For The Birds

The four-footed one decided she could fly today. I’m not sure what possessed her to think she could fly, but she gave it the old college try. Of course she couldn’t sustain her air time, but hey it’s the thought that counts right?

Don’t worry, she is fine. When she jumped off the chair she didn’t have far to land. You could see her trying to figure out a way to maintain her air time, she tried doing the doggie paddle of sorts in the air and then it dawned on her, she was going down, not up nor staying at the same level she started with. So she just hung on for the fall.

She got up and walked away as nonchalantly as she could. She had witnesses, so it was hard for her to walk away with her dignity fully intact. But she tried. And no she wasn’t injured at all, other than her pride I suspect.

It does make me wonder what goes on in her head. What is she thinking when she gives me that look, or when she cocks her head off to one side? Is she planning how to get more food or perhaps how to take over the house (technically she did that the day she came home)? Perhaps she is plotting on how to get dogs to rule the world. And then again, maybe she just wanted to give something new a try.


Plants Get The Best Of Me

The tomato plants have reached their end, the season is growing to a close, so I decided to pull them out today.  The tomato plants had other ideas.  Oh not about their season coming to and end.  They just didn’t want to be removed from their pots.

Now I know some of you are thinking how can a tomato plant get in the way of its very removal.  I don’t really know except to tell you that when I pulled it, it did not budge.  Not even a little.  So I dug out a shovel and tried to loosen it out of the soil.  And that didn’t seem to do much of anything either.

A neighbor came by either taking pity on the plant or myself, I’m not sure which.  He was made aware of my battle with this last tomato plant no doubt through my cursing of said plant.  With a quick tug of his arm the whole plant gave up its grip in the soil.  (My struggle may have pre-loosened it for him!). He also broke it down and put it in the garbage with no problem whatsoever.

He told me some beings will clung to the very last bits of life, even when it knows the time has come, just in case.  Because, as my neighbor said with a knowing grin, the weather always changes and hope rides in on even mildly warmer air. And as long as there is hope, there is a need to cling to life as long as you can.  I’m not sure if he was talking about the tomato plant or my health.

At any rate, I do believe plants always have the upper hand when t comes to me.

Some Days

Some days I’m pretty sure I’m my own worst enemy.  Some days I’m sure I’d leave without my head if it wasn’t attached to the rest of me.  Heck there are days that even though my head is attached it’s really just along for the ride so it might just as well not be attached.

Today was one of those some days…only this time it didn’t involve my head so much as my feet.  Well I guess my head is somewhat involved in that my memory failed me and it resulted in a case of unhappy feet.  Unhappy feet because they spent al day in shoes I normally reserve for when I need to be dressed all fancy like, not walking on cobblestones and pavement.

I realized my mistake shortly after my first few hundred feet on the cobblestones.  But hey I’m tough and so I decided I could tough it out.  Again my head is to blame for this because I decided that despite what my feet were telling me, my brain knew I could manage this for the day.

Fast forward to the end of the day when my feet absolutely hate me and my head, well my head has finally realized the smart thing to do is grab the required shoes for tomorrow now while I still remember what I want to do. Hopefully tomorrow will be one of those some days where everything goes well, almost according to plan!

Of Jars, Fireflies and Enlightenment

When I was young I used to catch fireflies in jars.  I thought they were the most magical things ever, they were like little flying flashlights.  I’d grab some glass jars, ones my mother would never use again for food stuff(typically by the time I got them they had already been used as vases for wildflowers and such instead) and lids in preparation for the hunt.

When the time was just right id head out into the yard and start to capture them in my jars.  One bug per jar was my limit and before I caught another I had to secure the one I’d just caught in the jar by screwing the lid on tight.  I always imagined lighting up a room with jars of fireflies.  In no time I’d have my quota of the bugs flitting around securely in their respective jars.

Inevitably, as if by magic, my father would stop by to see the evening’s catch.  (It took me a while to figure out that if he stood at a certain angle at the window he could see when all my jars were filled and nearly on the table outside.  When I discovered that the magic seemed to slip away.)   And just as inevitable, after commenting on the number I had caught, my father would gently suggest that I release them to go on about their business.

I remember he told me once that all that flashing was their way of communicating to each other and he couldn’t think of a more sad way to die than to be trying to communicate with flashes that none of your own kind were around to see.  He also let me know that my glass jars were a prison for the innocent bugs who were suddenly serving an unjust  sentence for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Usually my father would help me unscrew each jar and set the fireflies free.  He told me that when they were free and flashing around everyone got to enjoy their beauty.

Relationships are sometimes like this, we try to posses or own someone rather than allowing their true beauty to shine rough freely.  I was reminded of this again today after hearing stories from young women who were free come a cult like group.  And like those fireflies, these young women are finding ways to communicate with others after being hidden away from the world.  I hope that these young women, just like the fireflies, make their way into freedoms do shine beautiful for a long time.

Moments or Marks

Someone once told me that he felt life was made up of a few moments here and there with a lot of stuff just filling in the space between moments.  I never liked that idea, to me it seemed a bit to like a waste, especially knowing how he defined moments:  births, deaths, weddings, divorces, graduation, and retirement.  Our faces carry the marks of those moments.

If that is the sum of your life, just after moments here and there and the rest just waiting for the next moment count me out.  Or rather let me count my life in different ways than just those moments.  It isn’t that I don’t have those moments, for I’ve had my heart stop in terror and pure peace.  I’ve had my heart race with excitement and fear; yes I know that those moments are vivid in my mind.  But I am constantly reminded that there is more in my life than just those moments, that each moment no matter how simple it may be counts.

Beloved’s call reminded me again today about the importance of cherishing ever moment, even if it is just sitting and listening to the birds.  Not every moment need some of be huge to be special.

Beloved had a friend, we shall call him Mark, who frequently spends time in areas of unrest.  It is part of Mark’s job and while it is exciting for him, as he has gotten older he has come to be more aware of the dangers or perhaps his own mortality, so the past while whenever Mark goes away he sends set check-in times for his friends.  (Both of Mark’s parents died before he turned ten and he is an only child so friends have become his family.)

The most recent check-in for Beloved and Mark was two days ago.  From talking to others who also have these check-ins, it became apparent that Mark has been unable to make any of the last three days.  Given the area Mark is in, this is cause for major concern, so the friends all agreed it was time to call Mark’s employer and report him as missing.  (In case you are wondering, yes this is one of those moments.)

It turns out Mark’s employer had already filed the necessary paperwork as he had missed an earlier phone call with them.  Of course an adult is free to “disappear” if he wishes, but this doesn’t feel that way.  If feels like my heart needs to speed up and slow down all at once.  Every phone call, every email now has weight attached to it, weight that settles heavily upon us until we hear what the caller has to say or read that the email isn’t related to Mark.  We are hoping this becomes one of those moments we remember without intense joy and relief, but already I can see the weight of things settling into lines on Beloved’s face.  For now we will have moments of supporting each other and cherishing each other just a little more.

Learning Always Learning With Lupus

One of the lessons I learned after spending so many years in school is that just when you think you fully understand a subject, you discover some obscure fact that leads you down another rabbit hole of learning!

Lupus also ensures I am reminded of this lesson, sometimes by making me juggle symptoms and specialists.  And other times just when I think I understand my relationship with lupus something new comes along and forces me to reflect and reassess.

Today I was reminded of this lesson again, this time from an insurance company that decided not to cover my medical claim because the medication I was prescribed is not listed as being used for lupus.  My doctor prescribed the medication as an off-label means of managing my lupus symptoms.  The insurance company decided that I don’t deserve to have this medication covered as my doctor clearly doesn’t know how to use the medication as it was meant to be used.

Although countless people have lupus, after all it is the leading autoimmune illness, we still do not have a lot choices or options when it comes to medical treatment.  There is still a great deal to learn about lupus, which in turn leads to discovering new means of managing and possibly curing this illness.  Let’s never stop learning, let’s never give up until we have the answers and a cure!

I Am The Butterfly or Lupus Taught Me To Fly

The four-footed one was chasing butterflies today.  As they crossed her line of vision she’d jump up and try to catch them, thankfully failing each time because for her to catch one would put an end to the flight of those butterflies.  Butterflies are surprisingly hardy creatures, however I’m not sure they’d be able to survive the sharp teeth of the four-footed one.

I have a soft spot for butterflies, they are symbols for lupus after all.  As delicate as those wings are, as fragile as they appear, butterflies can travel long distances in all sorts of winds and rain.  Butterflies are warriors, making their way to where they need to go while dodging birds, bad weather and curious dogs.  And let’s not forget the people who capture them in nets to add to collections.

In some regards having lupus is a bit like being a butterfly, minus being able to fly of course.  I can appear or even be surprisingly frail and yet still I fight on to a better life or maybe a cure.  Some days just carrying out daily tasks seems like a journey of a million miles.  Other days it’s possible that the wind and conditions are just right for an easy flight, but I can never let my guard down.

Lupus is crafty one, like a patient  person and a butterfly net, lupus waits until I flit into her view.  She times her sweep of net just so.  The movement, a blur out of the corner of my eye is sometimes enough of a warning to get my wings moving faster.  Sometimes I escape the net and enjoy clear days of flight ahead.  Other days she is faster, my wings tired from fighting the winds and she captures me in a clear jar, known as a flare.  When this happens I must wit for someone to unscrew the jar and set me free from the flare again.

So yes dear friends I was very happy that my four-footed companion wasn’t successful in any of her attempts at capturing s butterfly.  For I am the butterfly.