Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Here we are again. Wednesday midpoint of Great Lent 2022

I can't fully comment on this book yet but am very hopeful. 

I have had a great loss. I am OK. And I can't talk about it directly here. But I wake up at 3 AM and cry briefly. Or I get up early and 10 minutes later I am crying and my Husband gives me a hug. The beginning was the worst, that first facing of my unexpected loss.  Then I wept. The pain was so sharp so bitter so unexpected. I felt like I would rather die than feel the pain of it. 

But here's the thing. I love life. I love living more than ever. By which I mean I have learned a lot about letting myself feel grief so I am not stuck in it. It is painful. But not all the time painful. 

And it's not as deep as other griefs that I have had or that I may one day have. 

And I cry and then make myself tea. I read a bit more about math and my mind whirs into action. Or I read a bit on prayer and find myself pondering. 

We had Indian takeout for dinner. Or rather I did because my Husband needed a bland diet. Indian food is my comfort food. Especially during Great Lent. 

It tasted so good. 

My writing project is still so exciting to me. My internal life feels so alive. 

At the same time I have so much growth I hope for. 

But one can only truly grow slowly. You can't drink a swimming pool worth of water in one day.  If you tried to inhale that much water in one day you would die.

So even my writing's going to take years.

But it's giving me life. It's helping me swim in different and difficult times. 

And so I am very grateful. And my days, even if I have some grief, are joyfilled. Are alive. Though I can get weary. 

May the Lord have mercy on us. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

here we are, briefly

Lent sure has its challenges! 

Not a lot to say. But I am doing OK and thankful for God's mercy. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

A Special Tea Time

I had a really lovely full day today! I saw my dear friend Heather and her daughter! We laughed talked and loved our lunch at Tea and Sympathy! We went tea shopping! Four shops in all! I got some special tea for Pascha time! It was a real gift to me! 

I don't have many times like this so they are all the more special...

I went to Trader Joe's afterwards and got some lenten staples which was great!

It's things that I used to take more for granted and now each time I am so grateful. 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Made my Favourite Coconut Cream Scones

My Husband and I consumed half of a tart pan of this vegan dried fruit (cherries!) scones.  I finished a Miss Read book today. Dishes are done. The house is mostly tidy.  I am reading one of the last of Sayer's mysteries (a re-read).  I feel like I have been 'airing out my soul' as it were by some serious rest this week. It's going to be a busy but I hope restorative weekend.  

God bless and keep you all.

Presanctified Second Wednesday of Great Lent


Here we are again, amazing, second week of Great Lent. It's less intense than the first week but nothing is easy in this world, right? 

I went to bed earlier than normal and so was up at 1 AM instead of 3. Is this better or worse? I am not sure. Or TBD (to be determined).

I am enjoying lots of memes lately.  Here's one I screen shot from Instagram, I was like totally, yes and so funny:

I sent this to one of my best Instagram and real life friends and she agreed that this is 100% accurate.  Basically, yes. :) 

I am purposely looking for reasons to laugh because things are so hard in ways right now.  So intentionally looking for things as a ballast.

I had to look up that word.

I picture a ballast being something that re-balances you like a teeter totter that is upended and needs something to re-weight it so that it is balanced.  Yes, that would give stability wouldn't it? 

I've had some difficult insomina.  This whole unexpected world stage event known as w-a-r that is impacting much of Europe in terms of refugees and, as an Orthodox Christian who knows people in every Orthodox country that exists, it's really difficult. 

Add to that my now 2.5 year old foster nephew's uncertain landing place (we thought we were having him as part of our forever family but now everything is more complex and uncertain) it's a bit heavy over here.  Like everytime I get more news about this I struggle to sleep at all.  I do get a few (3, 4 or maybe 5 hours) sleep but it directly impacts me this way.  

This is called complicated grief.  Both the above are this. 

Add personal knowledge in small ways of the first complicated grief list above and you get me not sleep again for many hours afterwards.  I was so bad on this front this past Sunday I missed going to church because I did not want to get sick by the huge exhaustion I was dealing with.

You know what's cool though? I used to be really afraid of grief.  Now I get it.  It's not anything anyone wants.  Ever.  But.  It's part of this journey we call life.  And the only way to get through it is to go through it.  Run from it, deny it, hide from it and it won't go so easily in the long run.  

That said grief needs a ballast.  It's not so easy to deal with and actually sometimes you need a break.  

So.  For me right now that means: funny memes and videos, DE Stevenson novels, Agatha Christie (also great for when you have a bad cold like I did 3 weeks ago), Miss Read books.  Also, for me, an episode of Perry Mason this week.  That is when I know I am grieving.  When my beloved Cleo cat was dying I watched Perry Mason a lot.  Losing her was incredibly painful.  I am so glad I had her in my life.  

Also, Madeleine L'Engle novels have taught me so much about grief and about life over the last 25 plus years.  Including best way to handle loss is to actually go through it, to grieve it.  

I am learning so much.  

Also, see HERE for a brief thing I wrote on social media, the need for funneling/filtering as a full out Highly Sensative Person.  I totally recommend the book on this btw.  Go HERE for the offical website by the author.  

Our garage door opener decided to die shocking us last night when we got home at after 8:30 PM with take out food (we had not had any since noon).  So guess what? We need to be up early tomorrow because someone is coming to fix it.  I forsee a possible need for a nap. And right now it is 1:40 AM. 

We hope to go to a booksale on Friday.  After a morning presanctified liturgy.  Really hoping that works out as planned.  

Meanwhile, I finally got dishes back in order yesterday.  And had no problem using paper bowls for dinner last night.  I fully understand that things are not easy for me right now and whatever I can do to help myself in this, I will do.  I don't do this all the time but I am pulling no punches when it comes to trying to make sure I don't get seriously sick from my lack of sleep that I have been having. 

And so, that's what's going on right now. 

I am so thankful, I have so much to be thankful for.  The older I get, the more I see this.

May God bless us, help us, save us!

Friday, March 11, 2022

First Friday of Great Lent 2022

Beautiful presanctified liturgy tonight. 

My brain has been spinning like crazy. My Writing Project is deepening. Words are coming up in whole paragraphs in my brain.  So much clicked recently from my first year of writing and reading that it's like I can't get it down fast enough. It's exciting, exhilarating, and exhausting. 

I also know that I am in some pretty deep grief and it's like I am a bouncy ball not of highs and lows as much as joy, excitement & conversely great grief and with the grief being like "all hands on deck" .... as I trying to catch 5 juggling balls that are falling down simultaneously. 

Luckily I also realize this. So I am accepting it all. I am REALLY glad to have my Writing Project. But even my writing project has a deep jarring grief in it. 

In other words LIFE. As it is right now. 

Because I know this I am also taking things slow in terms of social media and even blogging. It's so intense that I need a lot of "radio silence" and inside I have the ending of THIS playing in my mind and I mean LITERALLY I was listening to it to try to deal with my grief and insomnia earlier in the week and I can hear it in my mind as an "ear worm"....

I have had some huge insomnia. 

I am also super thankful. And aware that I need to be careful. Rest (ha! brain on overdrive is laughing at the very idea sadly but I will get there), food, hydration.  And  I am reading a DE Stevenson book. And I ordered 2 fun books used to read. 

It may be Great Lent and I am reading Lenten things. But if you pull an arrow too tight, the bow will break.  

And I am on such a high octane wave in my life right now that I very much see the need to be careful. A lightbulb that burns too brightly, in my experience, is often close to burning out, literally speaking. 

And that is all I can say at present. That and God is here in it. 

Bless you all! God save us!

Monday, March 07, 2022

I forgot to finish my lunch

and when I came to myself, I realized why.  Grief my friend, pure and simple grief.  The world events in Ukraine have deeply grieved me.  If you are a long time reader, I mean long time reader, then you know that in Ottawa the family that adopted (not literally as in legally my family in MI are alive and well) me is Ukrainian.  I used to talk here about my Ukrainian Mother.  And like most immigrants they have family and friends still there.  

This has been a termendous shock to me, really and while I have talked about it to my Husband, to a dear friend in Bucharest (for 4 wonderful hours), it is still sinking in.  

So I am silent a lot when I am in certain types of grief and I may not write much here about it again hard to say, I don't plan my days in detail or what I write here. 

Picture is of some Lenten books.  That cloth you see is from Ukraine.  This is not new, it was used in our wedding, my Ukrainian family gave it to me as a gift, along with the one in our chapel which is hand stitched and completely and amazingly beautiful.  

So I got a cold, a doozy of one, a week ago Tuesday.  Cancelled my Thursday NYC trip.  Cancelled my tea on Friday.  Saturday night my Husband, late, started not feeling right and by Sunday morning sure enough, he got my doozy of a cold.  So we are struggling a long as much as we can.  We both stayed home yesterday and missed a really special church service (forgiveness vespers) but it could not be helped.  

I am trying to read this book for Lent with a few church lady friends.  This stanza (pictured above) really impacted me: how easy it is to look at world events and not see that we ourselves are making war on our own souls by our sins.  

I feel like I am seeing, in my shock and grief, how hard it is to live as Christ commanded: to love, forgive, pray for one's enemies.  Our hearts are called to Christ not to the world, not to tragic events, not even, really, to sides of difficult world equations; we are called to no other than to CHRIST and to be by HIS side. 

Wishing everyone God's mercy, protection and help as we enter Great Lent again this year...