April 15, 2015
It has been nearly a week since our sudden and unexpected dramatic event of Gordon being rushed to the hospital with acute intestinal blockages and on the verge of a heart attack from a densely calcifying aortic valve and jammed coronary artery. The days have been filled with his excruciating pain, nausea, anxiety, calls to family and friends, and decisions. If the intestinal blockage will resolve, they will try the open heart surgery very soon. He had hoped for a quick exit after a good long life, but going on like this is a bleak and untenable choice.
After five days being there to support him, holding his hand as he so steadfastly did mine when I nearly died in this same hospital eighteen months ago, I am wrung out too, wincing and resonating as he bears his cross, while rejoicing together in small victories. I know I desperately need a day of recovery before the surgery while he is relatively stable. I drive home.
The tall wild oats (Grandpa flowers we call them) by the freeway flow gracefully in the wind. They’ve turned golden in the few days I have been gone. Our White Feather ranch is beautiful, green grass splashed white, gold and purple with new wild flowers. Such a wonderful healing place! I am so grateful to live here and for our 30 years of work to make it such a place. I drink in the fragrance of the last of the lilacs and new roses, and water some flowers, fill the bird feeders as Gordon so faithfully does, before I crash in exhausted sleep.
It has been hard on all of us. I am bone tired. Quite a metaphor ‘bone tired’. Bones, after all, are not fraught with nerve cells… but, boy, do we all know what that phrase means…. bone tired, aching to the bone. In such times this dear old frame that holds us upright hums and throbs, moaning its mortality like an old bull frog caught in calcifying mud. The mood, the outlook, can be drone gray too… how to go on, feeling alone, hopeless, depressed and despairing, hollow in the gut or knots in the stomach, reaching the ‘what’s the point’ point… The point of ‘what’s the point’… odd phrase.. So we fight through these thresholds of human life.. bone ache… heart ache. There is so much of it in the world. Oh, my dear, valiant, faithful partner of nearly sixty two years. Such a good man, so steadfast in his support of me, of his family, of his friends and work. I could have been a widow by now, perhaps I will be tomorrow… or not. Maybe his choice will give us a few more years to grow, endure, appreciate life..
This morning in a gray head fog with a body drained of energy, I commanded myself to do my morning eurythmy and prayers.. I was staying at our daughter Lauren’s home, to be nearby the hospital… As I summoned strength to center myself,I noticed the morning sun light streaming from behind a shaded window and reflecting onto the white living room wall. There were deep grooves in the plaster raying out from the corner of the fireplace mantle. The house had been built in the 1930’s.. I looked at the etched grooves musing that the hand of the one who created them was long dead. But then I realized they were placed so they appeared to ray out from a small statue of the Holy one, the Mother, the Virgin standing there. Quietly shining rays, like the subtle un-noticed illumination of her ever present Holy light as we bear our sorrows in life.
The official final finish of the white wall was a mottled plaster design. The ‘rays’ lay underneath it. … underneath, but right there, if one only looked. No mistaking that. I examined the wall in other places. There were no fanned grooves just like this any where else. These were etched there, perhaps by a young novice workman, so long ago. Now decades later, they appeared to to be rays of light shining from the Virgin and lit with the rosy glow reflected from a piece of quartz beside her.
The gentle hidden presence of our Holy helpers. They do not come with fanfare, yet they can announce their presence in reflected light, in a lift in mood, always close by with quiet every present hope and help.. As under the finish of this wall, behind all the designs of life’s facades, behind all our mortal and limited strivings, they are there, quietly and eternally present to give us hope to go on.