Have you ever made what was intended to be a temporary move to make-do and it ended up being a 5 year stint? I was a substitute teacher looking to make extra cash while trying to find myself and I ended up working after school with special needs children and adults. Which eventually lead to working for a group home. I’ve been with the company for 5 years, now. And where I’ve grown and discovered new strengths and talents the journey took me far from who I am at the core. At the close of 2012 I realized how far I had drifted. On a drive home from work, tears streaming down my cheeks, I came to the understanding that I would have to find the shoreline and start anew.
There have been people in my daily life that put a certain weight and guilt on my shoulders. And I somehow let it sit long enough to believe that I had to have that weight.
I gave more commitment to sacrifice, to work…
Less was given to keeping myself healthy, fit and sane.
I stopped going to the gym. Instead of multiple hikes a week and impromptu walks, I either worked or prepared for work the next day.
Gone was the monthly massage, journal writing or blog. Trips to the gym. I was losing my optimism. I felt hate in my soul. And I packed on 15 pounds in less than 4 months. I felt panicked. Fear. Depression.
I am drifting back to myself. Trying new directions. In 2013 I shall Transcend.
It has been a week of muscles spasms and no exercise accept for a 90-minute restorative yoga class at St Paul’s in Marquette. I did not even feel like taking photos today. I just felt like crying. Thank goodness, I am blessed with a man who can lay beside me until I calm.
I chose a different adventure. To the Marquette Food Co-op for dinner fixings and a trip to Every Day Wines for a bottle of wine.
I know nothing of wine. I am nervous it will make my condition worse. But I am hoping, too for a bit of relaxation.
My muscles spasms have raged this week, at times incapacitating me. Then sometimes they are just annoying. I almost cried at the Marquette Historical Center when I was up on the second floor trying to shoot the dome straight up and a lean to the railing almost dropped me to my knees.
My legs are even sore. (They were not the week I ran three times.)
The cramps and spasms started Sunday (today is Saturday) on the trails of Presque Isle. My body had gone into a fit. I call these flare-ups. I hurt from between my shoulders, to my toes.
Some weeks I can run 3 times for a total of 8-9 miles, go to yoga, help with a special needs swim, and hike. I can shovel snow. I can do my job with ease. Then the next week a flare has me in its grip. All I can bring forth are tears.
I thought long today on “nests” and “nesting” how I wanted to be cradled and lulled.
Some may ask, “Kim, why are you writing this and why so negative?”
It is not that I am trying to dwell on the negative, it is that I am trying to cope and in a way examine the “messages” I am suppose to be receiving in my recovery.
I know I am more than my body. I know this.
Is it wrong to love the feeling of flying thru the woods on a trail full of roots and rocks. To feel the wind rush past? I think not.
Tonight I pray for healing. Understanding.
I cannot get my mind around the idea of acceptance.
Open to the expansiveness of your life. Look for new angles, open pathways for your eyes, widen your awareness of what is and can be. Dream! Live a life of passion and hope.
I woke with the most awful headache today, and in the past it would have me calling to cancel all appointments and I’d end up diving back into a dark room. But today I am opening, unfolding, releasing and carrying forth to yoga, and to my shift at Zero Degrees Art Gallery.
This new way of walking in my life is a learning process but I find new contours to explore. Contours are soft edges in myself. I leap out of “box-thought” and think of softness and follow the desire to touch things. When a small child reaches out to a flower petal they do so with curiosity and hope. So do I when I find a new contour within myself. Instead of fear, anxiety, or dread, I reach forward. I might find a thorn, but I might find a furry underside that makes me giggle. I never know unless I try.
Perhaps, I should have chosen a flower image. (smile)
My writings which came in two sessions today. I was s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g myself today. And guess what! There was enough of me to go around.
Session 1 excerpts:
A pink geranium reminded me that with the season changing this momentum could spur my own growth and survival. Devil’s night I was bringing flowerpots from the front yard back to the shed and a pink geranium was about to bloom. I thought I will help you survive “little pink” and took the pot inside.
This pink geranium then spurred me to rearrange the whole healing-art studio upstairs. I now see this as a three-day arrangement complete with dust balls the size of guinea pigs. But the process will reach into winter.
Last night, as I drove home from the 3-11 shift at the group home the Wells Fargo Bank sign reported 32 degrees. The windows of my car had already started to frost. Mike reports he must finish fixing the snow blower, because snow is predicted for later this week. Heavy, wet,-first snow the kind you rather wait out in your home until the next warm day.
I woke to the golden glow casting itself through the living room and past the red orange dogwood. The cat is snoring next to me on the couch and I can hear crows outside.
Session 2 excerpts:
I think of the hostas in the garden that are decaying with each frost. I hear predictions of snow. I think of things I need to lay to rest over the coming days.
They tell me how to fly. I fly. I photo. I clip and even sew. I look forward to this new endeavor.
I see new friends. I channel. I swim with the fishes.
Orange fish. Blue fish. Green fish. Two fish. Or the tiny fish swimming in the channel, today. Squirming in shallow water and travelling too quick for my camera. Away to new shelter.
Foot paths. Bridges. The suspension bridge at Song Bird. River sitting. Soup.
I must make soup and roast squash and bake goodness and share with many.
Change does not always come easy, or readily. But we must keep at it! Living a life we create comes from one simple step a day. Sometimes we climb to great heights like a rocket ship blasting into space. Some of us are using the old footstool in grandma’s kitchen. The footstool that helped her reach on top of the fridge. I remind myself that I come from greatness and I can reach for the mixing bowl on a high shelf, everyday.
What change are you making, today?
Went for a walk Sunday late evening as shadows grew long. I had the blues. Was tired of health challenges. But I grabbed a camera and went for a walk that had my body, unfortunately, in pain. Normally, I run this route. I did things like walk on opposite sides of roads and even hopped on this Merry-go-Round and took a down shot while spinning a bit. It was calming to stand there and watch the shadows shift as I went round. I knew time would move on. Tomorrow would be another place in time.
Like the green moss on the forest floor I feel I am coming alive in spring. It has been a hard winter of injury and illness. I made room in my life for physical therapy, and doctors appointments, blood tests, and changing my kitchen to accommodate multiple food allergies. These actions, necessary. But they seriously shook up my life and interrupted what makes me, well, ME.
Part of my explorations back to self included a hike at Harlow Lake with Mike this past weekend. I noticed that I am starting to feel stronger. Not the physical fit of last summer. But a healing is occurring. That “Healing Girl” is walking with confidence that I can face down the most difficult change and still find fun, colorful play.
These photos were taken on a large outcrop of rock near the water’s edge. Some one had painted metallic graffiti on the natural rock. In the past I would be aghast, disgusted. This time I saw it as an opportunity to revel in color.
Part of what kept me going over winter was this search for the unexpected color. Winter was not black and white, gray, or dirty white. There was luminous hope even in the void. The light is around us, within us. Tapping into that awareness helps the healing cycle.
I would love for you to share your healing stories. How has awareness of color, light, and hope brought you thru the winter? Guest columns are welcomed here. Please consider sharing your art, story, song.
To me, images are like writing. A photo a piece of parchment on which cherished things are recorded. This image is from my Memorial Day trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The delicateness touched me. And, tonight, as I listen to Barack Obama, our Nation’s President talk about family and his job, I feel quieted. For now I see hope again after a somewhat dark day.
You see I was feeling down. Scared over money. Wanting so much.
But I was reminded by our President, my partner Mike, and Leon Katona, that I have so many reasons to be thankful and grateful.
Kim Nixon Okay, it’s time to list my gratitudes cause I was gettin’ a bit too f-in murky (feel free to add your gratitudes as comments).6:28pm
Kim Nixon at 6:30pm June 3
I am grateful for the greater range of motion in my shoulder. I am grateful for my sparkler. I’m grateful for the iris, lilac, apple blossom, and the sail boats headed out on Wednesdays. I’m grateful for the dinner invite on Tuesday (my daughter’s home).
Kim Nixon at 6:33pm June 3
Kim is grateful for her job, the people she gets to care for and their families.
Leon Katona at 6:36pm June 3
I’m thankful that I got to see your work at the DeVos the other day! AND that when I went to Peter White I picked up a copy of “Health and Happiness” and saw that you had an article in it!! =]
Kim Nixon at 6:38pm June 3
Kim is grateful for her ability to lose weight and her recent successes. And also for the leftovers in the fridge.
Kim Nixon at 7:53pm June 3
Holy crap–Leon you just made my day!! :-) There are two of my articles in H&H. Okay I cannot feel down on myself right now.
Leon Katona at 9:06pm June 3
I loved your self-image and healing article. I think it really shows that you’ve become more comfortable by submitting that piece. Really lovely work.
Kim Nixon at 10:12pm June 3
Okay…wow…it’s true so much is changing, has changed. Sometimes it is hard to remember even recent positive changes.
Rare occurrences these images of faith
yet I place them like concrete statues in a garden:
a pink rose on a blacktop highway,
blueberries in the sky above
a green grassy field, a window frame opening
the bark of a tree, a steeple peeking
out of a forest mist.
God, why have I placed this steeple
in this piece of art? When I am more drawn
by the post-fence running next to the blacktop,
and a triangular image of a wrinkled old
man in a 1930s pickup.
That man has broken
horses. He passed
my pink rose on the highway.
Roses, I’ve let them roam
untamed. Like my children,
I attempted to protect by trimming
around delicate petals
with tiny scissors. Wild,
they curled over the fence,
escaped my touch.
A window frames a waterfall
I ponder the course of this river
and what it has crushed.
The pebbles are older than Christ.
I fear the icy run-off of winter.
If I set my children adrift in reeds
turtles might snap my offerings to pieces.
If I set my children on the wing
will they pluck fruit from the sky?
Can sunflowers pop through snow banks
and appear natural?
Why should I ask?
You’ve never answered with the miraculous before.
~poem copyright Kim Nixon