Written on the Body, #39 – postscript, July 25, 2021. “Both and…”

Writing one thought often leads to another one that may seem contradictory, but is often the other side of the question, like yin and yang, and so the idea becomes fuller, more rounded. Both and instead of either/or.

So while I do want to reach out and explore/be involved in ideas, issues, & events and connect with people outside my immediate experience of illness, treatment, and daily life, as I talked about in the most recent post, I also find myself focusing in, realising I need to do less in a day and say no to projects and activities that, in other times, might have grabbed my attention. Sometimes i need to tell friends I am too tired to talk on zoom, or turn down a writing project I might have done eagerly in the past, or just say “I don’t have time and space for this right now.” Though I regret some of this, I feel it is also essential for my healing and for where I am now. (As physicist Carlo Rovelli says, “now,” like “here,” is very relative, very subjective, and changes moment to moment.) There are days I need to just lie on the balcony, watching the shadows on the trees, or take a nap, or prepare something delicious to eat (yogurt and fresh blueberries and nectarines, for example.) Writing is important and makes me feel better, so I do that when I can. The same goes for my yoga and relaxation zoom classes, and conversations with friends and family. It takes a little longer to get chores like laundry or official forms done — but they do get done. And Roger and I are very grateful to Melissa, our wonderful house-cleaner who comes weekly. I pick and choose my zoom events carefully — and they are usually rewarding. But too many, or those that don’t “call” to me, are overwhelming. I am reminded of a former client who described her life as being like peanut butter spread too thinly on a slice of bread, so you can hardly taste it. I’d rather have a smaller piece but taste the peanut butter! So this is where I am on my journey (no specific name), walking it slowly and care-fully.

And the the third IV also went smoothly, so that is good.

About Ellen

I am a member of The Writers Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, and CANSCAIP. I have received grants from the Ontario Arts Council for both writing and teaching. I currently work with Learning Through the Arts and Living through the Arts, programmes run by the Royal Conservatory of Music that enable artists to work in schools and community organizations. I have also taught in many other school and community programs, and have been a judge for various writing contests for both young people and adults.
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