A 360 panorama stitched and warped to create the tiny planet effect. Image sequence taken by drone above a community field in Wales.
Photo by Louis Reed / Unsplash

I am a few hours away from doing what I said I might do two years ago. Now it's very real

Six weeks were all it took for me to completely strip and prep my house for sale. Yesterday the handyman and my realtor walked the place, and her housekeeper comes this weekend while I head to Colombia to start looking for a place to rent part of the year.

GAH. Is it REALLY bloody well worth it?

Well sure.

Yesterday I had another mild but painful accident.

Look. I already have one hand down. We are trying to address an extreme nerve pain issue, so healing has not been going well. So on top of this, I made seven trips delivering all my stuff to my chiropractor's storage. While carrying a big resin table in one-handed,  the table clamshelled over my one operative hand and mashed the holy crap out of it.

It's now all swollen and purple, and I had to jerry-rig Rock Tape with two fingers of my left hand and my teeth. Still gotta work. By the end of the day, working through that big fat mass of angry blue tissue, I had nearly full mobility back.

Of course it hurts. Life does.

You work through it.

To that, please see this essay by Saga supporter Beth Bruno:

Life is a Mixed Bag, Isn’t It?
Why do we grasp the illusion that it can all be good?

Bruno writes:

This is a perfect illustration of life as a whole. We humans give lip service to the idea we must take the good with the bad, but secretly we harbor a belief that there is a way to eliminate the bad parts of life completely. We rail against the hard parts, the unfair parts, the sad parts, the infuriating parts. They are not supposed to be a part of our idealistic vision of a utopian life where every peach is perfect, every person is pleasant, everything is easy and we are happy, happy, happy. But in life, as in peaches, there is a rotten side.

When life reveals the rotten side we have a choice. We can feel the disappointment, work at dealing with the rotten spot the best we can, and then move on quickly to enjoy the sweet juicy part. Or, we can be so mad about the rotten spot we can leave all the peaches on the ground in protest and not taste the good parts at all. I choose the former — in peaches and in life. (author bolded)

I love this an analogy. Beth possess a most gentle soul, and this is why I love her writing.

I have, as had we all these last several years, had plenty of bruises, some of them quite serious. Of course my history of full of that. Perhaps that's part of the larger point, as that very history has taught me to keep working through.

Yesterday I read this by Maria Popova. I wasn't aware that the great American writer Walt Whitman had suffered a terrible stroke:

Walt Whitman on What Makes Life Worth Living
“Tone your wants and tastes low down enough, and make much of negatives, and of mere daylight and the skies.”

It stuck me that Whitman continued to live, work through much of his disability and above all, found great strength and solace in Nature.

Which of course is precisely why I moved to Oregon. In letting life events to move me to let go of this great demanding house which in so many ways kept me from being able to do the very things I moved here to do, I get to challenge myself to live the life I truly want.

I have paid for that right and mobility by sending some 90% of all I own out the door. I've released, sold, donated, gifted and otherwise sent into the ether all the dead weight. The boxes I take barely take up half a small bedroom, if that.

Popova begins her piece with a juicy quote:

“Do you need a prod?” the poet Mary Oliver asked in her sublime meditation on living with maximal aliveness. “Do you need a little darkness to get you going?” (author bolded)

I've had some cattle prods lately, most of them physical. More surgeries are ahead, and given the complications from this one, I find it hard to get excited about recovery and PT. But they have to get done if I am to do Kili again.They are necessary prods to be more mindful (say, of large folding tables).

Penny Nelson took the cattle prod message about her health and has been transforming herself.

Many of you have, and this piece is to acknowledge that sometimes, that "little darkness" is indeed the prime mover to get going in some way so that we can get living in a new way.

Photo by Jayson Hinrichsen / Unsplash

From Popova about Whitman:

But as his body healed, the experience had permanently imprinted his mind with a new consciousness. Like all of our unexpected brushes with mortality, the stroke had thrust into his lap a ledger and demanded that he account for his life — for who he is, what he stands for, what he has done for the world and how he wishes to be remembered by it. (author bolded)

Sometimes the awful curveballs life lobs at us are because we are stuck where we don't belong...at least while the bird in our chest aches to sing, and we have caged it.

To that then, I pack one-handed, type one-handed, battle the various aches and pains and keep heading forward. In the background as I get ready to leave for Colombia, where several years ago I began thinking about it, part of me truly revels in the fact that the doors to the next chapters have swung wide open. And I am absolutely, positively walking through.

Relieved of nearly all my stuff but the basics and a few memories, it is all indeed...worth it.

The bird in my chest is in full throttle.

What might make your bird sing?

Photo by David Thielen / Unsplash

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