Saturday, February 6, 2016
Seeing (and Saying): Essentials for ME (YOU) Being ME (YOU) In The World
I’ve had a hard week. There were times during it when I wished I could just leave my body and go elsewhere.
I’ve done that OOBE (Out of Body Experience) shtick in days past so I know what it’s like. But it wasn’t so much that I wanted to find myself up on the ceiling looking down on my body, lying prone in my bed, as it was with my first OOBE. No this time I was more deliberately conscious that I just wished I could lift myself out of the stress and distress I was feeling.
Not that I wanted to end up all the way on my ceiling!
What started that whole stress cycle for me was that I ventured out this past week for one of my first outings into mainstream life since my cornea transplant.
I’ve been so far removed from ordinary life this past month or so. When folks at a meeting I attended were planning their next get together date as being in March, I piped up to ask why they were going to be missing February.
Actually we were, right then and there, having the February meet up. That, of course, prompted people to tell me that I was the one who had missed a month (and more) from the calendar.
Well, for sure calendar and clock time have not been “my time” of late.
Oh well. At that meeting it hadn’t really mattered much. Our agenda was about making a better world; thinking global, acting local. That’s a fairly timeless, boundary-less issue, especially in this day and age.
Once I had, at last, removed myself from the foray, after a day “in town” at meetings and doing errands, however, I was so overwhelmed with future shock, data overload contamination I didn’t know what to do. It seemed as if my generally serene, well-centered balance had left me, buried under by mainstream debris. Realistically, compared to the norm for most others, I had had a rather leisurely day, especially as it was comprised of fresh, healthy mountain air in the beginning, the middle and the end of it.
Apparently that hadn’t been enough for me. My norm is mountain living all day long!
But it wasn’t always that way.
Before blindness I spent three or four days per week in my psychotherapy office in suburban Washington, D.C. and did just fine with it. But I have been purposefully leaving city life behind for a good part of the week now for close to thirty years. And have found it to be so much more my nature to be constantly immersed in country ways.
My eight year sojourn into blindness and recovery from blindness (1998 – 2006) definitely tipped the scales for me to be as far away from “in town” and/or urban life as one can be in this day and time.
Now mountain living is so much a part of me that I have actually been known to take plastic baggies of the earth and leaves and other greenery surrounding my house with me to smell when I am away from home.
Weird, you say? Home connected is my take!
My saving grace these day, however, or so it seems – is that I am beginning to be more vocal in publicly defining myself as a mountain woman -- and otherwise -- who comes to town only intermittently.
I love being in my neighboring town, Frederick, Maryland, once I am there. But “it” isn’t quite ME – this “in town” life!
I love connecting and interacting with the many friends and associates I have made over the years; the community activities, restaurants and relaxed dining and cultural activities. And, the activities of New Horizons and myself, personally and professionally, that link me to this wonderful community.
Still I am not an urbanite who visits the mountains (or oceans) now and then. I am a true, 24/7 mountain woman; in monster snow, ice and rain storms, cutting wood with my own chain saw sometimes, without electricity or running water on occasion.
But it has been a long time coming, it seems, that I have grown more fully into being a true mountain woman, known here and there as the Wise Woman of Elk Mountain where I live on the border between Maryland and West Virginia.
Take me home, Shenandoah!
Little by little now, my public voice is becoming stronger and more able to clearly and authentically define who I am; a mountain woman who loves my “in town” community but yearns, always, for my home in the hills.
(I find it curious on occasion to continue calling West Virginia “the mountain state” given that erosion and other ecological changes have reduced much in our mountain ranges to little more than hills. But no, no one is ever going to call West Virginia “the hill state,” you best believe!)
Today, having regained my serenity and balance once again, I leave you with the following thought --
Sometimes it seems that the motion of moving from chaos to community can be as much within oneself as it is without.
And the learning to “see” (and say) whatever is true for oneself is a challenge that must be surmounted in order that one openly define oneself, as well as be truly connected to others.
This, it seems to me, is essential for ME (and YOU) being ME (and YOU) in the world; a rich and wonderful national treasure wherever you are!
Lessons and lessons and still more to learn.