This last week has been one of those recovery weeks. There are lots of things flying around in my brain but none are really so well thought out that I am able to write them down yet. I’d like to steal a line from the “Big of Alcoholics Anonymous” and say that, “I claim progress, not perfection.”
There is a long story as to why I have that memorized but today isn’t the day to tell it.
Things are better this week and while depression still hangs out on the edges of my life it is not the center of it. I’ve been able to do things and feel better today. It’s hard to say exactly what that radiation does to the body and mind but this week I do feel that I am finally making progress towards recovering more of my spirit.
Something shifted this week and I’ve been sleeping better. Part of it is because the doctor adjusted the dose on the blood pressure medication and had me change the time of day I take it. The other change is that I’ve been able to exercise three mornings this week – 1.5 miles on the treadmill or about 40 minutes. It’s amazing what even that little bit of exercise can do for a person.
Today Heather and I finally were able to do a real hike. We went into the hills and did the 4.6 mile Peter’s Creek Trail loop. I was amazed that my body was able to do the distance and being in the woods with all creation around me was just plain good for the soul. Even if my feet hurt a bit and I’ve got a bit of headache going now. Hiking is one of those, “breathing in” things that just fills my soul and energizes my creativity.
On the creative front I’ve been doing an hour in the shop most nights. There is just something about creating with my hands that is soul satisfying, and this week I’ve been really getting a lot out of that. Mostly I’ve been working on the fretwork cross. The work is somewhat meditative and I’ve done a lot of reflecting on what the cross is and represents. The act of cutting out the fretwork is simple hand-eye coordination and to do it I have to shut off parts of my brain and just let my mind guide my hands as I push the lines into the path of the blade.
At a certain level it is painstaking work. The blade is thin – thinner than a pencil line. The pieces I am cutting out are smaller than my thumbnail. I have to use a magnifier to see the lines and blade to do the cut. And there are at least one hundred pieces to cut out (I don’t know for sure, I counted up to 75 once before I lost count about half way through).
I knew the project would be hard when I started, but I was attracted to that cross the moment I saw the pattern in issue #45 of Scroll Saw Woodworking and Crafts. The pattern was designed by Sue Mey. The picture in the magazine is just beautiful. It is the kind of work I’d like to be able to do. Perhaps it is a bit egotistical of me to think that I can cut the whole thing but something in me says I have to try.
If I don’t try it now, when?
That is the thought process that changes after cancer. I no longer have the luxury to think, “l’ll have time next year.” There is no telling what next year will bring. If the last treatment failed I’ll have do another something. I won’t know for awhile and that is more than a bit frustrating. It’s also among the hardest things to explain to people. A number of people stopped me after church this morning asking some version of, “how are you doing after treatment?” In my heart I knew that some wanted to hear the words, “Oh I am cured now.” But the answer they got was, “I won’t know for sure for at least a year and even then I can’t be sure if or when it will reoccur.”
So I’ve had to change my mindset and the time to try is now. The time to fill that dream is today. Tomorrow isn’t certain so I must live today.
and for the record, I’ve almost finished the Lego castle in the living room. Pictures next time.