Archive for the ‘death’ Category

between, beyond, within

September 22, 2017

where you’re from  <——–>  who you are

between, beyond, within

allyship  <——–>  identity

between, beyond, within

being exclusive  <———>  feeling included

between, beyond, within

students teaching  <——–>  teachers learning

between, beyond, within

bird landing  <——–>  parent dying

between, beyond, within

never the right time  <——–>  it is time

between, beyond, within

neutrality supports oppressor  <——–>  equanimity enables action

between, beyond, within

celebrating diversity  <——–>  further objectifying

between, beyond, within

dancer sleeping  <——–>  coma patient dreams in dance

between, beyond, within

poverty  <——–>  privilege

between, beyond, within

ignorance of intelligence  <——–>  wisdom of heart

between, beyond, within

sun setting  <——–>  lamp lighting

.
“You have become undone, released, unmoored.
You are floating and will seek safe harbor.
This New Perspective will allow the insights to
pour out on us, seal us, reprove us, imprint on us,
teach us, reveal us, search us, speak to us,
instruct us, renew us, intercede for us, strengthen us,
quicken us, comfort us, lead us, sanctify us,
flatter us, humble us, right us, re-imagine us,
chastise us, and completely fall on us.
 .

“One who bears a bowl of water feels its weight,

but if you go right into the water it will be all over

you, and you will not notice the burden of it.

~ David Byrne, The New Sins, p. 93
(modified for gender neutral language)
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after birth

August 27, 2017

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b

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summer solstice h-e-h

June 20, 2017

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rrth

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meek mind

February 18, 2017

i keep running into divide-and-conquer tactics pummeling us. from there i keep painfully stepping off the ledge into all-of-us.

remembering white water hydraulic preparation: to get out of the spin-cycle, go limp. relax. stop. fighting. do less. release wild effort.

counterintuitive, mind-bending, breath and heart stopping logic.

we’re gonna have to go counterintuitive to survive this.

divide-and-conquer is in full employ from all directions. it will not suffice, depending on outcome goal(s).

what exactly are y/our goals? what does/will it mean to “win”?

how to symphony my body, parts, and systems, and breaths?

how to symphony those that see my existence and more like me as delusional mental health problems versus liberated spectrum of beautiful being wei-wu-ways?

corners of my mouth feebly upturn to greet fellow driver i pass at the intersection. center of my upper lip weighs like a bladder canteen of tears. threatening. wobbling.

a planet of injustice surrounds these permeable pores. there’s no resistance as my arm moves my hand through space, for a finger to flick off the light for the night.

Meekness is… an active and deliberate acceptance of undesirable circumstances that are wisely seen by the individual as only part of a larger picture. …The patient and hopeful endurance of undesirable circumstances identifies the person as externally vulnerable and weak but inwardly resilient and strong. Meekness does not identify the weak but more precisely the strong who have been placed in a position of weakness where they persevere without giving up.

see comment for quote source

i… i just. want…

January 23, 2017

imma be selfish for a min… for a time.

i want you to be free.

i want you to revel and reckon with these vids. they might not / might meet you where you are. may they be a balm for these times.

the longer vid speaks to me more directly than anything i’ve seen in these months – regarding maintaining my health, engaging social justice, and contemplating dharma and yoga.

long vid worth the time! this video is e.v.e.r.y.thing.

shorter vid setting up the longer one

and for good measure:

…it is selfish bias that i hope these morsels benefit you, that i shove meanings from furthest dark materials to deepest within, from my heartmindformspace to yours…

with love,

elliott

emergence

December 14, 2016

dangerous opportunity

opportune danger

crisis

demise

emergence

emergency

crisis

emerging demise

demising mergence

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something familiar and comfortable must be cast off in order to

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act

.

sage

savage

rage

ravage

cage

cabbage

cave

aged

average

beige

baggage

dazed

damage

lame

lament

maim

moment

name

save

nave

knave

lave

wave

tame

came

blame

flame

foment

comment

commend

ferment

American linguistic blunders

 

touching ground

November 18, 2016

yeh, we are moving upstream

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against a wave of thousands of years of human tribalism/othering,

as is our animal nature.

still and all, we are the same species.

buddha-hand-touching-ground

 

 

post-

November 11, 2016

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tap

October 24, 2016
a

hevin

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ac

irth

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ae

hewminn

inspired by my beloved’s tap shoes

dying to death: a living will addendum

October 12, 2016

this is about dying. not death. this is about how you like to fall asleep, how you find deep rest… how you let go and release bodied consciousness.

this post is about a rare sliver of a possibility.

this is about the slippery time after alert/awake consciousness before death – dying – with space-time for loved ones to attend to your passing …not a sudden death or a chronic illness situation, wherein you’ve been conscious enough to coherently make choices about your care closer in to the end.

death and dying are not the same thing. obvious, yet, worth stating.

i was inspired by a beloved friend’s sharing their addendum to their living will, as well as other advance directives. the extra page reveals specific precious ways any of us loved ones could offer support in their time of dying, for any of us who are still around and that time comes in such a way that we can participate.

as a death-positivity advocate, who has had explicit conversations about advance directives and living wills with yoga students for years, i found i must finally complete my own forms. gotta get beyond the DNR and organ donor heart on my driver’s license. no more excuses. but…

i’d had my state’s versions downloaded  for years. i came round to opening and reading and staring and closing them repeatedly for about 6 months. i am an extreme solo type in quite a queer identity and lifestyle. it took me a long while to realize that these factors were freezing me up in my attempts to complete the rather simple forms.

i am due some minor but unavoidable abdominal surgery. consciousness, will, control, and just being skillfully ahead of the game of any unfortunate turns were on my mind. as were anesthesia, others manipulating my body while being unconscious, pain, exhausting self-advocacy…

it wasn’t the living will directive that was stalling my process. it was the health care agent / power of attorney form. i have no primary partner or child to select as the top person to direct any medical personnel for my care. e-v-e-r-y one of my chosen family folks has either a significant other or child that i can imagine they have in this place, if they’ve filled out these forms. (which everyone should do. yesterday!) you can see my dilemma; i have been touting this advice for years and hadn’t completed my own directives.

so, then it came to a day where i was in that repeating loop, i’d opened and re-read and was staring at the forms. i didn’t close them though. i had a good cry for about 2 hours. this tension-release was about confusion that this imagined state of unconscious dying would require other humans’ involvement: perhaps first responders, doctors, family-of-origin, chosen-family, and/or friends… i am a terrible patient. i’d like to be left alone, thank you very much. i live alone, i attend theatre and dine alone. i love it that way. leave me alone and just let my die already! …ahh, fear…

so, in fact, i twist around to phone with this beloved who has so thoughtfully and compassionately completed their forms. this beloved dropped some sinking sparkling heavy plumb-lined pennies in my well (of preferred loneliness):

this is about your care while dying – not while living. not while recovering, healing, or in some terminal chronic conditions wherein you are competent or conscious enough to make decisions. this is about preparing for that rare condition of unconscious dying. meaning, you didn’t cross all the way over in a sudden trauma, or the myriad other possibilities of dying to death. it is a rare reality anyway – that one is given a chance, that one’s beloveds are then given a chance to attend to your dying. indeed, in this light, as is simply true for advance directives at all, it is supreme to consider all this in a competent conscious state… to ease any drama for your loved ones.

okay, that was a doozie. and, yet, so relieving and clear. this is about care for me in my dying. this is not about caring for me in some living way. (why is this called a living will and not dying will. why is a driveway for parking and a parkway for driving…)

i can get with the willfulness bit though. that’s the medicine in all this: using your lucid, un-triggered conscious will to think through these options and desires.

more tossed pennies:

you don’t have to pick 1 agent. the forms are designed to be as brief as possible, and yeah, most people have an easy answer for who they want in that position. not choosing has it’s legal ranks. …closest living family-of-origin relatives (this relativity-ness is defined by heternormative bloodline capitalist patriarchal society mind you. no judgement, ha! just the whirrld we swim in, where folks like me don’t quite fit the mold). then attending physicians are in line of power… if no one is found or reachable. i was feeling despondent, resigning it all to: “i don’t care. I surely won’t care in this scenario… i’ll just let the chips fall as they may.” then my friend calmly quietly pointed out 2 crucial details: i can list as many agents as i want, and she spoke of specific folks who would be in line to care for me if i didn’t select a healthcare power of attorney.

kerplunkaplunnk. pennies landing and wet with splashy consequence.

sheesh. i can list as many agents as i want. there will be only one acting agent, but i can heartlessly or heartfully communicate here in advance who i trust in this way…

i want this friend to be there. i want this beloved friend chosen-family person-of-Earth making some of these decisions – or no! not having to make any decisions, but following my advance directives, duh. …ensuring that my plans are honored. some others are loving beings i love, but they might not handle such a scene the way i ‘d prefer. i’m trying to save us all from any such angst.

this thought process is entertaining: why am i so important that it’d be so unsettling for me to be dying? who cares?! …but people have weird hang-ups about dying and death. i can make this egoistically about me, or i can recognize how real this all is. i can get out of the way and actually try to prepare all of my loved ones with ease and peace of mind, for if such a rare scenario as this attending opportunity ever comes to pass…

just because you want someone to live does not mean that is the healthiest well-iest path. it could be prolonging suffering for your loved one and you, as well, it could be plain selfish.

we’re all gonna die. so.

go watch Harold and Maude.

and remember, it’s a comedy.

some suggestions for contemplating your dying wishes:

  • you can practice dying as an active process, not an event of inaction or absence. you can uncover as well as cultivate your preferences for easing into absence and inaction.
  • you might practice dying by contemplating space or freedom between you and your name, your body, or any identity-limiting sense of self, after the overt moving bit of a yoga asana class, during corpse pose/final rest/savasana.
  • other favorite practices of mine are breath awareness as i drift to sleep, lucid dreaming, and breath awareness as i return to waking consciousness through the sleep stages.
  • contemplate/meditate on deep relaxation, emptiness, what sooths you, your identity/ies, sensory pleasures, music and/or stories that calm you (or stimulate you),
  • watch Harold & Maude

some additions to the formal/notarized Living Will:

  • one from my beloved friend’s and my documents, modified with permission:
    • I strongly prefer caregivers who are neither chatty nor cheery. (Seriously, the thought of some nurse coming into my room crooning, “Good morning, sunshine,” is like nails on a chalkboard.)
  • as my friend inspired me – i list books i would like read aloud, music i would like to listen to… and otherwise that social silence and media silence please be respected around me.
  • here’s an item from my living will:
    • Please allow as much natural light and natural moving air as you can (open windows). This would be wonderful, whenever possible – even if briefly each night, dawn, day, and dusk – even in extreme cold or hot seasons. I would like to avoid artificial lighting as much as possible. I would love to allow the natural rhythms of nightfall and sunrise to fill the space I am in.
  • there are further details of what i know soothes me, and of what i want my remains donated for… and clear thoughts about how my Health Care Agent can make decisions for ease regarding where i die, etc… how explicitly to reduce burden on my loved ones…

some suggestions for completing advance directives:

  • find your state’s Advance Directives forms, complete them, and share them with the pertinent folks (any/all listed potential health care agents, other family and/or friends you’d want to know your wishes, any health care providers you want to know of your wishes… therapist(s), nurses, doctors, etc.).
  • do not waste money filing the forms with some state registry. this is not where the info will be sourced if you are dying. if in some emergency/accident or severe illness conditions, your wallet and/or your attending medical care folk are the best source 😉
  • get copies filed in your records with any health care providers you would like to have them.
  • make a small card for your wallet with all of your potential healthcare agents’ contact info.

with love,

elliott