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What happens when you tell the truth?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Marylib, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    the frog and the snake--a true tale

    At some point in the mid 90's (during my third and worst relapse, after almost 20 years of CFS), I got so fed up with people that I gave up on most of them and retreated into solitude, to do my creative work, all alone goddamit, and fuck the rest of the world.

    There was only one immediate "friend" I had in the neighborhood at that time, which was a little frog that lived in a stack of clay pots outside my bedroom window. His cute little croaking was a big comfort to me during these days of isolation. On really hot days, I used to peek inside the stack of pots to find him nestled near the bottom, and give him a refreshing squirt of cool water, from my plant spritzer bottle. It became kind of sweet daily routine with froggy and me.

    Then one day, this big long gopher snake appeared from out of the blue, and stretched itself out in the sun on the patio bricks, beside the table with the clay pots, that were home to my frog friend. :eek::eek: I inadvertently almost stepped on the intruder/snake, on my way around the corner, with my spritzer bottle in hand! Within a couple days, I noticed that the frog had ceased his sweet croaking, and I couldn't find him at home, when I investigated the clay pot stack.

    I definitely felt sad. I assumed the snake had... you know... I can't even say it. So I surrendered to the frog's "disappearance," and went on with my life inside my womb of isolation. Before long, I had completely resigned myself to the realities of the food chain, and did not expect to see my froggy again. But then, one day, about 2 weeks later... lo and behold... my froggy friend announced, with his usual very recognizable croaking call, that he was alive and well, and back at home in his clay pot stack. Oh my GOD! I was so excited, that I ran out to make sure I hadn't been halluci-auditating. And NO I wasn't. He REALLY TRULY was back safe and sound.

    My questions to him were: Where have you been? Did you KNOW the snake was in the vicinity? How did you manage to "keep quiet" all that time? Did you hide out around here or elsewhere? and How did you know it was safe to come out? and when?

    So the moral of the story, as I see it, is that that there are frogs and snakes. The rest you can conclude as you wish.
     
  2. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    What a great story! I have a great fondness for frogs, myself. I call my little dog, Froggy Doggy.

    Great story, beautifully told.

    I cried!
     
  3. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Thanks Koan. I LOVED that frog more than most of the humans I knew at that time. I think he helped save my life.
     
  4. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    I hear ya. I was goggle eyed and had a hand over my open mouth as I read about his disappearance.

    I also loved the way you ended it. Very nice piece, altogether.

    peace out
     
  5. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    the cricket and the spider

    I also befriended a cricket, who shacked up under my refrigerator one winter. He was a musician (only the males can play music--with their legs), and being a musician myself I appreciated that. I used to leave mr. cricket some water in a yogurt lid, along with crumbs of cornmeal and ground up collard greens, which he seemed to like. I loved having him around in the dead of winter, chirping away under the fridge. After a while, he even let me hold him in my hand and wiggle his whiskers to say hello. Or maybe his stillness implied terror. I will never know for sure.

    But unfortunately...before long the spiders found out about him and went after him. In fact, I rescued mr. cricket from their webs twice, where they left him hanging upside down, by one leg! Then finally, the third time, I was too late. They wrapped him up in a thick web and sucked the life of him. Those creepy little bastards!

    Some stories don't have happy endings.
     
  6. shrewsbury

    shrewsbury member

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    artist without borders

    wow dreambirdie

    you're an artist without borders. these word pictures are so powerful.

    if:)
     
  7. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    And now for a spider story!

    SpiderWisdom
    Winter, 2007

    I am a spider-positive person. Right now there is a large red one of unknown type living with me in my apartment, the only visible animal associate I have. It comes out and waves its front legs at me in the evening when I am on the floor reading or stretching. At first it may have been aggressive; it was also fearful. Now it seems assertive and cautiously responsive. I wonder what it wants to convey?

    1/18/07. At the Vermont CFS support group meeting today, the first such group I have ever attended for the illness Ive had for about twelve years, I experienced comprehension for the first time. I actually felt the qualities of the groups listening and responses in the full silence they gave to me. They were following my words quickly, avidly and precisely--able both to comprehend and to feel the implications of what I was saying, even though I had time for only an abbreviated telling.

    I am so used to talking to people with no frame of reference for understanding,and often no willingness to try, that now I seldom describe my experience. When I first got CFS, I didnt talk about it then either because I didnt understand what was happening. I was ashamed and fearful about exposing my limitations and disability. Later when I did try, in increasingly clear ways, I still seldom succeeded in communicating because there didnt seem to be a frame ofreference, as I noted above. Today, however, for the first time a group of people empathically understood the losses and difficulties I have suffered with this problem! Its as though these people are the other eyes of the many-eyed spider, as if we are all part of one conscious experience which is learning to know itself.

    2/2/07 The spider appeared again, thistime far on the other side of the room up on a table on top of a bookin fact,on the book of wisdom I read every night before sleep. It is Gangajis The Diamond In Your Pocket (a non-dual perspective from love). The spider clung to this book, refusing to be gently removed to any other place. I had to carry it into my bedroom when I took the book to read. So, not being able to remove the spider in the ordinary way, I instead took my glasses off and looked at it very closely. The spider allowed my examination, all eyes focussing in. Then for a moment I relaxed, letting myself recognize it as love and with love. We were equals in that moment and the love recognized joined us, moving me instantly to a level of reality where there is no fear. After this I thought of a place the spider might like instead and the spider graciously allowed me to re-position it.

    With CFS, beside fatigue, the main symptom is cognitive dysfunction. When I first experienced the full onslaught, I dreamed of my brain as a black spider inside a case which was underwater and I was trying to get help to bring it upto dry ground.

    2/4/07 This morning I woke up with an instant of knowing all the way in that I am Light--of divine substance. Then I slipped out of this awareness. A little later the same spider showed up in yet another place but again, right under my nose. We contemplated each other a long time. At the end I let my fingers almost touch it, where it could have bitten me. It didnt and neither did it run away or act even a little disturbed. Seeing the spider this time helped me reach a sense of being in the One while suddenly also being able to see in multiple perspectives. I actually started seeing simultaneous diverse perspectives in relation to two troubling situations I was very stuck about. I had to drop my storyall of it(as Gangaji writes) in order to be in this Oneness. Then from here I could see. I experienced this clearly for a time.

    Later, that evening, I opened a book by Robert Stewart on the inner Celtic tradition, called Power Within The Land. The first page I saw had a section on the spider as the animal form of the High Goddess, the Weaver....
     
  8. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Thanks IF. When your world is small, you learn to pay attention to small things. Many of them turn out to be a lot more interesting than the dramas created by people.

    Derreck Jensen, one of my favorite environmentalist and writers, wrote a FANTASTIC book about his own and other's communications with non-human species. It's called A LANGUAGE OLDER THAN WORDS. He grew up with a violent abusive father who beat him and raped other family members. To find refuge, Derreck would go outside to "talk to the stars," and as he tells it, those stars saved his life. Some of his stories, especially the chapter about the yogurt that freaks out when its "buddy" yogurt in the next container is killed by anti-bacterial substances, is beyond fascinating. I highly recommend it.

    http://main.nc.us/books/books.cgi?alanguageolderthanwords
     
  9. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Thank you, Cecelia, for that wonderful spider story! Have we just been privvy to your journal?

    Another beautifully told story which is thought provoking and makes me wonder what I am missing in my environment that might be far more meaningful than I know at first blush.

    Thank you much for that!
    Koan
     
  10. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Definitely the plant, insect and animal world is much more direct and accepting. At Serenbe I had a worm in my bathtub, a centipede in my room, a huge waterbug attracted to the beans I cooked in my little crockpot in the bathroom in secret, and a "barn cat" that also snuck into my room late at night lured by the beans and scared the dickens out of us when he crashed and broke a glass in the dark.

    That book sounds very interesting and I'm going to buy it.
     
  11. Marylib

    Marylib Senior Member

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    Thank you one and all

    I knew I was going to love this thread! Thanks to all of you, it is taking me to wonderful places...
    Thanks.:)
     
  12. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    dreambirdie recommendation

    Hi Dreambirdie,

    Thank you for the recommendation of the book. And thanks for the beautiful stories. The book sounded so interesting that I checked on line to see if they have it at my library and they do. They are holding it for me until I can get there.

    It occurs to me that there is some incredible intelligence and experience on this list. Maybe it would be possible for each person to post what their favorite book is? I know it might be difficult to hold it down to just one, but don't want everyone to get overwhelmed.

    Anyone?

    Thanks,

    Maxine
     
  13. meandthecat

    meandthecat

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    whata brilliant thread.
    I've always tended toward the unvarnished truth often to be labelled as 'negative'. Theres no doubt that rosy delusion is more comfortable and often beneficial in a society addicted to it, but it somehow seems intellectually dishonest.

    One thing to come out of these years of difficulty is that I no longer feel the need to 'do', anything. Not that I don't have to do all the stuff that keeps life staggering on but I have no emotional investment in it; it just has to be done.

    In supporting my daughter through an extended recovery from glandular fever I could just be with her and her pain and frustration without feeling like I had to 'fix'it. The honesty enabled her to move on. It's important to 'witness' the distress of another and not attempt to change or possess it.

    I'm open about how ME affects me with people who will respect that honesty because it is restful to not have to maintain the facade but also it is out of respect for their integrity. It also brings it out of the shadows.
     
  14. annunziata

    annunziata Senior Member

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    Hudson Valley
    The kindness of animals

    What a moving thread! When I first saw the title, I thought of how traumatic it has been, from the start, to tell the truth and not be believed. Now people tend to accept that it is a real illness, but there is still very little comprehension of what it does to one's body and one's life...I find this lonely.

    Like others, I've been wonderfully consoled by animals. I love horses possibly above everything else in creation, and when I had an opportunity to be around them again after years of illness and near-total isolation, the experience was intense and overwhelming. My first attempts to ride again several years ago were limited to a few minutes at a time. I would ride around the arena once or twice, roll off the horse and go home to bed. One afternoon two friends invited me to go for a short hack -- by the time I got to the barn, I knew I was way too sick. I watched them ride out into the fields, and I felt so much pain I could hardly bear it. I went into the stall where the horse I was supposed to ride was pulling hay out of his haybag. While he ate, I leaned against the wall and wept quietly. He turned to look at me, very consideringly and consciously. He studied me with first one eye and then the other, and then came over to me. The great head came down and he touched my cheek, where the tears were. It remains the most astonishing, beautiful experience I've ever had of the compassion of another being.

    Amy
     
  15. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Wow, Amy. Have you read The Tao of Equus by Linda Kohanov. It is a beautiful mystical book.
     
  16. jackie

    jackie Senior Member

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    Hi everyone! I wish I could participate in this great thread (I have so much I'd like to say!)...but I just can't manage....EXCEPT to tell Marylib my little tip re: losing posts when you take a bit too long.:eek:

    This happens to me ALL the time...so, I type-type-type....then I hit the "Preview Post" button - then I rest, then I resume typing, etc. - hit the Preview button, rest, type, hit button.:p

    This is a goofy way to do it (and I think Jody suggested a long time ago that I ask Cort about this - but of course I keep forgetting!)...but this really works, and now I can relax and take my time thinking/writing!

    And now I'm exhausted (I posted a tiny little post earlier today and it wore me out again?!)- so back to the Bed;), the Blankie:p and the Pomeranians:cool: (miss you guys! boohoo......:()

    jackie:eek:
     
  17. Marylib

    Marylib Senior Member

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    Thanks Jackie!

    Hey -- finally I may make sense of this preview post business:)

    Hope you feel better soon Jackie.

    Yes this is a wonderful thread...just loving it so much :)
     
  18. jackie

    jackie Senior Member

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    Thanks for the well-wishes, Marylib! And Amy...I just read your story about the horse - and it made me cry (such a beautiful story!) So I couldn't resist telling some of my horse story, too!

    About two years before my official dx we had an Arab/Quarter Horse mare named "Baby Doll" who lived to be 35!!!! years old.

    Near the end of her life she had Cushings Disease and chronic foot abscesses very badly and I did the twice-a-day feed/clean, the basic doctoring etc.(had an incredible vet who taught me/worked with me) and sometimes went to be with her 3 or 4 times a day (we leased a stable/turnout for her a few miles from our home).

    I had a long history with her as I was present the day she was born! My father was as excited as when we kids were born - maybe more!

    I have an old photo of my father holding that brand new, fresh foal in his arms! He always taught us to blow gently in a foals nostrils from the beginning. Her mother was my Dad's cutting mare.

    When my dad was dying, I brought him, his horse (3 Australian Shepherds, 1 NZ Cattle dog, 1 Blue-front Amazon Parrot, and a feral cat) to the city to live with us.

    I "inherited" Baby Doll...and she lived for another 4 years after my dad passed.

    When we finally lost her...we were then the "talk" of the area where she was kept - as her advanced age was pretty unusual.

    Anyway, a young woman was moving out of state - heard we had just lost our old mare...and offered to GIVE us her 9 yr. old Swedish Warmblood mare!

    She was nearly 17 hands tall! and we were used to a 14.5 hands arab...so it was a shock!

    She was a beautiful, feisty girl and we fell in love with her! One of my great sorrows is that when I became too ill (bedbound/housebound) to care for her we had to find her a new home.

    That was the FIRST and LAST time I've ever had to relinquish one of my animals to another home....and I've had A LOT of them! I felt so much sorrow...still do.

    It worked out fine for her...but I still feel the ache (and the rage at this disease!)

    ......and I said I wasn't going to post......right!:eek:

    jackie;)
     
  19. annunziata

    annunziata Senior Member

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    Hudson Valley
    I'm too worn out to still be posting, but I can't help myself :D. Jenbooks, I know the Tao of Equus and liked what I had read of it. I'll have to look at it again. I certainly have a feeling around horses that seems pretty other-worldly.

    Jackie, I can imagine how that felt. If someone offered me a Swedish warmblood and I had to give her away, I'd be beside myself. (Another item for that long list of 'secondary gains'.) I hope that sometime you can keep a horse again, since you love them. And I hope to find a cremello Lusitano, trained to about 2nd level, under the Christmas tree...along with his own bank account, so I can keep him.

    I've been wanting to read the new Barbara Ehrenreich book ever since I saw that interview with Jon Stewart. She's just terrific -- it sounded like the best book about illness since Sontag's "Illness as Metaphor".

    Goodnight, all you lovely people.
     
  20. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act" ... George Orwell
     

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