Blindfolded and Bound

Lughnasa and the Chesed Moon

Irises in Andover, 2014

Friday gratefuls: Kate, sinking into the top Soil, nourishing the Irises. Her birthday. Now over. Seeing Mary. Jon. Ruth. Gabe. Yesterday. Mussar. Being seen and heard.  Living with cancer. Advanced. PET scan on Tuesday. Allergies waned. 45 degrees this morning.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: PET scans

Tarot:  8 of Swords, Druid


August, 2010, honey extraction

I needed everyone gathered on Wednesday. Kate’s birthday. The first since her death. Their presence honoring her also buoyed me up, made the day rich, meaningful, even though painful and sad. I especially appreciated the sense of joy added with the balloons and the yellow Roses. Kate’s work with simcha, joy in Hebrew, included giving yellow Roses to each participant in our mussar class.

Yesterday was a quieter day. I worked out in the a.m., took a nap, then went to mussar at CBE. Took the opportunity to tell folks about my PSA and Kate’s birthday. Being heard and seen. By folks who care. I said yes, I’m alone, but, not lonely. Living alone suits me, two thumbs up. Of course, I’d prefer if Kate were here, but, she’s not.

On the way home I stopped again at the Chicago beef food truck; it’s parked on my way home. Two hot dogs with pickle, mustard, and relish. Two chili cheese dogs. Ruth and Gabe stayed the night on Wednesday. We all love hot dogs.

Mary transferred out of the cabin Sarah rented through Air B’nB. She got a hotel downtown, ready for her first train trip to Chicago and then on to Tomah, Wisconsin to see her friend, Debbie. She’ll be in the continental U.S. for quite some time visiting relatives. BJ left yesterday morning.

Mary, Jon, Ruth, and Gabe attended a Beatle’s cover band concert at Red Rocks last night. A cool, rainy evening. I had a ticket, but chose not to go. The last two days wore me out, down. Feeling a little lost in my inner world, needed time. Not to mention the crowd and the Delta variant.

Eight of Swords: Gonna write about this in the main text. Because I resisted this one. Victimization? Sense of being trapped? No way out? The first card I’ve drawn since the Tarot/Kabbalah class began that didn’t make sense to me. I read a few interpretations, relooked at the card. Nope, not me.

Then, as I wrote. Oh, maybe.

I do not see myself as a victim. However. I do have two unyielding realities dominating my life right now: death and cancer. Both of these restrict me, bind me to themselves. And, I have no choice. Kate is dead. My cancer has returned. Trapped? Not exactly, but constrained, captured, bound? Yes.

Looking at the card, it seems to me that a dawn has begun to emerge through the trees. The woman’s bare foot, her left appears ready to take a step, a step toward the opening in the swords. A way out of the dilemma. If she touches a sword, she’ll realize she can cut her bonds. Then remove the blindfold on her own.

Both grief and serious illness have a way of cloistering us, making us self-involved, self-engaged. And often blind to the needs of others around us. Ourselves, too.

Wednesday it was hard for me to focus on others, see them. Grief clouded my heart. Under the Chesed Moon and in this month of repentance and self-examination, Elul, I’m inclined to understand, forgive myself.

Being unavailable to others is not where I want or intend to live. Yet. Scooping out Kate’s ashes, getting the date for my PET scan put me there on Wednesday and some of yesterday, too. In the late afternoon I felt the blindfold begin to slip, slip far enough that I could put my bare foot out another step, release myself from the binding by cutting them on the sword of reason.

Yes. Cancer and death. This week’s emphasis, no doubt. Yes.

My reaction to both of them is in my control. When I let myself remember that. Today I’m committed to staying conscious, aware, not letting either Kate’s death or this cancer recurrence dominate my inner world.

“A practical, patient, and methodical approach to a project may be needed. These qualities may be needed to improve your health and nutrition.” The Prince of Pentacles from yesterday. These two cards together. I see.

Both cancer and death need a practical, patient, methodical, grounded way. Allow each one the time they need. Follow through. Keep putting one foot out, then another. Cut the ties that bind, slip off the blindfold and see, really see.