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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Fling your love to the stars

I have been unable to articulate to you what I am feeling. I keep writing it and feeling it is not enough, she is so beautiful my Kae, so angelic that the words I write cannot touch her or do her justice. My heart is weighed down, a clunky stuttering beat as it tries to compute the idea of what it must feel like to her. Perhaps like the tragic heroines of years gone by who walked calmly, almost sleep walking, their elegant nightgowns weighted down, stepping delicately over the slowly gurgling stream into the deeper waters where the current swept them along, their last vision of the stars before the pockets full of river rocks smoothed by the rushing water and tumbling momentum dragged them silently beneath the glassy surface.

She is my Kae, a flightless angel, whose boundless depths of love and wells of beauty of spirit always remind me of my flaws. She would hate that. Admonish me harshly for saying such a thing. For that is not how she sees others. Kae does not see what she does or is as extraordinary. She is unaware that she is so ethereal and otherworldly, she has lived in her skin her whole life, to her it is normal to be just so. But to those of us touched by the glow of being near her, she is a majestic and beloved spirit to be awed.

Kae has been trapped in the dark for a while. Years really, but there's been light let in for long stretches, and then again the shutters slam shut. Now she is taunted and maliciously harassed by pain and an exhaustion so deep and harrowing that only those who have nearly died of exhaustion can come close to understanding, and still you will not understand unless you have experienced it day after day after mind bending, soul destroying day.

Her brain is playing tricks on her, the river calls, waits until she falls into fitful dreams and coos her name in a melodious whisper, the rhythm of water gurgling over rocks mocking her with echoes of her name through the trees. The invitation taking root in her psyche when she is defenceless against it's malignant charm.

Never have I known someone so willing to selflessly step up, to surprise, to support and fight for you and most importantly, to simply be with you. Never have I known a heart so big, a love so dazzling , a well of selflessness that runs so deep there is to my knowledge no end. Kae is what we all wish we could be. She is not perfect but she is what most of us strive for.

My Kae (I say my Kae but she is not just my person, she is many people's person, her heart is that big) is going through the biggest battle of her life and unlike people with recognised illnesses, she is battling an invisible and insidious illness so extraordinarily brilliant in it's trickery that it hides from doctors while it wreaks havoc with your body, your cells, your organs, your limbs, your pain receptors, your perception, your gut, your balance, your spirit, your soul, your heart and everything that is you. How do you fight that which you cannot see and no one except those who fight beside you, a secret army of warriors, even believe it exists, spare a few special doctors who believe in that which cannot be seen or labelled.

So I am asking you to stand with us, the secret army of warriors who fight without armour, without weapons, without the support we have earned, without medals for the bravery and courage in the face of such inescapable horror day after day. We go without acknowledgement and mostly we've all grown used to relying on our battle mates as only they know what it truly feels like, apart from the few carers privvy to witnessing the extraordinary war that we battle every day like clockwork.

No I am begging you. As I have begged of you before to fight for me and others, I am begging you to help me will my darling Kae, my most gorgeous and selfless friend who is so very tired, I am begging you to help me. Will her on. Join a chorus of love and prayers and good vibes and healing meditations and send them into the universe so that she may be surrounded by your love and the light will be forced into her lungs.

Send her all the love and light you would your most beloved. Because my Kae would do it for you without a second thought. She reunited a family who were separated on other sides of the world after years apart and refused to admit she was involved, and yet our very sick and beautiful friend knew it was her and she got to see her grand babies and spend a very special Christmas with them. She forced me to see a doctor and when I had no money she forced me to take a loan from her that she refused to allow me to pay back. She sends random gifts just to amuse herself. She finds beauty in the simple and every day things and has the most creative and instinctive eye for capturing moments most of us either don't notice or take for granted. She sends thank you cards to people who think of her when she can barely lift her head, let alone see the page or muster the energy to force the pen to the page in eloquent coherent sentences. She sponsored an elephant for a group of us, a sick group of friends from all of the globe that she networked together – my twinkling, glistening orb of friends like a spider web around the world – she was the catalyst. She remembers everyone's birthday, anniversaries including the awful ones, the days of those that were lost. She is an angel. She is my angel. She is many people's angel. She is not allowed to be another angel who is has their wings bestowed upon them too soon. We will not allow them to be fitted. She will stay with us because we will fight for her.

We have too much to do. Adventures together with our friends. A commune to run. And although I may never get to have children, neither might Kae, but we will have each other and our most beloved friends and family. My love pours from my heart into this page like she were my child and I were cradling her in my arms soothing her with a lullaby, whispering to her about all the stars in the sky and how they will never ever come close to shining as bright as she does. I could not love her any more.

Please I beg of you help me keep this angel here on earth. Fling your love to the stars and wish it back to her.

NB these two beautiful photos above are Kae's work, to enjoy more of creative work, click on either photo to be taken to her gorgeous blog.

Our dear friend Cusp started this candle vigil to show Kae how much love is in the world for her, please take just a moment click on the photo and light a candle and send some love and light.

Please note, since writing this - just today - I have heard some news that Kae's spirits have lifted a little.  But I also heard today that we lost another Lyme warrior who gained her wings.  So please know, today Kae be okay, tomorrow she may not be and again and so on and so forth.  It is an arduous and awful fight and this is as pressing in this moment as it was the moment before.  Perhaps even more so as the reality hits home that we have lost one of ours and that reality is tangible, touchable and real.  Please help us fight.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

♥ Love ♥

I have breathed out and released some of the bleakness that has completely overtaken my body in dark shadowy patches of intense sorrow and grief. So I am going to try to breathe in the light.

For there is so much beautiful, dazzling, uncovered treasure in my life. Despite all that ails me I have a network that stretches like a twinkling, glistening, barely visible spider web surrounding the world like a beautiful orb of criss crossing love. Perched upon it are not captured or wounded beings, but beloved connections who together knit the web and use it like a hammock to rest upon when their day gets too weary. We each rely on those connections, feeling the vibrations of love from across the globe even when we are unable to speak.

So to those who have woven the beautiful web which works as a safe place to rest my head and dream of swinging madly about in joyous tumbles, I thank you. To those who I have uncovered in the rubble and ruin of life, in the dark heavy sorrow, whose love has forged connections between me and other broken winged birds, some now angels, I adore you and whisper softly always to your faintly beating heart, “I love you, I love you, I love you”.

To my beloved healthy friends who share dazzling moments past with me, jewels in my memory that shine bright when they're tended to and polished up to focus into perfect clarity, I love you for standing by me, holding our shared jewelled memories like keepsakes, protecting them for me, keeping them in your hearts, ever present so you do not allow me to forget who I was and who I can be.

For my family, some of whom are not blood, but I have chosen to adopt in my closest network of glistening connections to share my resting space, you see both sides of me. You see my grace and strength and joy and you see the depths of my struggle and how I fight so very hard to hang on to my sanity, to war with the bugs that are forever inching closer to a coup in my brain. You keep me fighting, you fuel the fury that allows me to control the bugs and prevent them overtaking my very being. And most importantly, you love me despite the days in which I cannot summon grace, the days in which I lose the battle and the bugs take over, the days in which I am so deep in despair and desolation I drag you down. Your love is what love should be. The love of imperfect perfection, the love without conditions, the forgiving love, the understanding love, the momentarily angry but quickly forgiven love, the true and gritty messy love of truly seeing each other and accepting each other's faults love.  The real love, not the manufactured candy love we've been sold, the messy, ugly, gritty, beautifully tainted, imperfect, perfect love.

And lastly, to those of you who witness my suffering, who do not turn away, who stand by me quietly unwavering, it is you who inspires me. You who patiently waits for the moment when I can properly communicate, you who sees me despite my inability to fully fulfil myself, you who supports and loves me without conditions, you are all the best of me. All the loves of my lives.

Thank you for the love that fuels my fight.

NB please click on the image to be taken to the website of media artist who created this meme quoting Molly Friedenfeld.

Broken Winged Bird

I woke yesterday morning in the dark. Around me was an ominous and oppressive feeling of grief. It filled my lungs so quickly that I could not even scream out, I was drowning on sorrow.

There was this most awful realisation, one that I avoid contemplating too deeply most days, that the world is beyond the glass and stuck behind it, I am trapped like a wounded bird. My wings are broken and my flock has flown away. The loneliness in my heart aches so deeply I wish I could cradle it and whisper to it that you are not alone and you are loved, but it cannot hear me and it does not feel what my head is attempting to persuade it to believe.

Over the last few months I have experienced some of the hardest times in my life. And the anchors that hold me together, my friends online, my healthy friends, I have mostly been unable to manage connecting with. I am too fragile, too consumed by fighting to exist. Every single moment is a struggle, every breath a weighted heavy sigh, every step a painful uncoordinated dragging limb, every fall into paralysis another inch closer to permanency, every seizure more painful, every bronchial spasm more brain starving and every reaction to chemicals a gamble on anaphalaxys.

I have been fortunate to have medical gurus in my journey. But I am now alone on my travels. Only one left an unhealing festering sore, the doctor whom promised me a life and then told me dispassionately that I should tie up loose ends, write a will and seek out palliative care. The other doctors have been my stewards but obstacles have meant that I am now mostly without them and in this moment, this moment of grave illness, this moment when I am so terrified I cannot breathe, in this moment where my eyes leak as my body mourns the loss of all my safety nets, in this moment of utter vulnerability, I find myself alone.

There is so much to carry, so much to learn and I cannot walk nor can I find answers. My brain is unwilling. This broken winged bird has thrown herself against the glass too many times, breaking more tiny bones and finding only again and again that I cannot will the world to shape itself into how I wish it to be. In this second decade of fighting, failing and picking myself up day after day, I find the dark more and more inviting.

We travelled to the hospital not so long ago, they looked upon me as though I was nothing, they endangered my life, they withheld my medication and they ignored my pleas for help. One of the doctors, just one of the very many who looked upon me was kind, the rest ignored my very obvious, very grave, very dangerous symptoms and history with a cult like investment in the bland paradigm that allows them to behave so inappropriately within a severely deficient system.

How does a broken winged bird stuck behind the glass, drowning in sorrow and grief get help? How does she find hope that has buried itself so deep within her soul that even her eyes look haunted by the loss of it? How does she uncover a reason, even one, to keep fighting? Because she's been on an excavation, picking over the ruins of her life trying to keep the dazzling, bright and shiny moments in focus, but they have all faded to grey and resettled themselves amongst the rubble.

Banality tinged with torture, judgement for her imperfect grace, she cannot carry this load alone. But she is not alone, I wish she could hear me. I wish her heart would feel the messages of love that come from the world, through the glass, even if she can't hear them.

Broken winged bird, I wish I could promise her a better tomorrow, and yet I cannot bring myself to lie to her. So I must let her fall down, drag her broken body into a dark corner and lose herself in grief. I will not let her drown. I will help her excavate the rubble. I will fight for her despite the fact she is me and wants to give up. I won't let her. But I cannot do it alone.

So I ask of you this, please do not let me slip through your fingers. Do not let me give up. Do not turn away from my vulnerable truth. Do not let this system stand. Fight with me, fight for me, fight along side me, help me fight. 

I am not the only one. We are many, the broken winged, flightless birds, stuck behind glass, perched on the rubble and ruin of our lives. We are many who fight and flail gracelessly just to get through the most torturous of days you could ever imagine in our imperfect ways. We only wish to survive this moment and the next. We do not always do things the way you would or the way you think you would. We don't always do what you think we should. We are not you, you are not us, but we are all perfectly imperfect.

Before you judge us, imagine yourself without all the things you've come to take for granted, then imagine you are trapped, you can not turn and walk from this moment or every moment to follow for decades to come, imagine you are so incredibly lonely your eyes leak rivulets of tears that drown you in sorrow, imagine your very existence is so torturous that it seems impossible to be alive and then imagine no one sees you. Imagine yourself alone, terrified, defenceless and gravely wounded. Unless you are a broken winged bird I don't know if you can imagine such desolation, so perhaps just hear me when I say when your life is obliterated and there is no end to the war on your body, and you have no army to protect you, your flock has left you behind, you were delaying them and so they left and now you will find yourself doubting there is any reason to go on.

So please take this pledge with me so that together we might will the universe into bringing about a change for all of my fellow broken winged birds who I gently cradle in my hands as I whisper love and reassurance to their hearts, chase the haunted shadows from their eyes and gently blow hope and laughter into their lungs:

Broken winged bird, I will fight for you. Broken winged bird, I am going to promise you something, one day you'll take flight, you'll soar aloft the beautiful dazzling moments of your life that are yet to come and your heart will beat in time with the collective conscious of loved ones who you will get to touch and love and hold and laugh with. Broken winged bird, even when you hate yourself, hate your life, wonder if you should bother with fighting another day, another moment,  even then know this, you are loved. Now breathe in the light and breathe out the sorrow.

I will be with you tomorrow and all the tomorrows after that. You are not alone.

NB please click on the image to be taken to the website of Theo Aartisma who created this beautiful evocative piece.