Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I feel like I got my country back. I am far to the left of Obama, and I know he’s not going to live up to my hopes, or my wants. But still, I feel such hope.

I’ve never felt about my government, the way I feel right now. I feel empowered to help make change.

Today, for perhaps the first time, I feel proud to be an American.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

News, medical and other

An e-mail I sent just now, to my faculty and registrar.

Hi all,

I'm based at the Ranch until Epiphany West, having just returned from a whirlwind (day and a half) trip to Berkeley. Dermatologist and oncologist are both pleased with me. My numbers are good (though not, as they were, better than my doctor's); I still feel like crap. I'm still losing weight, though not drastically, and I think I'm eating more. I'm still constantly achey. Even when I've slept as much as my body will, I can't get enough. I can have a conversation, but thinking is extraordinarily difficult.

Field ed mid-year eval went well. That's been the saving grace for so much else: something I can actually do, and love doing. (It's easy for me to be present on the street--maybe more so, because I know what it's like to feel sick continuously.) I sent N. an e-mail saying when she'd get the document; supervisor and I had our conference Tuesday night. Being there is working very well, for me and for them.

I sent L. a bunch of stuff relating to my cross-cultural requirement; thank God I keep a blog. We'll go from there, I'm sure.

I'm considering letting something go from fall, and intentionally letting myself fail it, so I can focus on finishing the things I need to graduate. (I took one class more than I needed this year, for the health insurance.) I "should" have dealt with it earlier--I didn't have the energy to. By the time I realized how long it had been since I had even been to the class, it was too late to drop. I kept thinking I could make it up... and I still kept (keep) choosing sleep. "Need to work. Feel like crap." Sleep wins. I'm not pleased with myself for that choice, but I'm willing to accept it.

As it is, I still have one old requirement I have to make up; an ancient, by now, paper for J. He made it as easy as he could for me. That will be done before spring term.

I'm still surviving--in both the gritting-my-teeth and triumphant meanings of that word. 5 1/2 more months of this.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

There’s something really lovely…

about singing old camp songs at an Epiphany bonfire, with a gaggle of hippies.

I’m too tired to give context, much—I stood for longer than I have in six months, because the ground was mucky. I’m stiff already—but it was completely worth it.

It’s a Ranch extended-family thing; they’ve been doing it since the program director’s son was an infant, and he’s 12 now. They used to do it at the beach, but fires are illegal all over the Sonoma coast (to protect snowy plover habitat). So people brought their desiccated Christmas trees here, and we burned them, and sang old songs, and read Rumi. And ate. Bread, cheese, soup, wine. Mmmm.

I’ve been to Solstice bonfires. Hell, I lived in Olympia. Doing it for Epiphany, makes my inner Christian and pagan both happy.

This is a good life.

Speaking of endurance events... I've been thinking of doing the Relay for Life, to celebrate when I'm done with treatment. This summer would be a ridiculous time to add pledge-gathering to my plate, however. I still want to do it, but I can wait several months or a year.

I could celebrate earlier, by quietly walking to the river up here. You can see it from all the hills facing that direction, but I've never been. A friend told me it's about a 45-minute hike. She always moved faster than I do.

And I can do that whenever it strikes me. A call saying, "Hey, can I come up tomorrow," is enough advance planning. I love it here.

So much of my life is urban, and I really love it. But being up here feeds my soul, in ways I can't explain. My whole system was resetting, today. It wasn't just that I was tired, though I was. Or that it was a sick day, though it was. I couldn't stop sleeping. When awake, I breathed more deeply. I know I'm here for longer than a weekend--I think I'm settling back into the soil.

Mmm. Groundedness.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Quick update

I’m at the Ranch, until Epiphany West. Tired, damp, happy to be here. I’ve put away the Bruce Cockburn CD for another year—but am still listening to the Irish Rovers. Want to finish settling in, and do my shot before I host dinner—but I may just nap until then.

Christmas, all 12 days of it, was good, quiet, restful. I left A’s house decorated for Epiphany (thank you, Oriental Trading).

I still have academic things to do—and I’m going to take the down-time I have now to do them, as well as my brain will allow me.

I mentioned a derm appointment—I rescheduled it to next week. I’ll see my oncologist, do field ed, and see the dermatologist all in 24 hours. Then come back up here.

I’m fearless in ways I wasn’t expecting. I normally hate driving through the Delta. It didn’t bother me at all. The whole hundred-odd miles up here were foggy and wet, but nobody chased me. The lanes usually feel claustrophobically narrow—today I didn’t feel squeezed.

Speaking of fearlessness—I don’t want to sound like I’m delusional, or trying to be a superhero. I still can (and do) feel anxiety—mostly about finishing school, finding work, and continuing my health coverage after spring. There are certainly experiences I’d rather not have. I’m in a loop right now of, “S—t! I need a job. I’m not well enough to get one. I can’t even keep up with school.” I don’t know how I’m going to transition into paying debt, paying for healthcare, getting employed and getting better, all at the same time. But however it happens, it will. And I have all the support I could ask for.

True fear, though, that’s gone. I’ve been where I’ve been, and I’ve come back, more whole than when I went there. Nothing can damage me now.

Hmm. This is how confidence feels.