Thursday, June 29, 2017

New Reality

I have gone back and forth about posting my new reality here, but have finally decided to go ahead with it.  Ever since I began this blog, after retiring from three decades of teaching, I have used the site to record images of beauty in my every day life, records of our travels, and some of the art I have created.  I hope to still do these things, although there is a new issue that has taken over most of my time, and that is my health.

In April I was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and on June 16th I had surgery at UW Madison hospital.  After four days there I returned home to recuperate, and consider how my life will be changing.  I still do not have very much energy, though I am up and about, eating, reading, petting the cat.  I know that soon I will be meeting with new doctors to begin chemotherapy, and that will be another different set of challenges - not the least of which will be that I will lose all my hair.

But in a real way I am more anxious about who this new person will be, the one who no longer leads groups of people on historic cemetery tours, who has to be careful about what she eats and drinks, who requires rides to numerous medical appointments, who suddenly throws a whole new anxious feeling over meetings with friends.  One who is a little jealous of other people's lunch meetings, field trips with grandchildren,  time spent gardening.

I also am concerned about my art.  I haven't felt brave enough to draw or paint yet, partially because moving around has been uncomfortable, but also because I wonder what will become of all of the notebooks, sketchbooks, watercolors, collages and other paintings.  I sell little of my work, so it stacks up in drawers and closets.  What will become of it?

So many questions.

But it is summer, and there is beauty.  My lilies are in full bloom in the yard.  Fireflies light the evening lawn.  People drop by with baked goods and flowers.  In many ways the good things of life are still there to be enjoyed.  I hope to keep appreciating them.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world
Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
--Cat Stevens