Sharing my reflections of Good Friday: with thoughts of Dixie Collins Hammock and Wayne A Gilbert
Mary Chapin Carpenter lyrics
“parkinson’s still sucks but now it’s like everyone has a progressive degenerative diagnosis. that doesn’t help me feel less alone” Wayne A Gilbert
“I am glad I have a friend like you” wrote Dixie a few days ago.
“I am too”, I responded.
“Do you remember when we met? The night I called you? I will remind you because there are a few things I don’t want to forget. If I write them, I won’t forget them. I was home, alone, late at night. I told you I lived here in Oregon which I had to teach you to pronounce. You acted like you never heard of the State of Oregon and made me convince you it existed.
You were at your home, in the countryside of Georgia a couple thousand miles away. But as I recall, we were actually in the same place, in the city called Despair. It was dark there, with no streetlamps to light our way. We both were on the internet and discovered each other had reached out to a social media site, the one where the late night parkies hang out, hoping to find someone with a lantern to light the way to our answers. I said, if I lived closer, I would show up at your door with a bottle of Pendleton OREGON whiskey and two shot glasses. We would turn up the music and dance in your living room. We both laughed at the vision of this incredible dance party.
I felt your hand that night, Dixie, reaching across the miles and taking mine. And I reached back across the miles and took your other hand. And we have been holding hands for a long time now. I will never tire of it.”
If you ever need to hear a voice in the middle of the night
When it seems so black outside that you can’t remember light
Ever shone on you or the ones you love in this or another lifetime
And the voice you need to hear is the true and the trusted kind
With a soft familiar rhythm in these swirling unsure times mcc
My world circles the sun each year. I age away in years, 12 years since my diagnosis. The friendship of those living close to me has thinned. Their ranks have been strengthened by others from a distance. I have been nourished by words, poetry, writing, art, dance, humor.
I am content, happy, and some days filled with joy. I never used to be that way. I was an angry youth. I complicated my life with unhealthy relationships. But I always had a goal.
The anger didn’t leave me when I grew up. And when Parkinsons came I stuffed it down inside like I had so many other things. And the anger didn’t start to go away until I knelt on a dusty road on the Camino in Spain. And it wasn’t gone even after I broke open my heart walking in France. Talk therapy, medication, and changing my life practices changed me.
I am not afraid. I am not guilty. I am at peace. I choose joy. I change my adversities into adventures. I keep chanting my mantra of hope. Each day I set out to have the best day of my life. Time. It heals.
If you ever need some proof that time can heal your wounds
Just step inside my heart and walk around these rooms
Where the shadows used to be
You can feel as well as see how peace can hover
Now time’s been here to fix what’s broken with its power mcc
I chatted with Wayne, the poet, the other night. He says I was a bit of light in his darkness. I felt a sadness for just a while when we said goodnight. I cannot heal him. Yet, I let some guilt slide through those open rooms in my heart. So many of my Parkinsons friends have these dark nights. The weariness of just having to fight so hard every day overwhelms them. Wayne has a morning routine now. He says it helps. But then there is lunch, and the afternoon and the evening and then the sleepless nights. Minds filled with worry and fear of so many things
Wayne read a poem on his YouTube channel, with a dedication to me. I was touched especially by these phrases. But I have placed my own meaning upon them. I wonder what he will think:
i want to be the kind of person who’s trapped in a cave lights a torch figures out how to draw sacred figures on the walls
“You are enough Wayne. Your sacredness is your own.” Can you hear my soft voice scream this?
i want to make something more beautiful than words
Don’t you love your words? Are they not “beautiful” enough? Why would you desire to make something better than your gift of words? Your words convey the truth of meaning. Semantic connections, pragmatic collaboration, morphological markers, syntax. The symbols combine to create the language, the beauty of culture.
i wish i could be calm even-tempered easy-going upbeat
In musical terms, the upbeat is an unaccented beat preceding an accented beat, usually the last beat in the measure. Not what you meant? I think you do understand. It takes self wisdom. Strive to understand “why” you are not what you wish. When you have gained that understanding don’t accent it anymore. Live with it.
My heart-broken-open is clean. The windows thrown open are still letting the light in. It’s a glorious world. Open yourselves to see it.