November 28, 2010

Gratitude Haiku

Post Thanksgiving thanks for friends and family, throughout, despite, and regardless of the disease that has joined in these circles of warmth and support: Like Autumn leaves, we swirl and  gather toghether a pile of blessings.
December 30, 2010

Open Door Policy for the New Year

Sculptures depicting Janus, the Roman god of doorways, show it with two faces peering in opposite directions: backward and forward. In January, which is named after Janus, we do just that. This is the traditional time to be poised in the corridor between old and new, recalling what was as well as watching for what will be. Many yoga poses involve opposites. We lengthen the spine through the crown of our heads and ground our selves through our feet. We stretch up while pressing down into the mat. It is as though we’re reaching our fingertips toward the future while planting our heels in the past. Reflection and planning are necessary parts of our lives, but each day – each moment – is a threshold, an entry, a gate. A New Year of living with a movement disorder translates into twelve new months stretching before us with known and unknown […]
January 17, 2011

Shell Shock

I think I’m in love. The way he moves with a dignified slowness, each step a concentrated effort, draws me to his side. Small obstacles cause a moment’s hesitation, but he makes it past them. Sometimes by backing up before turning, sometimes by stumbling onward. Not entirely graceful, but I admire how he forges ahead with a certain determination. I can relate to it. It amuses me how he eats with gusto. Not always the tidiest diner, scraps of a salad remain on his chin a bit before he wipes them away. And given options at dinner, he reaches for the sweet items first. Why munch first on lettuce when mango and kiwi are available? I can so relate. Did I mention that he also prefers warm temperatures and particularly enjoys basking in the heat following a good meal. Oh, how I can relate. My affections came as a surprise […]
February 14, 2011

Valentine Wish

Life is the Sacred mystery singing to itself, dancing to its drum telling tales improvising playing and we are all that Spirit our stories all but one cosmic story that we are loved indeed that perfect Love in me seeks the Love in you and if our eyes could ever meet without fear we would recognize each other and rejoice for Love is life believing in itself MANITONGQUAT
March 1, 2011

PD Oscars

Oscar night sends quivers of anticipation among many Hollywood fans. Who will be deemed the best? The best to translate a role into someone we care about?  The best at supporting the lead performers so they shine? The best at directing through the everyday ups and downs with the bigger vision in mind? Dubbing myself the awards committee, I hereby announce the winners for this year’s PD Oscars: Best Actor: You. To each of you whose daily performances require a study in movement, speech and reliance on the true aspects of your character, this PD Oscar is for you. The world is your stage. From getting through the grocery store despite freezing to maintaining a social life even when the meds are off,  you put your best efforts into the complex role of living with PD. Best Supporting Role: The APDA With its presence in nearly every state, a national information […]
April 3, 2011


“Let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, blessings.” –  H. W. Becker Busy happens. Many proverbial irons roasted in life’s fire for me these past weeks. I tried to stay mindful in my approach to each, not neglecting any of the rods, not letting any one of the tips get singed. While stoking each, I noticed an interesting pattern. Tending to my writing life, I focused on my young adult novel to have something to share at the weekend retreat with my critique group. Poring over the plot line, sketching out characters, I produced a couple of rough drafts of the beginning chapters. Also heating up for attention: a few yoga presentations. The past two months included several opportunities to introduce yoga to a variety of  groups living with PD. I planned for each talk […]
April 19, 2011

The Right to Choose

I’m watching a circle of middleschoolers on the playing fields launch into jumping jacks. Such a spring sight – team practice – all that energy flowing easily through the bodies of seventh and eighth graders. I feel myself smile recalling my years on the track team. Wait a second. I’ve been gypped. By the seventh grade, I’d already been in physical therapy for six months. Following a stroke, wind sprints and baton-passing drills hardly came with ease. Even my jumping jacks leaned to the left. Tension takes over and the smile disappears. Sweat beads up on my forehead first, sprouting in spots along the way to my feet. Wait another second. What is this bone-gripping sensation taking over my body? I recognize that I haven’t moved like those kids in thirty-five years. I’m aware that I shifted from gimpy to seriously gimpy with the addition of PD. Anger sweeps in […]
April 27, 2011

April Showers

April, even in these last days as we edge toward May,  showers each day with so much. Admittedly, the start of the month held little magic with its umpteenth snowstorm here in New England. Yet, the white clung to the trees just long enough to admire before melting in the promisingly warm sun.  It came as a gift of a reminder that what we dread can hold beauty and that all things change with time. Travel to New York City brought much better weather and an invitation to the annual Team Fox dinner. The evening’s events centered  on thanking Team Fox fundraisers. What a sprinkling of delights! A sense of pride swelled for our efforts — Team Fox’s  New England Parkinson’s Ride raised more than $100,000  for the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2010. We’re dedicated to doing it again in 2011 (I’ll be posting a link to sponsor me and […]
May 2, 2011

Yes, Now

I talked recently with a friend who also lives with PD. We’d touched on travel, parenting, work — the variety of topics that one often covers over coffee or lunch with a confidante. Interestingly, there was a common theme threading through the different thoughts, ideas,  plans. We kept coming back to now. “I’m able to at the moment,” she said about a dance program she teaches. “Because I can,” I  added about a bike trip I’d be taking in Virginia. Knowing that this disease doesn’t get better  has heightened our awareness that now is all we have.  I’ve heard others with chronic conditions express it, too, this sense of immediacy. If now is good, then there’s no time like the present to move ahead with our thoughts, plans, ideas. So yogic, this living in the now. I’ve been wondering, though, is there more? This poem answers my question Yes, now, […]
May 7, 2011

Objects May Appear Closer Than They Are

There I was driving home from yoga, my windows open to birdsong and warm breezes. I was happy to slow to the 20 mph school speed limit and roll along taking in spring. So yogic, so in-the-moment. Or so I thought. I began noticing the Magnolias and smiled at their pink saucer petals. I blinked past the glow of Forsythias, breathed in the sweet scent of crab apple blossoms, marveled at the play of sunlight on so many shades of green. I glanced in my rear-view mirror and, poof, the moment vaporized. Following me — on my tail,  actually — was a hearse. Oh man, how cliche can that be? While I’m enjoying life, death is creeping up behind me.  I sped up a tad. Checked. Still there, still too close. I tightened my grip on the steering wheel. My eyes flicked toward the mirror once more, twice. It had come closer. […]