I had been homesick for such a long time…
At the beginning of last year, I started thinking about the next chapter of my life. I made plans to sell all my STUFF and be nomadic for a spell. (I have often wondered why we, as humans, gather all these objects around us. Is it for comfort? Safety? Identity?) My intention behind this thinking was change.
After 40 years as a Theatre artist, I needed solitude and rest. I looked back at all those years and realized the courage it had taken for me to live the life of an artist. I felt a desire to laugh, to Love, to touch the earth and sing praises of gratitude. And I had a passionate urge to share things about my interior life before I left the planet.
Ideally, I would spend my time writing and painting. My dream was to find a barn, a warehouse, or a loft... pay up some rent and get to work. No social media. I made a list of places where I wanted to set up studios. Places where I have family or friends. Places that are geographically inspirational to me.
I would be 69 years old at the end of March.
Less than two weeks before my birthday, I had a severe pain on the right side of my neck and could not raise my right arm above my shoulder. Oddly enough, I was onstage painting a backdrop, which - in the world of theatre - was second nature to me. A moment when the brush becomes you and you are one with the brush.
A few days later, my doctor called and I found myself lying on a hospital bed for hours upon hours. Nervous. Unsure. Afraid. Two weeks later came the words that will forever echo in my head:
“You have ALS. You may have six months. You may have two years.”
Instantly in that cold clinical room, a blanket of safety seemed to cover me. My Mother’s beautiful face appeared in my mind’s eye. She smiled as if to say, “You know what to do.”
So, I had to choose. In life one has a choice to either accept, or ignore. And if you ignore, you only delay the acceptance.
My desire to change… had been changed for me.
Yet, why should I stop because of this? Why should I struggle in the same way I had always struggled? Why tread water any more?
After the doctor left the room, I turned to my Buddhist friend who had taken me to the clinic. I shared with her my dream of travel, my longing for home and now, my acceptance of what was happening to me…
She said, with certainty, "You have found home."