First An Apology; Then an Explanation

Since I’d been all but AWOL for the past couple of months, I feel that I owe you an explanation and a sincere apology.  On June 7th, I had surgery to remove the pain pump that I discussed here in my June 6, 2011 post.  Unfortunately, the recovery was not as easy as I’d been led to believe and it brought fever  and additional pain that made it impossible for me to do anything for weeks.  As if that were not enough, about a month prior to the surgery,  my fibromyalgia pain began to inexplicably increase and morphed into whole body muscle spasms that affected my entire body, from head to toe.  I was doing hours of meditation and relaxing yoga poses, as well as ice, heat, herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, and prescription medication, but nothing helped.  By the time that I began to heal from the surgery, the muscle spasms began to really take hold and I had no energy to do anything–standing was painful and exhausting,  even driving was impossible.
My daughter took me to my primary care doctor and he ordered blood work.  I went in for the blood work on Saturday and was surprised to hear from my doctor on Monday.  Apparently, my muscle enzymes should be in the 13-200 range.  Mine were over 1300!  My doctor believes that this is the source of the muscle spasms that I’ve been experiencing for at least a month and a half and the overwhelming exhaustion, (much worse than that caused by fibromyalgia) that I have been unable to shake.  He has removed me from three medications that may be the source of the problems.  I retest in a month and pray that all will be well.
I did not intend to be away from my blog for so long, and I have truly missed it.  I have had ample time for reflection, too much in fact.  Among other things, I thought about this blog and its place in my life, since I created it last year.  It began as one of those things that I’ve always wanted to do,  and after being diagnosed with the pulmonary emboli, it became time to stop thinking and to start doing.  As a result, Seeking My Querencia was born.
At first, I viewed this blog “as a repository for some of my thoughts, ideas, musings and others items of interest.  It is but a small part of my journey-another avenue for me to write down my feelings and perhaps share them with others so that they might know the authentic me.” See “More About Me” Page. I am coming to see it as much more than that now. At this time in my life, I am awash in struggles concerning not only my health, but my place in the world, how to move forward in my life, where can I use my abilities to best serve myself and others, and other weighty, and not so weighty issues.  Right now, I believe that this blog is the perfect forum for me to address many of these concerns, if for no other reason than to get them down in black and white, so to speak.  By doing so, I fight against my tendency to keep the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings inside where they fester and grow into matters of far greater import.  In addition, this inner journey that I travel towards that inner place where I know exactly who I am  requires that I be as honest as possible with my thoughts and feelings and it is through this blog that I’ve found that voice.  Granted, it is difficult at times, but then, isn’t that the way it is with anything worth doing?
I hope that you will be patient with me as I ease my way back onto my journey.  Thank you for sharing it with me.  
Blessings and love, lydia  

The Book Fiend

a pile of booksImage by pteittinen via Flickr

When I was growing up as a youngster in New Orleans, drug addicts were referred to as “dope fiends.” Now, as a child, I really had no idea what a “dope fiend” was, but I knew what it wasn’t–a term of endearment. The reason that I am bringing this up, is because I have a confession to make. I. Am. A. Book. Fiend. There, I’ve said it, I am a book fiend.

Anyone who knows me long enough, will quickly notice one thing about me. It’s the books–they are everywhere. I blame my mother for my love of reading and curiosity. As a young girl, I remember seeing her, in a rare moment of quiet or non doing, with a paperback book in hand. Although I have absolutely no proof, I imagine her enjoying some tawdry, romance novel, as a means of escaping the gripping stress and drudgery of raising four children by her self. I suppose the paperback was her ‘calgon take me away’ moment.
For the most part, I prefer hardbacks, but of course, my ‘library’ contains a liberal numbers of paperbacks as well. The books are here, there, everywhere. Months ago, my amazing friend K. came over to help me get the disorganized organized. Knowing her as I do, I am certain that she wanted nothing more than to single-handedly haul every book that I owned to Goodwill, but good friend that she is, she choose to ignore them. 
Good luck to the person who decides to ‘figure me out’ by the books in my ‘library.’ I have books ranging from How God Changes Your Brain, to the Idiot’s Guide to Buddhism,  The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbs, The Poetry of Robert Frost, Mindfulness Yoga, Blink, The Book of Stones, The Artist’s Way, The Lives of Saints, The Tibetan Book of Death and Dying, Symbols of Catholicism, Web Design for Dummies, The Right to Write, The Color of Water, Living Deeply, Essence and Alchemy, The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy and everything in between. I love them and can’t bring myself to get rid of them–unless they are truly awful. I do pass on current fiction one-time reads so that others can enjoy them (the women in my doctor’s office loves me!).  I also donate more than a few tragic mistakes to Goodwill. With that said, it should surprise you to learn that I still have scores of books. Seriously. At this point, I can’t begin to estimate the number of books that I own, but because of a brilliant online cataloguing system, I know that it is 256 and counting. So, a while back, I began a campaign to get the books under control.  
When I first heard about the Kindle, and given my love for the good old tree guzzling book back in my youth, I thought “blasphemy.” I insisted that I’d never own one. Like a gunslinger, I am always quick to sling the word “never” and just as quick to categorize its utterance as a momentary lack in judgment. Anyway, as I was picking myself out of the avalanche of books that littered my bedroom floor, realism and idealism had a face to face, and the evil Kindle was welcomed into our home–overnight, as I recall. Gasp!
Yet,  as my mother always said, “you have to give the devil his due,” I have seen the light! I love my Kindle. I have had one for at least a year and currently, I have about 45 books on it. Its light weight, easy to use and perfect for an avid reader and chronic pain suffer–unfortunately, there are still some books that for me the digital method will not suffice. Some books hold such a place in my heart that I want that old-school book to put on my shelf (or stack on the floor somewhere) and later pass on to my children or grandchildren for them to do the same. I just can’t see doing that with a digital book. I guess that until a digital book finds a way into my heart like that, it will remain just that, an e-book, but not a treasured possession that one can truly pass on to family and friends. 
I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I will always be a book fiend. There are more worrisome “fiends” as my childhood showed. Yes, I am a book fiend. I am a book fiend. I am a book fiend. I am a book fiend, I am a book fiend. I AM a book fiend. 
P.S. I ordered a book yesterday. I needed it–really!
Blessings, Peace and Love, 
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Your Future Depends On You

Optimism, Floor TwoImage by m kasahara via Flickr
Years ago, I was taking one of my many yoga classes. There was one class that I only attended once, but I took away a jewel that has been with me ever since. At the end of the class, the instructors read us a passage from “Opening Doors Within: 365 Meditations from Findhorn, by Eileen Caddy.  I can’t quote the passage for that particular day, but the warm, moving feelings that it stirred within me, well, I can still remember to this day.  
After class that day, I took my dogged determination on a mission to locate the book.  Based on my (very poor) recollection, I believe that the book was out of print but I still managed to find a copy. I  like it so much that I thought that I’d share today’s passage with you. I hope that it  inspires you to take that risk you’ve been putting off, leave that past behind to enjoy the fruits of this beautiful day or strike up a conversation with that nameless person sitting beside you on the bus every day. Who knows what good things awaits you?

August 9

Always take the optimistic outlook over everything, and banish all gloom and negativity. You are surrounded by many wonderful people, things, and experiences in life. Why not concentrate on them and give thanks for them, letting go and releasing all that is unpleasant, unhappy or difficult? By your attitude and outlook you draw to you the very best or the very worst in life. Therefore, if you are blaming your circumstances, life or people for your misfortunes, look within to see what you can do to change your attitude. As you start doing it, little by little you will find changes taking place, and you will begin to realise how mightily blessed you are and how truly wonderful life is. What a joy and a privilege it is to be alive, to be where you are, doing what you are doing, surrounded by so many wonderful things and people! Start right now looking for them. They are right there, so you will not have to look very far.

I don’t receive a penny for saying this but Eileen Cady published a 25th Anniversary edition of the book and you can find it at Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Opening-Doors-Within-Meditations-Findhorn/dp/1844091082/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1281370972&sr=8-1-spell, or perhaps local bookstore.  Blessings,

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