Friday, February 23, 2007

Bubbling Up To The Surface

Water bubbles can't help themselves. They know that the only place they want to go is up to the surface. They may be trapped underwater for some time, but eventually they make their journey to the surface of the water. Emotions are the same. Life experiences produce a plethora of emotions. Some we feel immediately, others we stuff below the surface, tucked away to be felt at another time and place. But the irony here, is that eventually, the mixture of emotions that have laid dormant will be expressed.

Imagine for a moment a pair of flood gates ~ they are built to protect whatever lies down stream from a destructive flooding force. When the waters are rising behind the gates, sometimes the gatekeepers open the gates a little bit to release the water at a manageable rate to keep the gates from bursting. I wish this was true with emotions.

Since September of this year I have felt like I have done a pretty good job at keeping a lid on the chaos going on inside of me. That's what I do well ~ I've had years of rigorous training in this department. But let's face it ~ I am human and I break down every now and then. When this happens the flood gate are opened wide ~ everything comes rushing to the surface ~ the force of the emotions are like a herd of wild horses running free with wild abandon after being kept in the corral for too long. What surprises me each time this happens is how closely knit the different emotions are bound together: happy~sad, relief~anger, denial~acceptance, a sense of peace~ fear, sure footed~confused. The light and the dark are intertwined.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Nothing Is Happening To Me By Accident

I get daily devotionals from The Purpose Driven Life and the message today really hit home for me. The message relates to this verse:

“Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:16)

The devotional goes on to say that, "
Nothing is happening to me by accident. My moments were all thought up in the mind of God, and they are all geared toward shaping me for a particular service that no one but I can perform. God uses everything in my life – whatever I’ve experienced, whatever I’ve learned – to make me into a person fit for that which I can do in his Kingdom here on earth.

Therefore, if my life is that important, and God has already recorded it and mapped it out, doesn’t that make it even more compelling that I find out what it is that he has for me to do? This is not a chore; it’s a privilege and an adventure.

God does not intend to waste anything in my life, or yours. Our talents, gifts, and natural abilities all go together to make someone fit to serve."

This has given me great encouragement today to keep my eyes focused on the big picture.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Your Left Side Is Weaker Than The Right

I had some balance and hearing tests done this week to rule out that something other than my Brain Tail had been causing balance problems. I was hoping that the results would point to something concrete like perhaps my inner ear as the culprit.

After an hour and a half of hearing, inner ear and ear nerve tests, I had arrived at the time for the infamous balance tests. I had been forewarned ~ don't eat anything 5 hours prior to testing, because there is a big chance that the tests could make you nauseous. I thought the warnings were a bit silly due to the fact that I am in a constant state of dizziness, but I humored the doctor, nevertheless.

So, I feel compelled to fill you in on the details of the balance tests that resembled some kind of torture treatment. The audiology specialist had me put on this contraption resembling a hybrid of a scuba mask-night vision goggles. She tells me that there are cameras in the goggles that will record my eyes during the tests. Then she puts the covers over the goggles and I am temporarily blinded by darkness ~ utter, inky, lost in a cave miles underground darkness. I think to myself, "OK, so it's really dark in here, can I take a nap while you are performing the tests?". Then she tells me to open up my eyes really wide and look up. I do as she says, but quite frankly, I can't tell if my eyes are open or not until she confirms that they are indeed open and I am doing just fine.

Next comes the wonderful cold water blast test ~ water is blasted into my left ear for 30 seconds. While my brain is trying to figure out why I am spinning out of control, she asks me to name animals that live in the sea. My mind is swimming, I can barely form the sounds to say, "...whale, fish, errr fish...?". I am amazed how putting my mind to work while I am spinning helps me to gain control again ~ but what a weird experience! So, the water blasting continues on my other ear and then the whole process is repeated again but this time with warm water. Wow, now I am spinning like a barrel which is a completely different type of spin than with the cold water. The doctor is amazed that I can tell the difference ~ duhhh ~ I am really good at the dizziness thing ~ I've had lots of practice! Funny thing is, I wasn't really bothered by the tests. It wasn't as bad as the 2 MRI s that I had already endured!

After all of the testing is done, all the doctor could tell me is that there is no problem with my hearing or inner ear, but my left side is weaker than the right. She told me that my doctor will translate the results in a follow up appointment. So, in a nut shell, I've at least ruled out the inner ear, but I am afraid to say that I am still stuck in the "grey area" spiral!

Monday, February 12, 2007


This past Saturday I was headed East on I-90 somewhere close to the New York ~ Massachusetts border when I spotted something on the side of the road and it wasn't road kill. Rarely have I seen something alive on the edge of a busy highway that wasn't a deer. At first glance, I thought I was looking at a doe, but as I got closer, I realized that either a wolf or a coyote was staring back at me. Right before I passed it, the animal turned and ran back into the forest. As you can see from the pictures, it's hard to tell the difference between the two ~ I will never know for sure what I saw, but our brief encounter has stayed with me and led me to ponder the messages that these two exquisite animals may have for me.

Coyotes teach us to learn to laugh at ourselves and to appreciate the irony that life sends our way. In the Native American culture, the coyotes have also been known for their humor, charm and survival skills. Wolves challenge us to be wise. They have been lauded for their ability to survive and thrive and to be in balance with the world around them. Patience and perseverance are qualities that have earned the wolves respect.

I will take all the incite I can get ~ maybe it's a good thing that the sighting will remain an enigma. Life has been full of irony lately and a reminder to keep my sense of humor has been duly noted.

Friday, February 9, 2007

It's the Little Things That Matter

I have a nifty 'hover craft' Toyota Prius ~ I completely love my car, but there is one annoying quality. When I put the car in reverse it emits this really loud, annoying beeping noise! I have come close to wrecking my car several times in parking lots due to the loud beeping. Since I am ultra sensitive to sounds, the reverse beep sounds like a smoke alarm going off in my head. Yesterday, I managed to talk the dealership mechanics into disabling the noise for a small fee. Ahhhh ~ relief at last ~ thank goodness for small miracles. :)

Something quite eye opening happened to me on the way to work today. I park in a parking garage every day at work and have my parking pass swipe card on a lanyard. Last time I used it, I hastily crammed it into a compartment in the dash. So, this morning as I am driving to work I try to open the compartment where said swipe card is stashed and it won't open. It's completely jammed up. I keep pushing the button and nothing happens. I am frustrated and am already planning how I am going to pry it open. It's Friday and I am already annoyed. Narrowly missing the car in the lane next to me, I decide to concentrate on my driving instead of the stupid swipe card. After I go through the toll booth, something out of the corner of my eye catches my attention. I glance down and notice that the jammed compartment has magically opened all on it's own! I laughed out loud and suddenly was struck with the irony of the situation ~ when something is not working, leave it alone and it will open up all on it's own.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Electric Personality

Just when I think I've figured out all of the symptoms caused by my Brain Tail, I get introduced to a new and exciting symptom. Holy heat! I have been experiencing lightning strikes that go up and down my arms. This is a wonderful and exciting new symptom to add to my growing list (can you hear the exuberant sarcasm in my voice?)! Days like this when I am battling a head that is about to explode and now lightning strikes, I just want to go ahead and get the surgery done sooner rather than later. This waiting game ~ dawdling down the 'grey area' lane ~ is getting a little annoying!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Images of Stillness

It started snowing this afternoon just around the five o-clock rush hour. I have been living in Upstate New York for over 7 years now and I still am amazed at how beautiful the snow makes everything look. The air takes on an almost ethereal quality ~ each breath I take feels clean and cool. Somehow the worries on (and in) my mind are temporarily swept away. I feel renewed and hopeful about life again. How can something so simple as crystallized water change my perspective?

When it snows it feels like I have been given new eyes, a fresh start, a 'do over' moment. This brings to mind something I read recently. Snow evokes images of stillness ~ noises are muted and hushed after a snowfall ~ maybe it's God's way of giving us some well needed rest in this whirlwind of a world we live in today. I read a Japanese version of the 23rd Psalm the other day and wanted to share it with you. The translation is refreshing.

The Lord is my pace-setter. I shall not rush;
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals.
He provides me with images of stillness
Which restores my serenity.
He leads me in the way of efficiency
Through calmness of mind
And His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things
To accomplish each day,
I will not fret.

For His presence is here.
His timelessness
His all-importance,
Will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of activity
By anointing my mind with the oil of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruit of my hours.
For I shall walk in the pace of my Lord
And dwell in His house forever.

Psalms 23 (Japanese Version)