I took a supplement that made me sick,
REALLY sick for eight hours.
And this is why I’m writing this poem from my bed,
Hoping, praying, I’ll get some rest tonight.
I remembered deep in my suffering how I am not alone in this;
Many beings suffer as I do, in this very moment.
May all beings everywhere find relief from illness and suffering.
May all beings experience their heart’s true joy.
May all beings awaken endless compassion.
May we all lift one another up during this time.
Up half the night with a sick child,
scrubbing puke out of the carpets,
attempting not to resent my ex
for leaving me
to deal with moments like these
on my own.
How can I tweak my mindset
when the moment
is so obviously difficult?
Any way you look at it,
a pukey carpet is smelly and gross.
How do you find spiritual wisdom
in disgusting moments?
I tried to tell myself
It is a privilege to clean up my daughter’s throw-up.
Yes I did.
I thought about childless couples
who would’ve paid dearly
many times over
to have a son or daughter of their own,
who would’ve been glad to be in my shoes,
scrubbing mess out of the carpet,
just to know they had a kid to love and raise.
It strikes me now in retrospect,
that it wasn’t so much the content of my mind,
but the act of attempting to shift
from feeling exhausted and overburdened
to the recognition of my blessings—
however disgustingly they were disguised—
that might bear beautiful fruit in the future.
Who knows what can grow
of experiences like these,
when they are met with the awareness
that there is always another way?
The plan was to go to the Renaissance Festival—
my sister, my two children and me.
Then my son got sick and was up all night.
I was up too, cleaning the carpet,
cleaning his face, rubbing his back,
getting him drinks, holding the bin, reassuring him
You won’t feel like this forever.
You’re going to be just fine.
My sister took my daughter to the festival and we stayed home.
It’s twelve hours later and mercifully he’s sleeping.
I’m awake hoping for a restful night to come.
But then it strikes me…
What prayer was answered by my receiving
the honor and the privilege
of time to take care of my sweet boy
in the quiet of our home?
What space was created
in the space of my care for him
and my desire to help him feel better?
What experiences will my sister and daughter have
without me there to pretend I’m in control?
What beautiful experience is yet to blossom
in my heart and mind
now that I can be grateful
no matter what?
I subbed out my morning class
I subbed out my evening class
I subbed out tomorrow morning’s class too.
The yoga teacher needs to stay home
and remember she is still a student.
Somehow my yoga is simply being with my body
in this state of illness, exhaustion.
I need to really feel and notice what has happened.
The worry and the stress wore away at me
and here I am.
If I won’t learn the lesson this time,
it will just keep repeating itself until I do.
I want to learn.
I am ready to learn.
I thought it would get better by morning.
If anything it was worse.
After getting the kids on the bus,
I got back in bed,
hoping to sleep off
some of the depression and anxiety.
I got up a while later;
my body was hungry.
Made myself a protein shake,
went back to bed.
Then the guilt and the shame arrived.
You should be working.
You should be making money.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
You’re a piece of shit.
That didn’t help either;
it just made it worse.
You know what?
Depression really, really sucks.
And that about sums it all up.
Ugh. I feel sick.
Curled in a ball on the floor
I wonder when I’ll feel well again.
It’s amazing how simple
when bodily sensation
crowds out the stories of the mind.
When I tell myself the story
that my nose shouldn’t be running,
my throat shouldn’t be hurting,
my body shouldn’t be draggy and heavy,
I shouldn’t be sneezing…
and then my nose runs,
my throat hurts,
my body is draggy and heavy,
and I sneeze–
then I am miserable.
Inwardly I wail about my fate,
being caught in illness,
made to slow down,
missing out on doing the work I love.
Without the thought
that I shouldn’t be feeling this way,
I would be me, sitting in bed,
fingers tapping letters
on a keyboard,
almost ready for bed,
feeling grateful for my warm home,
my children sleeping safe and sound,
my husband watching TV,
just me here,
counting my blessings.
Feeling this way
and trying to stay awake
through the process of healing
sure is a lot of work!
I miss singing
The only sounds that come out
are breathy, hoarse, stilted
Body is still tired
There is gunk in my head
I wish someone
would wrap me up
hand me a bowl of hot soup
and say, “Just sit there. Rest. Do nothing.”
But I am mother,
and there are children to be fed,
laundry to be done,
dishes to be washed.
So what can I do
besides surrender to this moment
Surrender to what is,
surrender to my body in this state?
My resistance to the illness
will not help,
but a deep breath will.
Acknowledgement of reality will help also.
Feeling grateful for the smallest things too.
So I will surrender to my body,
take a deep breath,
And in this way
I’ll be content
with whatever arises,
in sickness and in health.
Voice is hoarse,
How can I speak,
who will hear?
Throat is sore,
raw and tense
It hurts to speak.
I search for presence.
How will I find my voice?
How will I connect
with those around me?
There are many obstacles
put before me
as I walk this path
When the body is ill
The path becomes
a steep uphill march
not knowing why
wanting to give up, give in.
there is something in me
Come back home
You are one
This is the voice
I like to listen to