Monday, April 14, 2014

A Time for Stillness

In Stillness from A Celebration of Life

The silt settles in stillness
the ripples
noon sun
by the shore
my breath deepens.

In stillness
I awaken
aware of the impermanence of all things
settling into the gift of the moment
wanting nothing
in emptiness
in stillness
peace and solitude.

Yesterday was the last day of being #supportcrew for this year's Boston Marathon runners. It was an exhausting yet exhilarating day of packet stuffing. I have been going non stop with water stops, fund raisers, being solo support crew for my friends who were running, standing in all sorts of weather while also getting my run on as I returned to running through the winter for the first time in two years.

Last night I sat down to take a deep breath and be still. I scrolled through some articles about the aftermath of last year's marathon, but then I shifted my focus to look at this year's race. There are wonderful articles about the elite runners and what kind of a race this is shaping up to be. In my stillness, I was able to to understand how I so wanted to feel a sense of completion at the Mandarin last year; coming full circle from when I ran my triumphant marathon in 2009. I was finally beginning to feel well enough after healing from my nephew's suicide in 2011 and experiencing a sense of coming home in my body. That day had a radically different outcome than the one I had imagined as the day began with so much promise.

But I also know how incredibly blessed and fortunate we were to only experience emotional wounds that day; emotional wounds that are healing with time, love, nourishment from an incredible community, my own resilience and strength and by giving to those who are running Boston this year.

In my stillness, I sent out prayers; a meditation of loving kindness to all. May we be happy.. May we be healthy.. May be we safe.. May we live with ease. I thought about all those whose lives were dramatically altered after last year's events and sent out special prayers for healing.

I am not going back to the Mandarin this year. In my stillness, I found a sense of peace in accepting that it would be too much for me to spend the day inside and inside the space where we experienced the bombing. I was able to acknowledge, as painful as it was, that there is no way I can go back and reclaim that day anymore than I can go back and reclaim the end of my kindergarten year when I contracted paralytic polio and my life was forever changed...anymore than I can go back and change any of the traumatic events that happened in my life.

But what I can do is move forward. I can feel overwhelming gratitude for each day and for the blessings and grace in my life. I can create new Boston Marathon memories and I can honor that I am still healing from trauma and that I live with a neuromuscular condition. But what a beautiful life I have!

Life has a funny way of working out - always - and because I could not go back to the Mandarin, we are going to watch the marathon with the mother of a dear friend who is running and did not want to spectate alone on Marathon Monday.

As we approach the anniversary of 4/15/13, I am taking deep breaths, crying tears of sadness and tears of relief, joy and gratitude that we have all made it through this past year and are healing. There are two photos that really contrast then and now:

Bostonians gather for a moment of silence on Boylston St. shortly after 4/15/13 for a moment of silence:

On 4/12/14 Bostonians gather for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot:

I talk about the signs of renewal and healing in my blog post "Joy and Spring return to Boston...And this time next year..."

Beginning on Thursday, there is going to be a frenzy of activity leading up to Marathon Monday.

I'll begin Thursday with a 90 minute session at Sollievo Massage and Bodywork. The sessions focus on deep relaxation and healing and I am able to meditate during the sessions. My therapist, Joseph Brescia, incorporates a number of techniques, one of which is Zero Balancing a body-mind therapy that I am exploring to continue to nourish mind, body and Spirit and heal trauma and parayltic polio. I cherish that me time and time of stillness especially as we launch into Marathon weekend.

Thursday evening is L Street's pre marathon meeting. On Saturday, Tom runs the BAA 5K and there will be many commemorative and celebratory activities for the weekend. We will be going to the Race Expo and connecting with friends throughout the weekend.

And then one week from today - the 118th Boston Marathon. For now, I am settling into moments of stillness and reflection allowing all the emotions to surface and move through me as I no longer mark the anniversary of the bombings by months but by one year!

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