sent this morning to my support group
As always I trust and pray you are both well and whole. I attempt each day to offer each and every one of you a thought and a prayer and implore the Lord for your health and well being.
One of the most striking things in my current life as a person with disease is how reliable I have become on menial tasks and there importance to me. For me, my day is filled with little easy to marginalize task for my mother. Then the little things to keep our house in a somewhat fit and running order. Every once in awhile, I get involved with what I refer to as playing the game. Yes, I have to battle with all my might against the barbarian at my gate known as insurance. Never has one man paid so much and realized so little in response. I will drop it there as my continued fight for health care payment is not the purpose of my correspondence with you today.
I am sure that most of you, like me, live in a noisy world. Not necessarily the volume but the sheer amount of noise (defined by me at this point as distractions to) our need to just think about things. There are radios, TVs, computers, iPods and iPad, gaming systems, the phone, the laundry, working on the car, on and on; all with a noise level all their own. I sometimes would offer all the stars in heaven for a mere moment of silence.
I have a new found appreciation for the importance of the menial, everyday tasks in our lives, and how they provide wonderful opportunities to let our minds loose to roam, explore, and process.
Don't confuse this with a time of prayer and inward examination. I'm speaking about eliminating the background in the everyday. I ask that you think about creating silence. While our hands are busy, take the distraction in the background and eliminate it. You can do the dishes (well, ok, load the dishwasher) without the radio on every now and then. If you have a dog, take it for a walk without the iPod plugged into your ear. Every so often, fold the laundry without the TV blaring at you. These are times we can enter with no expectation other than having no expectation. We all have treasures waiting to be found in the silence.
In the book The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris, she encourages us to treasure rare moments of solitude and silence and to avoid distracting ourselves with television and the like. The menial tasks of life, she says, can be "islands of holiness" in an otherwise chaotic and noisy life. This has been hard for me to get used to. I'm constantly downloading podcasts from iTunes and listening while I go about the task before me. I have the TV blaring while I putter around the house while I straighten. But I'm trying to open up some of these times to the silence.
As someone with cancer I find these times increasingly important. I need this time to create, to solve to clarify my position on matters dealing not only my health but regarding the multiple inputs on just how to obtain that health. On what is important for my family; on me.
I would ask that you maybe look at your daily 'quotidian' task in a new respect. Not as something that must be done in the quickest and most mind numbing way possible. Not as an excuse to multitask ad nauseam, but as a gift from God, a time to allow the silence and discover its treasures.
What will you find there?
This morning as I was feeding the birds I pondered this letter to you and wrote this:
Every day I feed the birds
My morning schedule isn't much.
I read and pray for things I must.
My charge of Love wakes up and thus.
After grace I feed her, to keep her trust.
Because I intake so small
the birds await for their turn to devour.
I get done and out the door, with water and seed their life to live.
When the bath is full, I spread my toil.
I pray that God will see and grace.
They are only birds of the wild.
They make me happy, they repay with a smile.
I desire that each and every one finds and accepts the strength to fight in every way that is right and just and possible.
I look forward to seeing you yet again this coming meeting or hearing from you anytime via e-mail.
Be strong my friends as Cancer sucks.