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With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90  days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.

01 January 2013

Reading Mariechild Together: Night Wind Woman

Don't you love the image, night wind woman? To me, it breathes of fearlessness and freedom. The image alone, if I allow it to settle within me poetically -- not prosaically -- seems to lift me away from this body that so often entraps me in pain.

I need not assume a defensive crouch when I feel the migraine coming on. I need not dread the loss of productive hours, the inevitable canceling of whatever few arrangements or engagements I have felt hopeful enough to make. As Mariechild says, wind wisdom allows me to "embrace a truth that moves beyond the individual self."

As difficult as it is -- and counter-cultural in a world that values ambition and working for material gain -- I can try to embrace the truth of the pain in a way that moves me beyond my individual self. This movement does not lessen the physical pain. It does, however, allow me to do these things:

 Relax just enough to realize how tense I have become.
Use my deep muscle relaxation practices and begin to breathe deeply, steadily.
Accept the truth of the pain and stop making it worse with physical tension and mental suffering.

What do you like about the January 1 entry in our book, Open Mind -- Women's Daily Inspiration for becoming Mindful?

How do you relate to the images in Joy Harjo's poem?

How do you relate to this post if you do not have chronic pain? Does it apply to your life?

Please click on the Comment box below to share your thoughts and feelings. Or email me at carold.marsh@gmail.com. Thank you.

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