Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Self-care over time

As the shape of Mahina, Moon Goddess, fattens on this Mohalu day the sky is mostly clear and blue. The temperature has dropped at night, and the family of clouds that gathered yesterday emptied on us while we slept, attempted sleep and finally found a doorway into dreams. 

The Huna Po (yesterday moon phase) watched us travel north on the island, and then onto another island for a follow-up appointment at the dentist for me. Pete drove while I sat with my porcelain glazed oxygen mask. The mask and oxygen make it easier for me to manage the pollens, and in particular that of the Scotch Broom. The ninety minute journey was made more challenging because Pete has a back knot that was slowly and progressively aggravating him. 

While I sat in that dental chair, the Assistant slowly and skillfully removed the sutures, flushed the mending puka (hole) with salt water and appraised the healing as "very good." It was a day at that clinic where the doctor was not in. Without knowing it I felt the difference in the energy. Women were in charge. Once again, the Assistant clarified what was next. "Are we going to prepare for a bridge next?" I told her "No, I can't afford that." What I knew I did need was to plan for using the remaining money (dental credit allowance) to care for my teeth as best I could.

I stood and she looked at the teeth on the other side of my jaw that need attention. "I'll make a note of that so you don't need another exam (and another fee.)" I explained again what my budget is; asked questions about estimates and discovered options new to me. Before I left the room the Assistant asked me what the greenery on my left wrist was. "Is that a palm from Palm Sunday?" I answered "No, it's Hawaiian healing herbs, called la'i. It's from the Ti Leaf." 


"Care was crossing a shallow river. She paused and scooped up a handful of soft wet clay. As she molded and fashioned she meditated on the creation she had made. Her wish was to name it after herself. But both Earth and Jupiter had the same wish. Saturn, father-of-Jupiter, stepped in and said, "The name will be Homo for it is made of dirt, humus, earth. When the creation dies, Earth shall have its body. Jupiter shall have its spirit. But while it lives Care shall have it."
- a Roman myth

Mud River, Wikipedia
Armed with an estimate for repair and care of my teeth, and a healing puka in my jaw Pete and I continued our Huna morning. We went to our favorite deli in Anacortes, ordered and ate at the window. Pete's knot tightened. He told me, "You'll have to drive." Of course I'd drive. I adjust the driver's seat. Pete adjusted the passenger side. With a little fiddling I was able to reach the mask with one hand when I needed extra oxygen and Pete was able to regulate the flow without discomfort.

The Roman myth and story of Care is one of my favorites. I quote it often, and find meaning in it over and again. I discovered the story for the first time when I began my study of Angeles Arrien's The Second Half of Life Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom. The story of Care comes from the pages describing The Clay Gate. The only gate that is always changing (as we) and transforming. 

We are living on the Aging Road, literally and figuratively the place and the time is one where we humans, our friends and neighbors and Pete and I are clay breaking and transforming before our eyes. Unlike the aging that takes place in the first-half of a human's life, aging now is like the robust and exuberance of youthful exclamations and physical prowess. 

Without the village community of children, youth, adults and elders together on a day-and-night twenty-four seven calendar, most of us experience the Aging Road alone. We, Pete and I made the drive home grateful to be back in the woods. The self-care routines test us to be care-givers and receivers of what the body demands of us. The ways in which we use the tiny spaces Pete has built over the past five years change. JOTS is now strictly an out doors feline: her dander, the warming temperatures shift the way this Quonset is used.

Inside Pete finds a flat space long enough to hold his six foot plus body. He rests as I write. JOTS is asleep on the vardo porch. In the sky last night the Huna moon was bright in the hazy sky. Framed by the Tall Ones the Goddess and Jupiter illuminated potentiality. Our senses and our creativity are tapped and poked as we remember it is up to us to care for the clay of our physical self. Molding the words together a medicine story forms. 

I fit it onto the page, preview for an edit. And then ... let the words fly.

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