Friday, April 18, 2014

Lightning, Thunder and Rain Oh My!

Friday, April 18, 2014

I am finally seeing something in our extended weather forecast that I cannot recall ever being so happy to see.  It looks fairly likely that we here in the Twin Cities will have lightning and thunder as part of a storm next week.  Even though lightning and thunder sometimes accompany severe snowstorms in the winter these phenomenon are nonetheless something I believe most of us associate with Spring.  Yes, Spring is really is!  I think it would be funny to make up a t-shirt that reads "I survived the worst winter in 50 years while simultaneously healing from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder".

It's so funny that my deep healing process would coincide with one of the worst winters Minnesota has experienced in decades.  I feel this made my desire for the turning of the seasons to Spring all the more palpable and intense.  My eyes are hungry to see more green in the world.  It's been a long, long time since we had green on all of the trees around here.  The world outside my own skin appears so vivid to my eyesight now.  I am still not fully accustomed to the experience of such vividness.  But over time I am gradually adjusting more and more.

I had an acupuncture session this morning.  I reached a state of deep relaxation I have not experienced in a very long time.  Indeed, I cannot easily recall the last time I felt so relaxed.  The momentum of my healing journey is increasing.  I am so happy to experience this.  Today was the first time I actually felt convinced in the very fiber of my being that I will one day reach a discernible endpoint in my healing process.  I have heard some people say that healing is a lifelong process.  I can believe that would be true.  And yet I would rather focus on the present moment and enjoy all that I am experiencing in this moment.

Five Things I Am Grateful For

My ability to walk
Nourishing food
My loyal friends
The momentum of my healing process


I’m having another one of those ‘special’ moments.  Perhaps it is only natural considering that the winter season is decisively ending now and spring is coming into being.  The area lakes and ponds have finally thawed; there is liquid water again!  And today much of the snow that fell recently melted away.  Green grass is now visible everywhere.  And now even the nights should remain above freezing…at least for the next five or six days.  This is my first Spring season featuring my renewed vision and ‘upgraded’ self made possible by a combination of therapy, exercise, EMDR therapy and shamanic journey work.  It still is strange to be this ‘new’ me.  It really isn’t truly a new me.  I am expressing the person I have always been.  When a veneer of fear and trauma are pulled away you can more easily see your own beauty emanating from within.

I was walking through downtown Minneapolis this evening after leaving the Eagle Bar.  I again felt a bit overwhelmed by the immense subtleties of light and shadow.  Even as I sit and write while waiting for the bus my eyes are catching the shadows of my hands as they appear on the screen.  Cars driving by on Hennepin Avenue repeatedly cast varying amounts of light on my computer screen.  And now an ambulance is driving by.  Looking up I can see the many colors of lighting along Hennepin Avenue.  There are flashing orange and red lights above the entrance to Pantages across the street.  The Graves Hotel building stands further away and is illuminated by pillars of light.  I see a collection of red brake lights on the rear ends of cars as they sit at an intersection a few blocks away.  I can see the texture of dried grass and a cigarette butt in a hole in the pavement near the curb.

Perhaps my inventory of what I see around me seems a bit anal but it seems a good way to convey how unfamiliar this better way of being is.  I see more clearly now than ever before.  It’s not that I wasn’t seeing before.  I was seeing the world before last summer.  But I was not perceiving the world with the clarity of vision I have now.  The change in my eyesight was strangely subtle and simultaneously profound.  I still struggle to describe what has happened to me.  It’s as if I was asleep for about thirty years or so.

A particular memory from my childhood has been in my thoughts the last few days.  The IDS building in downtown Minneapolis has some interior white lighting reminiscent of what you expect to see at Christmastime in Christmas trees as well as outdoor lighting.  I have been remembering the time when I first got eyeglasses as a kid.  I went to a place in a local mall with my Dad.  And I still vividly remember how amazed I was when I realized how people with 20/20 vision actually perceive the world.  All the blurry balls of white light suddenly became crisp pinpoints of light when I put my glasses on.  Now, many years later, I have had a similar awakening also connected to my vision.  The world is as breathtakingly vivid as it was on that day when I first began wearing eyeglasses.

I still find it a bit difficult to adjust to my new way of perceiving reality in part because I am so aware of subtlety.  I see the immense variety of intensities of light.  I see the lights of restaurant signs.  I see the lights of streetlamps.  I see the lights reflecting off a variety of surfaces.  There are so many varieties, reflections, colors and intensities of light that I find myself not infrequently feeling a bit awestruck.  I have never lived without some amount of eyesight.  But what I experience now feels to me like what I imagine a formerly blind person might feel upon enjoying eyesight for the first time.  It feels a bit surreal.  And though I am adjusting to it I sense the process of adjustment is going to continue for a very long time as of yet.  How long I cannot say.  I am living the mysterious unfolding of unexpected healing.  It is extraordinary.

I hope one day the writing I have committed to doing will be found of value not just to the field of medicine but to anyone who would be interested to read it.  I hope my voice is one day remembered and cherished.  I have no children and I don’t know that I can realistically expect I ever will.  I had an interest in having children earlier in my life.  If the right mix of circumstances came along I could imagine still being open to such a possibility.  Maybe such unexpected gifts will appear in my life.  I certainly wasn’t expecting what began last June.

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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!