Three years ago today, I was surprised to wake up in an emergency room. I was told that I'd had a grand mal seizure caused by a Minengioma tumor. The tumor was the size of a gerbil laying against my right frontal lobe and optic nerves. Before the seizure, I'd not had any symptoms that one would think pointed to the tumor that had evidently been growing for at least ten years. I was in good health, although not particularly happy with my life. I guess you could say I was stuck in time, stuck in my chair, stuck in writing and had closed doors within myself that kept out joy.
My inner self, my soul, if you will, was pounding on the door, demanding to be out. When I didn't listen, it kicked my butt, but kicked it in a place that had far greater impact on the doors: my brain.
When the swelling had gone down, the doctors successfully removed the tumor. A week later, I was back home. At first I had double vision and walking was hazardous. Gradually, my physical self became better, but more importantly, my spirit was flying like never before. What did it feel like? It didn't feel like anything I'd ever felt....it was JOY! I believe that I found a way to be me, because of this event which seemed so catastrophic.
I wrote the score and played it with my heart, and it was so beautifully right. Now, I look for the positive in everything...even those things that may seem the opposite. My window to the world is one that I make into those things that I can grow and learn from; a gift I give to myself.
The poem below, I wrote on the first anniversary of the seizure. Today is the third anniversary. I'd like you to celebrate with me.
I am a load of minutes,
heavy with wonder
at the clarity of just one.
Perhaps it comes at noon
on a day just as lunch sounds good
and the birds are snoozing from morning's song.
Perhaps it moves along the sidewalk,
leashed and exuberant,
wanting to be unchained;
jumping and wild ...
a rabid thing gone to joy.
I see how the load is less
and the forgotten cast off,
as dust performs a miracle
and covers the unused things
until they change.
Sudden insights insist ...
listen to me;
softly the appreciation of little things
grabs hold and gives to movement, meaning
..... so many times now
that the spirit comes
from behind the silent silk of time
and takes a bow.
I've known the power of listening
and now see the wonder of being understood.
What is this willful character of celebration?
It is dressed in wildflowers
and recalls the grace of wind.
It is a blade of grass
gone green from spring,
and the turbulence of snow-melt
racing summer to the sea.
It is hills of yellow mustard
in the morning sun.
It is me.