Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How Am I Free?

A couple things have led me to ask this question today. The first was that I did a tarot reading for myself the other day when things were particularly tedious, and it was really positive. My environment card was The Universe, which is, of course, everything. It made me cry, because I love that my environment is everything imaginable, but then I had trouble with why this part of The entire Universe, why this hospital, why these weaknesses, why why why???

The second reason was that Debra Jarvis, the chaplain, came to see me, and she asks good questions, which led me directly to How Am I Free?

So that is my question. How am I free here in this locked-down state? How do I find the Universe in the commode, in the popsickles, in the taking of vitals? What is my freedom here? And you all, reading from outside the hospital, what is your impression of my freedom here?

I'll be mulling this question today . . .


Anonymous said...

Your writing is gorgeous... Having never been fixed to a hospital bed, I feel sorely ill-equipped to make even the simplest comment here. Your body is certainly not free. But your words are. What I love about the blog is the community of family and friends that generate the impression of a hospital room bubbling with love and chatter and laughter and stories. You have surrounded yourself with feeling souls who will help free your mind from that bed of yours, at least transiently. You are a powerful magnet, attracting all that creativity (as an example, "...parse and pickle Ian and sell the succor on the Ave") and returning so much more of it! And while you're busy contemplating exactly how else you might be free, recognize that body of yours is TOUGH! (The weak muscles are merely providing your Occupational Therapist something to do.) Wow. With much love, Tess

Anonymous said...

Our spirits are so "used to our bodies" being in the place we are..could "being free" lead us to consider our "spiritual" nature? Who we are instead of where we are?

Adam English said...

Tess put it well, I imagine most of us feel ill-equipped providing insight regarding freedom.

But if I could, I'd gift you with a very strong dosage (ugh, forgive the medical jargon!) of enlightenment, with a markedly positive perspective.

And to sheepishly cop-out of a discussion of freedom or wax further about enlightenment or other words I barely comprehend, I'll just say this: even though I'm saddened to hear of your troubles, I'm thrilled that you're here expressing them. -Adam

Anonymous said...

Dear Calin, You are free in your heart and your imagination, your flow of words, your radiant smile at seeing Ian, Deane, a friend, your caregivers. You are free in your curiosity for each interaction and doseage. You chose the misty mask, and named the discomfort of boogers on full oxygen! Though weak, your body supports you and has not succumbed to various perils presented by the diagnosis and treatments of your health. You are choosing wellness, life, love, embracing us and your self with all the vigor, vitality, stick-to-it-ness you possess! Think of the great literature from people incarcerated, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Paul of Tarsus..., the writer of THE BELL JAR AND THE BUTTERFLY.(Not so many women!) You are writing in a new medium. You are still living in time! With love, Julie

patricia said...

Hey calin,
I have been reading your blogs everyday,thank you for sharing. I can't even warp my brain around what you or going through, but it sounds like shit for sure. I went to your land up on the island in July, it was beautiful,the grass was so long that when I walked back up your hill I had to use my arms to move the grass,it was like swimming and I thought how prefect that was knowing how much water is apart of your life like your moms too.You are in our thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog early today and have had several hours to ponder your question. I have seen another loved one go through very similar things as you are going through now. Pain,confinement to your enviroment,drugs and all of the terrible side affects. She to went through wanting to know why. Why didn't she have a true loving relationship,why didn't she ever get married,or why didn't she have a child,and why did she have to go through all of this. I don't know if she ever found out the reason why,but she did find peace.
Peace of mind,body and spirit. In her freedom of choosing,she chose to beleive in Jesus Christ and his teachings and through this she beleived that the most important thing is not of this earth,or solar systems,but when she read, prayed and then asked God to open up her heart and soul if he was real,she had an experience of complete peace and knowing the truth she said, set her truly free.
She cherished her times with her family,friends,and found peace when she sat on the beach and looked at the wonderment of the Universe. The sea,clouds,stars,sun and sunsets. The peace of her life was why she felt free,and free to say goodbye.
We all have to decided what being free is and I too believe that being free is being at peace with our spirit not with things of earth.
I love you. Keep up the good fight.

Graham said...

Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten,
sie fliehen vorbei wie nächtliche Schatten.
Kein Mensch kann sie wissen, kein Jäger erschießen
mit Pulver und Blei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Ich denke was ich will und was mich beglücket,
doch alles in der Still', und wie es sich schicket.
Mein Wunsch, mein Begehren kann niemand verwehren,
es bleibet dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Und sperrt man mich ein im finsteren Kerker,
das alles sind rein vergebliche Werke.
Denn meine Gedanken zerreißen die Schranken
und Mauern entzwei, die Gedanken sind frei!

Drum will ich auf immer den Sorgen entsagen
und will mich auch nimmer mit Grillen mehr plagen.
Man kann ja im Herzen stets lachen und scherzen
und denken dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Ich liebe den Wein, mein Mädchen vor allen,
sie tut mir allein am besten gefallen.
Ich bin nicht alleine bei meinem Glas Weine,
mein Mädchen dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Ian said...

For those whose knowledge of German, or 200 year-old German songs, is weak, here are the English lyrics from

Thoughts are free, who can ever guess them?
They just flee by like nocturnal shadows.
No man can know them, no hunter can shoot them,
with powder and lead: Thoughts are free!

I think what I want, and what makes me happy,
but always discreetly, and as it is suitable.
My wish and desire, no one can deny me
and so it will always be: Thoughts are free!

And if I am thrown into the darkest dungeon,
all this would be futile work,
because my thoughts tear all gates
and walls apart. Thoughts are free!

So I will renounce my sorrows forever,
and never again will torture myself with some fancy ideas.
In one's heart, one can always laugh and joke
and think at the same time: Thoughts are free!

I love wine, and my girl even more,
Only I like her best of all.
I'm not alone with my glass of wine,
my girl is with me: Thoughts are free!

Shelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shelley said...

I, like a few that have posted, feel ill equipped to approach this question. I am on deadlines, needing to attend to someone or something such that I don't have the time/perspective to contemplate. (perhaps something in and of itself to contemplate.)

My only addition is the fact I am in awe of the written ideas (posts and comments) that have been shared on this blog. I have learned a lot about myself as these dialogues occur. We are all one degree of separation.

I have enjoyed thinking about this question, though the words haven't condensed. Thanks calin.


Robert said...

Well, Calin, I hope (because it is what you deserve) that in the midst of your massive confinements, you are able to feel free from any worry about how your family, friends, loved ones, and husband would handle it and support you if you had to be hospitalized for weeks on end in response to some sort of greivous medical conditions!

-- Robert V.

Deane said...

Spread love, champion truth. Your situation allows a new perspective from which to learn about both. This gives you an opportunity to be dramatically more effective than most.

KateMV said...

For Nora's baptism we were given a picture book called _How Big is God?_ It has such lines as, "He can be as small as a single drop of rain or as deep as the deepest ocean." In pondering your question, I thought that perhaps the Universe is the same way. It is big enough to be everything "out there." But it can also fit into your mind and heart -- so that the Universe is in you.

And that's my deep thought for the day.

Debra Jarvis said...

I often feel as if I should be paying someone for letting me do my job, instead of me getting paid. This is a perfect example.

I'm the chaplain who talks with Calin and I brought her question to our chaplain meeting that moring and I know that for the rest of the day, we all pondered it.

I loved the German lyrics the best as I think they truly expressed where we are all free. Our thoughts! And the terrible truth is that our thoughts can also be a prison. That is the two-edged sword, the cure and the poison.

Calin, I hope by the time you are reading this, you are home with Ian and your wonderful pups. Blessing for a restful, renewing weekend.

Much love and hugs,