Taking the first step

cousins 116My almost one-year-old grandson Evan is ready to walk – almost. He has taken a few steps but has yet to take off!  When Lillian was one she took a few steps, then a few more, and then one day waved bye bye and took off down the path in a park, only looking back once grinning at me and her mommy.

A week ago I took a first step toward taking off on my vision quest. I had the cataract removed from my right eye. Yesterday the doctor proclaimed that there is now 20/25 vision for distance in that eye. Imagine! Such a lovely metaphor, having the cloudiness removed from my eyes so I can see what’s ahead.

Many times I answer other’s questions about how I saw my way to work in hospice or community mental health or sustainable business development. I answer “the Big Hook in the Sky.” I know that when the Hook comes down I can take it like a fish takes a worm. I also know there were times I choose to swim and hide in the weeds.

In April I will have only my income from Social Security. Friends and I often talk about the time we will have to share resources. All summer I toyed with the idea of leaving what my grandkids and I call “the farm” but didn’t make real plans to leave my chickens and these 10 acres of woods and wetland for the “city” with a little house with a small garden and a fence. Then Buddy, my noisy hound dog barked and barked at my landlord Paula’s visitor badly scaring her. The next morning Paula who is also my friend, hollered at me “Buddy has to go or you go!”

Gregg Levoy writes in Callings, “Whether a wake-up call becomes a boon or a bane depends on what we’re willing to learn from it and whether we’re willing to be moved by the experience. “…We may … need to call on the strength to surrender.”

I notified Paula that I’m leaving the end of October. That Thursday the ophthalmologist said “there is a cancellation this Monday, we can do the first surgery then.” Without a second thought I agreed and took the next date for the second surgery – October 10 – leaving me more than 2 weeks to heal and get out’a town.

I began imagining taking some time investigating living in community with friends and family and saving some of my limited income. I don’t own a car and gas is expensive so driving cross-country is not part of the plan. I admire the Peace Pilgrim who walked across the country carrying her message but I don’t choose to walk or even ride my bike. Flying from place to place seems prohibitively expensive and complex. I’m thinking about taking a bus from place to place.

My brother Carl and I had a conversation today about being almost 70 and still needing to be a part of the life around us. Retired from sales work, he works in the dish-room of a middle school, bringing laughter and giving hugs to children as they return their dishes to be washed. He said to me, “you will find your work, you will.” Then he told me about MegaBus.com, a new double-decker bus service in the center of the U.S and Northeast, that moves people from city to city for a small fee. After asking me how I expect to poop on a 3-day bus ride, he emailed that I can fly to Indianapolis, near where he and his wife and my dad lives, for the same price I can bus or train. I bask in his humor and support.

I know some people think I’m crazy! Shine a light on any dream and there is that shadow, the weeds to hide in, the exact opposite of what I desire calling like the sirens to Ulysses to get him off his compass aimed for home. I don’t know yet where home is, except in my desire to live in community. So I pack my kerchief and hang it on a stick in the corner by the door, ready for adventure.

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About Marian Methner, B.S., D.Min.

Polydox: accepting that we are many labels, I am mother of 4, mother in law (love) of 4 and grandmother of 5. My life is a collection of bits and starts. I was recently on the road for over a year exploring ideas of living in shared housing. A recent summer course in Permaculture design, solidifed my interest in "social permaculture" or ways we interact not only with our Earthly environment but also with each other. I am back Bellingham, Washington, in a small rental house, owned by my ex husband, talk about shared housing, practicing living in community with family, and friends. My doctoral dissertation A Map to Living Open Heartedly, centers around making art as a way to healing. Paradoxiclly, a recent diagnoses of heart failure (cardiomyopathy) expands this exploration...
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