues, I have to pay close attention to what my body tells me or I get into trouble.

(Kim: Are you really living differently since you've been sick, or are you just saying that you'd like to.)

So maybe the second guessing is the biggest challenge.

Later,

Joan

Friday, Jan 13, 2006

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