Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Staying sane and how to do it

In some ways, I am a machine. I have formidable organizational skills, can fry the bacon up in the pan, balance a seizing teenager, a growing almost-teen and a nine year old thumb-sucker with a fair amount of agility and copious amounts of love. Right now, on the day before the start of the school season for my two sons, I hardly have time to do this post, but I AM doing it. I'm posting because I love the postcard that my good friend Moye sent me that I scanned and posted above.  It's ridiculous how much I have to do -- the paying of bills and not paying of bills, the juggling around of limited funds, the thank-you notes for birthday presents, the filling out of school forms, the registering of Sophie in a new school that I'd forgotten about until now, when it's only a week until school, the bloodwork I have to get done before the start of my fellowship
(My fellowship? Yes, I got a fellowship -- quite an honor and something that I'm very excited about, but I don't have time to tell you about it until I go to the orientation on the 15th), the calls I have to make to all the other board members of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles to encourage them to start participating in our big walk/fundraiser in October, the reviewing of a document for an incredible organization devoted to helping foster care children and for whom I am dying to work part time, the Room Parent Manual that I need to write as Head Room Parent of my boys' school, the music therapy fundraiser this month where I'm reading an essay, the Cub Scout meeting this Friday where I'm doing a presentation on the Epilepsy Walk, the scouts' fall service project, my writing that is at once explosive and languishes on the side --

Like it says: Greetings from the Edge of Reason.

Did I mention that I have to, I just have to figure out a time to exercise and do yoga? It's gotten obscene how long it's been...

With all of this to do and think about, though, do you know what pulls me back from the edge? Moments when I become mindful of what I truly love.

Like this:

A poem by Seamus Heaney, read by the poet himself.

I can listen to that, those words, that voice, those thoughts and images and the edge or reason is just that -- an edge, only an edge. There's an expanse beyond reason where I abide.


  1. I really have no idea how you do it. I was just thinking about that last night.
    Don't lose yourself, Elizabeth. We need you.
    That sounds selfish. You know what I mean.

  2. that voice, those words.
    I'm crying.
    thank you.

    one day at a time I guess, no advice there because I'd probably just cancel some of those things. prayers to you navigating through it all. including the yoga. ( she said firmly . except that she's not very good at telling friends what she thinks , so it's a wishy washy firmness, and besides she's still sniffling from the poem)

  3. What a treat, Seamus Heaney's dank, mossy words in his own voice. Can't wait to hear all about the fellowship. Kudos! You amaze me.

  4. I am very very interested to hear about this fellowship (you mentioned on our blog and your hopes to implement some of the narrative medicine practices). I look forward to hearing the poem when I get home tonight.

    i love the idea of existing in an expanse beyond reason!

  5. We love you and love whatever you have time to say. You are firing on so many cylinders!
    Sending love to you and your wonderful family. Blessings on the first day of school - & the entire year!

  6. Uh, you failed to fill us in on what you plan to do with your spare time.

    Try to step back, a small step, from the edge whenever possible.


  7. FELLOWSHIP???????

  8. I love that postcard from the edge :)

    hope things stay balanced for you I know it's not an act :)

  9. I'm exhausted just reading this list. I can't imagine what it must be like to DO the things on the list.

    And thanks for the taste of Seamus Heaney. My daughter knew of him through his "Beowulf" - she had heard him before, but not I. I loved the poem. "I rhyme, to see myself. To set the darkness echoing."

    And congratulations on the fellowship! Looking forward to reading more about it, here.

  10. Dear god, you are too busy! But I can so relate. Sometimes I wonder how I've found myself with such an awfully long to-do list. And everything seems important. There has to be a better way. When you figure it out, please make a post to tell me the answer! x Maribeth

  11. You go girl. Hope it's a smooth week.

  12. Love the card. And the words. And the thought behind the words. When everything else scratches away, the essence remains. ... if we can just remember that and breathe.

    You're amazing. And what you don't get done won't kill you.



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