Aug 30, 2013

Fatigue coping strategies


A helpful discussion of MS fatigue strategies: http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/guide/ms-related-fatigue at Web MD.
This heat and humidity stretch in the midwest is getting overwhelming and along with the radiation treatments my fatigue is very high. I found this article to be a helpful reminder of what I need to do.

Aug 26, 2013

My garden this August


This year I have done very little gardening but I am thankful that things are not looking too bad anyway. Perennials are just what their name implies, and the past years of work have carried over into this year of cancer and fatigue and the flowers have been blooming all year. I wonder how long this grace will last. I will try not to look at the weeds and just enjoy the blooms.

Aug 10, 2013

Reality

Definition of Reality
n. pl. re·al·i·ties
1. The quality or state of being actual or true.
2. One, such as a person, an entity, or an event, that is actual: "the weight of history and political realities"(Benno C. Schmidt, Jr.)
3. The totality of all things possessing actuality, existence, or essence.
4. That which exists objectively and in fact: Your observations do not seem to be about reality.

The subject of reality has been coming up quite a bit lately. It seems that it is a common longing that folk have; to be more real, to have friends that are real and to know what is real. Reality TV initially tapped into this longing but quickly became anything but real as the very nature of the medium squashed the possibility.  We know that we want reality but we do not always know what reality is. How do we know that someone or thing is authentic? We often sense it but we are not immune from being duped and sadly in life we often are. We trust someone to be who they present themselves to be but find that we were mistaken. The problem is that we ourselves struggle to be real, to even know who we really are. We can be caught up being who we think we should be, forgetting who we are, just as capable of fooling ourselves as well as others.

I have been thinking that it is hard to separate the idea of truth and reality, and maybe this is how we have been sliding down this slippery slope. As the notion of Truth with a capital T has been lost (vs. just my truth or your truth), we are also be losing the notion of Reality (not just my reality or your reality). Reality and Truth have to be rooted together as stable anchors that do not shift and thus can give substance to the things which are anchored to them. Reality needs to be solid, foundational, unchanging, a reliable reference point just as Truth should be as well. These realities can be hard to find these days but I do believe that they do exist and can be recovered,  but they need to be rooted in something much bigger than us people, or even society. We need to look out and back and up and beyond. I think that the place that Truth starts is with an Infinite God that has to be really there and does not deceive and has made himself known to us in our finite state. Where do you find a place for reality? Personally it truly bothers me when I find Christians being fake, superficial and unreal, it is the opposite of who God is, it dishonors Him and denies the reality that he has called us to live in. I want to be real all the way to the core, even when the reality of life is not all that nice and I know that I am not all that nice.  I need to try to truly change for the better, but should not pretend to be better if I haven't changed. Our goodness and beauty should be real and not veneer and thanks to God's help they can be. But in this life I will never be perfect, I will always be less than I should be, I need to constantly try to do bettter, but I need to be honest about my failures as this is the begining of change. Unreality is a bottomless pit of falsehood and lies.

Unreality is not just the same thing as fiction or imagination, these can be wonderful pointers to truth and can illustrate reality. Creativity is part of how God made us and even Jesus used parables too. I am talking about deception, faking and unhelpful escapism that denies reality. Reality is infinitely rich and varied, we each see and experience it differently and can share with eachother to get a fuller and more rounded understanding. I was just listening to Beethoven and was struck by how his music helps me to know a richer reality with his brilliance and he communicates things I couldn't know for myself, but when I hear his music I can say oh yes, I get it, that is so real. It is like we are looking from different perspectives but the whole is the same and we are sharing the same space. Are we seeing what is there or are we deceiving ourselves about what we think is there? I think that is the question.

Aug 2, 2013

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are a constant source of fascination, such frail and delicate creatures that are also incredibly strong and feisty. I did not grow up with them and take delight in all their antics, just yesterday as I was arranging flowers at my kitchen sink I looked up to find one hovering at the window in front of me trying to get in. These are not timid birds and quickly become used to my presence as their feeder is on the other side of the glass. When I am outside they will happily drink from the bee balm near my porch and dash with a squeak past me as they engage in warfare over rights to the feeder. For several years one would always greet me each morning on the wire outside catching the early rays, preening off the cold of night and limbering up for a day of acrobatics. They have charmed me and my goal is to feed them by hand, I have seen pictures of this amazing feat.

Nature is a great mental escape from the confines of the house and mind. It helps to bring life into perspective and to fill me with awe, it is just so marvelous.

UPDATE:  a hummingbird landed on my head yesterday and looked all around my pink teeshirt for food as the feeder was empty!