“We Hunters and Gatherers”

“We Hunters and Gatherers” 

By: The Female Yoda

 We hunters and gatherers

We seekers of all that’s sustaining and warm

Chasers, racers, building defacers

All searching for

Bliss

Because life is hard no matter how smart or rich or tall or if you don’t care at all

‘Cause everyone

Falls

Life’s a rickety ride

And there’s little good done by just trying to hide

At some point, you’ll fall too

And you’ll chase after, race after, embrace something new

We searchers of feelings

We hunters of joy

A life with no joy makes us think up a ploy

A way to find purpose

Or possession

Or love

Just something to fill up the pit where we sit eyes cast longingly above

We hunters and gatherers

We seekers of all that’s sustaining and warm

It’s not food, but a mood and we’ll search every way

And we’ll chase after feelings

Instead of the day

“The Torn Identity: Rebirth Through Chronic Illness”

“The Torn Identity: Rebirth Through Chronic Illness”

Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“We know what we are, but not what we may be.”

~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

 The Foda’s Take: And yet, so many of us don’t truly know what we’re made of at all until we’re tested in the most vigorous of ways.

 Howdy, folks! Today I’ve been thinking a lot about identity. It’s no small thing, knowing who you are, what you stand for, and what mark you intend to leave on the world. For people like me who are battling a chronic illness, you have likely already found that one of the hardest things that accompanies a long-term illness is the identity crisis that leaves you questioning: who am I now, and what will I do?

Before I got sick, I defined myself by the accomplishments I was most proud of. I was a runner, a singer, an actress, and a teacher. (I mentioned this in a post I wrote for the blog “Words from the Sowul” on redefining “beauty.” Click here to read!) Now, due to the extent of my illness, I can’t run, don’t have the breath-support to sing, and can’t act or teach…. mainly because those are both activities that require you to be able to move around.

It took me a really long time to figure out who I am now, and rework how I view myself so I’m not just the “sick girl” who’s waiting for her life to change. Starting up this blog has really helped me with that. This journey has forced me to strip away all the superficial layers of myself to find the deepest cores within. I realized what defines me and makes me special isn’t just singing, acting, or teaching, it’s creative expression. In having to redefine myself, I discovered writing, and wrote my very first fantasy novel, which is an accomplishment I’ll always cherish. I’ve learned what’s really important to me, and when I’m better- because I will get better- I won’t mess around. I will approach life with such tenacity and confidence, because I know now how resilient I really am, even in spite of how beat down I physically feel.

This illness has started a rebirth. It’s painful, often unpleasant, and very, very hard. No one likes to look in the mirror and realize that who they were has been ripped away, and who they are is a blank canvas. Which, as any painter knows, can be overwhelming at first. But think of it this way. Now you get to decide what picture to make. Not your childhood friends or your teachers or your parents. You and only you. This is one area in your life you can control right now, when you may feel like nothing else is. You get to change your picture. Start fresh. Explore things you never thought you’d do. I never thought I had the discipline or motivation to write a novel. And now I’m working on book two with the full intention of creating a trilogy.

You just never know. And maybe, just maybe, one day you’ll feel better, and you’ll not only know what you want- which, let’s face it, not many people do- but you’ll know you have what it takes to get it. Because if you can rebuild yourself from scratch… well, you can do anything, right?

Go ahead. Pick up the paintbrush. Make a new mark.

<Swwwwoooooosh!>  Oooh, pretty.

Happy Painting,

The Foda

“Angel’s Wings”

For the brave men and women who work to find peace, beauty, and growth through chronic illness. This poem is for you.

~The Foda

Angel’s Wings

 The sky is a milky bath of cerulean haze

Speckled by clouds that spot the sky like dappled elephants

Majestic grace and weightless heft

I lie on my back

Knocked down by happenstance

Cynicism and doubt crawl over me like ladybugs

Unaware of their intrusion

I let the world rock me back into the earth

Tiny prickles of grass crosshatch at my nape

There is no more I can do

I surrender to the liberation

That cannot come from me

So I lie

And breathe

When a bath of white light surrounds me

Filling my core with nothing

And everything

And suddenly I feel it

My ribs open wide

Then close

Fanning gently with the breath

Until the weathered bone transforms into white wings

Feathered and soft

Unfurling majestically from my beaten chest

Helping my injured spirit

Soar up

On angel’s wings

Without ever leaving the earth

What Comes First: The Will or the Wait?

What Comes First: The Will or the Wait? 

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

~Joseph Campbell

 The Foda’s Take: When you want something, you go get it. That’s what we’re taught. Tenacity, perseverance, and hard work can get you anything. Right? Not exactly. Sometimes, no matter how hard we pound at a closed door, it just won’t open. So we’re left with a choice. Either continue to set ourselves up for success so that when the door does finally open we’re ready to waltz on through…. or keeping pounding our head against the wall. As a stubborn person with a lot of will… I may have done my fair share of pounding, all Chewbacca-like on the malfunctioning Millenium Falcon. Which, as I say it out loud, sounds… well, illogical.

In my life, I can recall so many times when I didn’t get what I wanted, only to find out later that if I had, I would have never gotten something so much better. I just didn’t have to wait so long then to realize things had happened for a reason. Or perhaps what I wanted then just wasn’t as crucial to my happiness as getting my health and a normal life back.

Waiting is really hard. It requires faith, patience, and acceptance that what you want so dearly just isn’t going to happen when you want it to. Whether you believe in God, fate, or destiny, there comes a point when you either have to accept that you’re in for a long wait… or, of course, just keep banging your head against the wall.

Which, you know, is your prerogative. But it will hurt. And it’s not exaaaaactly productive.

So instead, I think it’s all about improving your current quality of life as best you can. For me, that included giving into the need for a wheelchair and swallowing my pride. For Mandalf, it was learning to ride a motorcycle. For Dobiwan, it’s yoga. And eventually, it becomes a question of what can I control right now… and what do I need to release the reigns on?

Nobody likes waiting rooms. They’re dull, have bad magazines, and often feel like a waste of time. But sometimes in life we just have to wait. It’s not fun, it may not even be fair… but in the end, I think the best we can hope for is that once the waiting is over, it will have all been worth it.

<Cue Jeopardy Theme song>

Do do do do, do do dooo…….

The Foda

Musings from a Wheelchair

 

Musings from a Wheelchair

 I am a stalk

Rootless in space

My stem a sickled streak of circumstance

I have burrowed deep in the muddy waters of pride

And it has kept me

Covered

Now I rise

Rocked forwards on the wheels of

Opportunity

Which is what we call things we don’t want to do

Yet I ride

And rock

And receive

The world as I have not seen it through mud and caustic subterfuge

With the sun on my cheeks

And the wind on my back