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Posts Tagged ‘love’

Might have been that Mercury was retrograde for most of the month, or the new puppy, or the deadlines at work, or the excessive traffic on our under-construction roadways, or the family emergency at the start of December that left my darling little mom with a broken shoulder and the entire family in a whirl, or it might have been Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas as usual with all the gifts to find and good cheer to embrace; it might have been one extra pull on my energy or the myriad, but the outcome was not a second for blogging. And, oh, I’ve missed you – the inexplicable cyberific connection. I’m so grateful for your energetic support. Seriously. When writers thank readers, it’s for real. There’s a delicious symbiosis that occurs in the ethers as you tend upon our words, thoughts, ideas; and the comments and praise sure help too. So, I yearn to resume the connection and to conclude the Lump Lessons narrative in the first months of the new year. It has been two years – wow – since I began to blog at the end of treatments for breast cancer. Two years that went by in a flash, and yet it has also been two years… and it’s an auspicious new year now – 2012 – and I’m ready to shift into a fresh endeavor. Something that’s born in the turbulence of the new Mayan winds.

So, as this dynamic time period called 2011 wanes, may you feast to your heart’s content on the rising of the Light, and feel the Love – pause, breath deep into your belly, release slow…ly, and feel the steady pa rump pa pum pum within. In awe, L.

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This is a brief veer from the Lump Lessons narrative to share some joy in the present. Actually, it’s not a veer so much as a fast forward since all the good news I’ve got to shout about today is a result of the healing journey that I’ve been reviewing with you. Before Cancer (BC in my Book) I did not have the energy, the zest for life, the willingness to take risks, and the wherewithal to say YES that I have today. So, when Mark Johnson, the executive director, of the peace organization, Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR),where I’ve worked part-time for the past few years while my daughter was young and during my cancer experience, offered a full time job in communications, I took it; and when a big fat juicy project appeared on my first week on the job, I said “YAHOO!” and ran with it.

What happened was that a call came from out of the blue offering FOR a chance to do a LED screen billboard ad on Times Square. Apparently, a big money advertiser pulled an ad after paying for the time, and so the CBS production team went searching for a nonprofit that wouldn’t have the bucks to buy the time but might have the know-how to make an ad, plus some money to pay the production costs. Oh, and we had to be able to create and design an ad within a week.

“Can we do it? Yes, we can,” said a small team of FOR staff. Two people said they’d drive the financial engine, and three of us said we’d chug forth with the creative and, we did it. The ad launched two days ago on Wednesday, March 23rd and will play through the month of April, for sure, and possibly for the first two weeks of May.

This is the ad as it appears on YouTube.

Here are some images from the montage:

Imagine these beautiful children on a 560 square foot screen, lifting up messages of peace and justice and the will to love.

The photo to the left is courtesy of amazing artist/photographer/friend Julie Gottesman and our daughters and their friends.

The photo to the left is courtesy of Doug Mackey and the Afghan youth of Our Journey to Smile.

One of the hurdles the creative team had to leap was gathering images that we had the rights to use for the project. Rather than thumbing through the FOR archives and tracking down the rights to the photos we had on hand, we decided to send out a plea for photos that came with the rights. The response to our email blast was amazing, plus Julie did an emergency photo shoot at FOR headquarters with a gang of children and their parents to sign the media releases on the spot. We had loads of photos to choose from within 24 hours, and, although only ten would fit comfortably into a 15 second ad, we plan to publish more of those wonderful photos on our web site and in other publications. If I get permission, I’ll publish some of the photos here. (to be cont.)

In Gratitude,

L.

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Every May 6th, Reade, my husband, recalls being released from the army. He says that it wasn’t the end of the two years of service that made the event so dramatic for him. It was the bus ride from Ft. Benning, Georgia and driving through the night with his head pressed against a window to sleep, and then waking as the bus swept in a wide turn, his eyes opening to see New York City sprawled along the horizon, glowing gold in the morning light. He knew in that instant that he had to be there. Although, it would take four years in which he returned home to Chicago to go to school on the G.I. bill before he could actually move to Manhattan where he would become an actor and meet his destiny (me); but the course was set, the switch was flipped, the trajectory was launched in that moment on the bus.

May 6th was momentous for Reade.

mo·men·tous (m-mnts) adj.

Of utmost importance; of outstanding significance.

February 3 is momentous for me. Like Reade’s moment of recognition on the bus, the event that occurred on that day is a vivid, sensurround, palpable memory. It was on February 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm that I learned over the phone that the lumps in my breast were malignant. So, on these first few days of February 2011, I’ve been spontaneously flashing on the experiences of two years ago, and weeping or welling with gratitude; and I’ve been thinking how strange it is that I’m so aware of the anniversary of the biopsy on Groundhog’s day and receiving the diagnosis the day after, but I do not remember the date of my last cancer treatment. It was sometime in November. I recall bringing a tray of cupcakes, or was it cookies, to the radiation team.  Oh, yes, cookies, chunky chocolate chip, that my daughter baked. And I remember being glad to be done by Thanksgiving; but I don’t remember the exact date, nor have I thought to celebrate or reflect in November.   (?)

Maybe I don’t have definitive memories of the end because a breast cancer experience doesn’t end with the last of the aggressive treatments. In my case, there’s hormone therapy for five years, and, like everyone else, there’s continuous check-ups and close monitoring. People still ask, “how are you?” with extra oomph, and comment on how good I look with a tone that speaks to health and not beauty. I don’t mind. It’s great that people care. I’m just musing about what makes a momentous occasion so memorable. And, you know what I think? I think it’s the condensed energy – the momentum – that’s in the flick of the finger that tips the first domino.

The next entry in the brown suede journal (the book whose days are numbered but not over yet) speaks of recalling a momentous event:

June 2, 2009

Seventeen years ago today, Reade kissed me for the first time and I had a zoom-to-the moon out-of-body experience that changed me forever. I knew/we both knew in that moment that we would partner for life. Today I remember me as a young woman in Washington Square Park. I wore a black and white checkered skirt with a fuchsia blouse, sneakers for urban trekking, and I was filled with dreams about what it would mean to love and be loved. Most of my reality has been better than my dreams. We have a wonderful daughter, a cozy home, an expansive community, and a full rich life together. We’ve had our share of hardships too with enough struggle to keep us growing.

Today, we’re waiting in Colombia Presbyterian Hospital for the Doc to interpret my Pet/Ct scan, and I’ve just come from another round of pre-surgery tests. Who would’ve dreamed that a breast cancer diagnosis would be a part of our love story, that I’d learn about love and trust and other healing modalities in year seventeen.

Whenever I come to this hospital, I cry. It is in the hospital that the seriousness of the diagnosis hits home. It’s here that all I have to be grateful for hits home too. It is here that I remember to appreciate the blessings in this day.

mo·men·tous [moh-men-tuhs] –adj.

of great or far-reaching importance or consequence.

L.

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