The day after I got my prognosis (“which is an opinion, not a prediction”, says Rachel Naomi Remen, MD!) I was floating high on adrenalin, doing the dishes. Jesus, I may die really soon! Suddenly a lens shifted in my mind’s eye, like when you get your eyes tested and the doctor slips in the lens that finally clears it all up, and Bam, you can see again?! Like that. A new lens. Literally everything that I could see around me – trees, sky, chairs, table, parsley, the works – was made out of love. The essential building block for the whole world, from what I saw then. And that love beamed towards me, and through me, through my heart. Shimmering.
Didn’t last very long, maybe one second, but it got my attention. O yeah.
In the Catholic world, there is such a thing as Lectio Divina, which translates as Divine Reading, or Reading the Divine. People who train in this practice will take from scripture, usually, a small section and read it until some words literally begin to shimmer, either in their sight or in their mind or both. According to this practice, that is a sign from God that those words are meant for you, in that moment. So, one then rests in those words for as long as needed, soaking it up.
As a Taoist at heart, I turn to nature as scripture. It’s an ancient practice, a shamanic practice really, listening deeply to signs from God through nature. When something shimmers in nature, I perk up, don’t you? Lots of ways to do Lectio Divina.
After six months to reflect on this, I believe that all the prayers being sent my way by quite literally several hundred people were surrounding me and teaching me in that moment, holding me in a love that transforms everything, even cancer, into grace. Prayers as a felt experience.
The word gratitude doesn’t even touch how I still hold this moment. It’s part of who I am now, but it’s not always available or present to me at will. Hence the grace part. It’s gift.
So this blog is in honor of that moment. Now you know.