Sweet Journey

At this time 21 years ago, I was in labor with my first child and only daughter who, in a handful of years, managed to birth parts of me I had never known before. It has been such a beautiful path with plenty of challenge and I’m sure more adventure and growth for us both to come. But in the meantime, it feels right to get back into the swing of blog posts by acknowledging the celebration and gift of Marion’s life.

I am a rich woman!

J. Ruth Kelly, 2016, All Rights Reserved
J. Ruth Kelly, 2016, All Rights Reserved

Time/No Time

“Time is old age, time is sorrow, time doesn’t heed. There is chronological time by the watch. That must exist, otherwise you won’t be able to catch your bus… But there is another kind of time, which we have accepted. That is, ‘Tomorrow I will be, tomorrow I will change, tomorrow I will become’; psychologically we have created time–tomorrow. Is there a tomorrow, psychologically? That question fills us with dread to ask seriously. Because we want tomorrow: ‘I shall have the pleasure of meeting you tomorrow, I am going to understand tomorrow, my life will be different tomorrow, I will realise enlightenment tomorrow.’ Therefore tomorrow becomes the most important thing in our life. You have had sex yesterday, all the pleasures, all the agonies–whatever it is–and you want it tomorrow, because you want the same pleasure repeated.

Put that question […could you go into psychological time?] to yourself and find out the truth of it. ‘Is there a tomorrow at all?’ –except in thought which projects tomorrow. So tomorrow is the invention of thought as time, and if there is no tomorrow psychologically, what happens in life today? Then there is a tremendous revolution, isn’t there? Then your whole action undergoes a radical change, doesn’t it?” J. Krishnamurti – The Awakening of Intelligence

Not all words and concepts from Krishnamurti reach me. He goes on to say in this quote that we are whole now. In some lives, this is only true in theory, conceptually. Much like the body’s processes of healing, our souls must go through the same thing. We don’t just suddenly step over, depending on the level of injury. Broken foot “you are whole now!” and ha, take a step. See what you get. Same is true for some injuries to the development of person, the freedom of the soul. So, is it the passage of time that heals such wounds? No. Not really. “Time” passes, if you believe time is something other than just a human measurement construct but it doesn’t mean “time” is healing anything or affecting anything at all. Based on the logic behind “time heals all wounds,” we could say the sun heals all wounds and might be closer to the truth. But. Time. Let’s toss it for this post, shall we?

The idea of time is especially big for me today for a fairly significant reason and it struck me how important the releasing of time as a force, as a consideration. When I step into the vibe, the awareness, the energy of there being no tomorrow (not literally but in terms of projecting from this point, this NOW, this moment), many actions and needs melt into a recognition of realities that they will inevitably unfold beyond anything I can see at this time. I can trust. But then, something else happens to other aspects of life, of the moment…they come due NOW.

In the MOMENT. Not in a hectic way. But in peaceful acceptance that without the construct of tomorrow, it is good to assert my will along these lines Right Now. The thought that tomorrow is the day for me to do things for myself is a pretty typical occurrence in this brain of mine. And there are so many needs and wants clamouring loudly. But erase tomorrow and suddenly those things I want to do for me, that are actually possible, are done. I’ve stepped out of time and step back into an awareness of time and the “move” from point A to point B reveals that I was motivated between those two alleged points and did something I’ve been wanting to do for what I recognize as weeks (and weeks!). So what really happened? An acceptance takes place that otherwise languishes on hold as time is vaporized in the awareness of eternal now. Forces ready to respond to the sun are no longer held back and life bursts forth from a seed, “accomplishing” many “things.”

Paradoxically, those things that seem past due in other areas of life, areas I cannot control, processes of growth and healing in myself and in others that I cannot rush, morph into a canvas of love and acceptance. It is seed now. And as seed responds to soil, rain and sun, so will seed shed the initial husk and unfold, reach, grasp for the sun. The sun.

And all the while there is no time…

Happy Birthday Evan . . .

8 years ago today, in the early morning hours, sunlight poured into a large birthing room. I had chosen to do this birth with only the midwife, nurse and my husband. In the past, there had been quite the party atmosphere with family, sisters, my mom all around me. But this time I needed to assert my place in life apart from the clan. Evan was a big (10lbs 1oz!) part of that revolution. And that morning was beautiful beyond belief. Mystical vibes jiving throughout the process, a highly charged painful reality.

They were in a hurry with my labor. I’d had the gush of rivers over 24 hours previously with the abrupt and beautiful breaking of the amniotic sac. Talk about ride the wave…

But by the morning of the 14th, 3 days after the tragic 9/11, the docs were ready to induce. It’s not like I wasn’t in labor! But they were in a hurry. Pitocin stinks. I cannot say anything else about it. It is not natural. Modern-day form of torture. Then came the epidural. No less than 30 seconds after the line is in place the bowling ball has completely settled into place and I’m fully dialated. I hadn’t even gotten fully off the edge of the bed. I tried pretending. Scooted over on my side but I couldn’t rest one leg on the other without yeah…no.

I looked at the nurse who was chatting cheerfully with the spouse. And I said, “It’s time.” “What?! No…” She had not had children. This I could tell. I wanted to hand her a towel to dry behind her ears when she first walked into the room. Everything about her screamed: FRESH FROM THE BOOKS! Okay, that’s not nice. She had experience. Cough.

“Please don’t push….” I looked intently at her, the contraction was at full grip. I bore down with a very obvious push face. “NO! Don’t push!” Ha. I kept on. I push when contractions start. I know my body. I sense danger. I knew it was ok. The contraction ended. I quit pushing, turned to her and said “Go. Now. Hurry. Get the midwife. I will push when the next contraction comes.” She ran. The anesthesiologist came bolting back into the room when the crew came rushing into my room, sure his patient was in some horrible situation. No one dialates that fast. He must’ve screwed up the epidural, why else would they be rushing into the room? Ha.

Within moments this huge redheaded child came out of me. I’d like to say he was an infant but he was enormous. It’s easier to push an enormous child through the birth canal. You can feel it very clearly!

Two months young...
Two months young...

And such is Evan. He is clear. Nothing wavers in him. Nothing is amorphous or flakey or uncertain. He is passion and intelligence and challenge supreme. He articulates soul with the ease of the ancient right before running outside to ride his scooter.

And he’s the one who birthed me out of any lingering illusions into humility. Here’s to 8 years of amazing growth…

The Redheaded Sage
The Redheaded Sage

Happy Birthday . . .

Marion is love . . .
Marion is love . . .

I couldn’t find a baby photo fast enough and this one grabs at my heart too much to let it go. Today marks my eldest’s 14th birthday. Marion embraces life with the same measure of joy and enthusiasm shown here. She knows the ups and downs of life more clearly. She has weathered some upheavals profound and discovered her own wisdom, grace and strength. She inspires me just by being herself. I could say she’s a wonderful artist, a prolific and gifted writer, an insightful teacher, a tough opponent on the fields of debate. But her essence eclipses even those truths.

I can’t not reflect on where I was 14 years ago. It feels like “just the other day.” But it was over a decade! She’s a TEEN. We had a unique beginning. I felt I had an appointment with her, before she was even conceived. The trail to that place of birth was arduous, difficult and yet, so transforming.

So, at this time 14 years ago, I was entering a long dark tunnel of pain. It was, of my three, the worst experience in terms of the rhythm of labor. Transition, the shortest and most painful phase of labor, lasted for hours, not minutes. I was stuck.

I had been on bedrest for 3 months, forced to quit my job in order to insure the pre-term labor I’d experienced not progress into the danger zone. Drugs used to prevent the onset of labor colluded with forced inactivity causing the dreaded gestational diabetes. They made me swell, bloat. Ugh. An now it looked like I would have to take insulin along with the labor-stopping drug. But no. I am stubborn. I risked some minor exercises after every meal in order to avoid the insulin. It’s amazing how the sugars drop from simple leg lifts and arm reps (while sitting or lying down even!). Blood monitoring took on a whole world of sugar maintenance. I became good friends with a tiny needle. As it was, the diabetes food plan would have put me on track for insulin. It had far too many carbs. I chuckled and nodded at the dietician’s suggestions. And then threw the menu away. No way was I going to follow that plan. It’s not like the diabetes had been caused by diet anyway. One of the more common side-effects of Terbutaline was blood sugar imbalance, a struggle I had known without drugs since early childhood.

So, my fingers hurt from doing the extra tests. My thighs were tired of the needle for Terbutaline. But I didn’t care. May baby was my hope. And insulin carried its own side-effects. No thanks!

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome had made things rough. I’ll never forget the day at work when cramps came on like the worst menstrual nightmare. It couldn’t be happening to me. I had willed it not to and had surrendered to a sense of a bigger plan holding me safely. So, surely this was a mistake. CFS and pregnancy was a risk and I knew that fact going into it. But my attitude was to refuse the statistics, the discouragement. I create my world, right? I push past fever, past all these symptoms. Work full-time. Watch my belly grow…

I still remember the dress I wore that day. The excitement I’d been feeling, my belly swollen and beautiful in a whole new way. That there was anything “wrong” brewing just hadn’t registered. My focus was on the positive. And you become accustomed to feeling a certain level of “bad.” It no longer feels like anything qualifying as such. You just keep living (how do you boil a frog?). Besides, you’re pregnant after years of longing.

But you don’t ignore menstrual cramps when you’re 6 months along. So, I left work and headed straight to my doctor’s office. It turned out I’d been running a fever of over 100 degrees all day. All I could feel was shock. “Am I that accustomed to this monstrous ‘syndrome?'” It seems I was. And that is why it has been so difficult for me to accept the canned dogma usually coming from those who’ve never known chronic illness or. Or. I want to say “EH?! You ever walked through life for weeks on end and been thrilled every step of the way only to discover you’ve simply grown used to pain and fever?” It’s all in my “attitude?!” So many philosophies are lovely to believe and more easily embraced by people who’ve never walked the shoes of their own creeds down paths that truly test their merit. The merit of those creeds, that is. When you push past pain daily and do it so well that it’s the stopping that tells on your body, how can it be that you don’t want to live? When you are forever checking up on your soul to see what it is you could be repressing or suppressing that could cause such body protests, how can it be that you won’t face things? How is it that the “cure” is in facing things? It never cured me! How is it that so many people repress, suppress and regress perpetually and are never ill? Too many holes in so many right-sounding pronouncements.

But what we believe can, at least, either carry us through hardships or toss us around on a stormy sea of our own making. What beliefs do to create illness? I find such a leap requires a pogo stick seriously devoted to leaping across whole fields of evidence, ignoring so many other relevant facts. And yet…perhaps my perspective is too narrow. I’m open but not without some worthwhile reserve. Some decades of struggle and some milestone events beg a bit more consideration. Some birthdays ask for a lot more patience in their making…

It was a grand adventure, that pregnancy. We rested for 3 months. I sang to her. Named her before she emerged. Talked to her about her birthday, calling her “May baby…”


There is nothing like a daughter (or son!) to birth a woman. There is nothing like a child to heal the child and nothing like a young lady to challenge you, to give you a whole new set of reasons for hope, for growth and for love itself. Marion’s daily soulful lavishing love-being (and her beautiful boundary testing) perpetually reminds me why we get through the darker nights. To catch even just a glimpse of time with her is worth it all.