Archive for the ‘sleep’ 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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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

stitching brushstrokes

March 28, 2016

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first attempt at free-motion machine quilting with no foot at all around the needle:

bottom thread tension is too tight, and

the movement in egomindbodyenergy is wholing and wonderful

DSCN4610DSCN4594i made a layered blanket for a brand new human’s tummy time and lolling outdoor spring time. simply two pieces of cloth stitched together. the inner practice was akin to brushstroke, which is one of the most profound, spontaneous, simple forms of contemplative practice that aligns me in ease between sky and earth…

DSCN4593surprises/discoveries? i didn’t expect my rattly machine to abet quilting this way nor for this project to aid in my continuing healing wholing life-living processes

satisfactions? contrasting textures feel delicious and will help innervate the babe’s sense-gate of touch,

and i love the squiggly line forms

DSCN4597dissatisfactions? i have tried and cannot get the bottom thread tension to coordinate with the top thread in this machine

what’s next? more quirky combining of fabric textures and more footless free-motion quilting attempts…

.   .   .  .            .             .              .               .                    .                         .                    .

f

here’s a quilt for a soon-to-emerge human

floating squares score otra vez, with ever deepening improv experiences

external reasons this quilt is of the most improv yet for me: DSCN4545

i’m not all settled/unpacked in this new dwelling, so no iron thus no ironing whatsoever, no cutting board thus no rotary cutting whatsoever – scissors only. i also never measured a thing, not against another cut edge and certainly not with any (packed away) rulers… nowhere in sight…

internal reasons this quilt is the most improv for me so far: 

i snipped squares and pieced patches randomly and stacked ’em up. (before, i tended to build the top right along as i amade the patches…) i enjoyed a whole other time/session to layout the patches numerous ways without any intention of settling on a final version to go forward with. then, i returned another time/session to sew the patches into a quilt top. beven then, i tried a few new layouts before sewing the top. next thing, i was moving to gather the batting and backing and pins… and spontaneously i saw some more pieces that wanted to be included. i added them in. i’ve never had such happen after i completed a top. the footless free-motion machine quilting was nearly one long-lasting brushstroke! i think there are actually only three separate brushstrokes. i just floated and flowed and pulled and pushed and reached and breathed this ways and thats. it was a blast – free-motion indeed.
gsurprises/discoveries? even with mixed fibers and textures, with no iron, there was not uncanny buckling or bubbling or bunching of seams and such. it can be done – a quilt can be made decently with minimal simple tools, yah.

satisfactions? again, the thorough-going joy at contemplative/improv creative practice. the process experience was rich and open in space-time.

dissatisfactions? my aesthetic results are still wanting. i don’t have any magic touch, noh, for satiating design appearances. i wonder about some brilliant combos of improv and traditional patchwork patterns i’ve seen in the fb page for “The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters”

what’s next? i wanna learn more about and try various needle sizes and thread weights…

comfort quilt

September 28, 2015

DSCN3984Strip quilt with Chinese coin pattern  ~70″ x 70″

There are arguments for which coin pattern this would be (Chinese, Roman, Bars…). I put 4 strips together with the palest whites I had in between. There are some tasty semantics I am learning ever more in the quilting whirrld.

In fact, this is not a quilt!

A few other quilts I’ve made are not quilts. When I knot the layers together (as in this one) instead of using stitching, it’s technically a comforter. And many store-bought ready-made comforters out there in our shoppy stores are actually quilts.

1. What surprised me? What did I discover or learn?

…I continue to love simply making quilts. I love touching fabrics and swimming visually in the colors and threads. One of my favorite aspects of a quilt to personalize for the receiver is the overall weightiness of it – often based on the selection of the backing fabric. I have stark memories of various homings in my life and the quality of the drape of bedclothes. It’s a very important somatic perception for me. With the range of coverings so heavy I can barely roll under them, or flannel sheets clinging to flannel pajamas I get all bound in, or airy and cool breathers… love ’em all in their seasons.DSCN3989

Also, yarn (for the knotting) is ridiculously hard to get through 3 layers of fabric. I like the effect of washed wool knots getting bumpy and fuzzy on the top of the comforter and adding to the visual design. But my fingers can’t handle the hundreds of times I’m to repeat the task. I went with a thin yarn this time. I’ve used easy embroidery floss before. I found no info, searching discussion boards etc. online, for tips on threading thick yummy textured yarn into quilts… I mean comforters…

DSCN39872. What was satisfying about the process or outcome?

It was delicious to push together all the scraps from near any fabric project I’ve made in the past 15+ years. There were satiating combinations of independently ugly patterns or colors that made something lovely and strange together. I tried not to get stuck on any combos that worked well. Some fabrics did have a magnetism towards each other that I followed or refused in turns.

3. What was dissatisfying? If dissatisfied, what can I do differently next time to be more satisfied?

There’s that too-forced wabi-sabi break in the column with the slice and space and smaller triangle. When I saw theDSCN3985 curve to the initial columns, I thought that when I went to shore them up I could find an opportunity for some such slicing. This section called out to me. The bottom of the triangle was beautiful and got lost completely in the end, so to square off the whole center patchwork. The curve in the remaining column looks odd. I would rather that were straight. Nevertheless, it was another experience with a curve and the pleats were hand stitched down this time. I like that effect.

4. Where do I want to go from here?

I have a list of 6 more adult sized functional quilts I want to make for loved ones. At least 2 of those are next… I’ll keep experimenting with a recognizable pattern and then breaking it some how. Regarding any traditional quilt patterns, like flying geese or Chinese coins, I want to mess with them more dangerously. It’s hilarious watching self try and watching self nestle into safety repeatedly. That’s a traditional pattern yah. Next up, flying geese…

I have also been picturing odd shaped wall-hanging sorts of quilts… to get to some of the story-telling I want to do in this medium.

the owl’s moan song cry lament sob heave pulse breath night morning

August 19, 2015

midnight. the treeline drapes between a darkened flat shaped wooly beast that suddenly bulges in 3-D. out from under the hazy dark skyline glowing faintly against the leaf filigree and stars above and lightening bugs below. tattooing sexing calling beating living signals. fires going out. living fires going out. midnight.

and a heave from a body sounds thick throttled dense yet wistful in that lightly departing Earth way. an owl sounds out in the time, the hour between. dusk is long gone. the witching hour is not yet. and the stars will first disappear on eastern edge hours after now. what happened? what sense or sonar or smell or sight? what leaf on the top of the branch swayed when that bat whizzed past? was it the door kthudslamping closed, oh ten times as someone seemed to be moving out last night? a strange hour for an ashramite to be so… the car lights and engine thrum pulled in and then the repeated stair steps and swush of the inner door even before outer door cuthudded. but then back out again. and this went on and on. and then the engine beat into life and lights and gravel crunch and gone.

on and on yet with a beginning. morning. so many bird languages hugging around the black to blue. the owl joined and all those one hundred languages are still at it over one hour later! the owl. the night anguish. the day anguish too. who?! i smirked at first hearing it last night. exactly! the provocateur. who indeed. are you? am i? is this? shit. are we?

presence & absence, visible & hidden

March 7, 2015

do ask yourself:

Caitlin Doughty’s list inspired by her life’s work and partly by Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal

  1. What do you fear most about dying?
  2. What are your hopes about dying?
  3. What would be your ideal death?
  4. How much do you want medical intervention to play a role?
  5. How would you like [folks] to care for your body after you die?
  6. What could [loved ones] do at a funeral or memorial service to make you feel honored?

solstice solace

December 21, 2014

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DSCN3250 (2).

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a 1st whirrld litany

December 2, 2014

–some words, exchanged betwixt 5 & 6-year-old buddies, uplift this weary sideline observing teacher:

the older boy approaches, “I’m gonna ask you something your not gonna like… … …Do you wanna play My Little Pony… Chase?” The confident steady younger dude answers, “Yeah. I wanna play ponies! What are the rules?” So solid and humble and open on both fronts. There’s so much behind these personalities and expressions… too much to type here. an awesome moment in the schoolyard nonetheless.

–how one sliver of a news report slays:

an 11 & 10-year-old sleep alone at home these nights in Liberia, having lost grandma to Ebola. weeding through this report, that one awareness literally pulls me lower into gravity… slumped closer down to the ground/earth/heavy/wonderful/awful/permanent sleep…

–i finished Monica Byrne’s The Girl In The Road last night and it is stunning.

–it’s a “racket” :

word used by a friend regarding healthcare. and I think maybe the twisted dance of in and out of network, and/or precisely which procedures by a given provider are or are not “covered” mirrors some dance betwixt our old ways of bargaining with the local healer we entrusted our selves and kin with time immemorial… bargaining with belief, faith, food, possessions, sanity, safety… it’s quite the same and not quite…?

 

 

welcome to the order! (3 yrs late)

September 13, 2014

aghhhh. THIS!!! I’m sorry i’m late to the party, though i was thesis-izing on the very topic that many years ago.  may be a new career here…

Please (i capitalized that) please watch the entire 2:51 minutes. you might piss yourself. but. it is brilliant and worthy! i’m just beginning my dive into Caitlin Doughty’s not crazy incredible ness.

thanks NPR! http://www.npr.org/2014/09/13/348223758/a-cheerful-mortician-tackles-the-lighter-side-of-death

 

 

 

it’s all relative baby

June 15, 2014

S30A0114

it is.

and.

it is having one. if i might be that it…

here’s a gift for a relative’s baby…

due any moment now.

nice fabric for the primordial soup of ocean we all come from, eh!

nice fabric for the primordial soup of ocean we all come from, eh!

all ease and health to the laboring momma and bebe,

who must have Auburn U tiger colors in their environ.

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wishing this child and family many peaceful deep sleeps.

i still need to hem the edging and actually quilt the dern thing… had to be done with the machine today.

S30A0123.

S30A0119.

S30A0124.

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