Skye Hirst, March 2010
"However," Norm says last night at dinner following a long discourse of mine about some insight I had drawn from my work coaching with clients over the years.
I felt negated, slapped, caused to pause and consider something else about what I had concluded. However, is a word with great power I realized and I awoke this morning to consider it a little deeper.
What did that word bring alive in me? First it was my ego bristling feeling Norm was some how negating my experience or trivializing it. Then knowing Norm, he was innocent of such intention. So looking deeper, I asked what his however meant? His shared view was that there were issues of organizing principles that would explain further my experience, not negate it.
This morning as I lay in bed next to Norm as he slept, I realized he has much more to share, to bring out of himself even though his body is demanding more and more time in the care, the management and navigation of moment by moment. It almost takes the entire day some times leaving little to get at this writing, the bringing forth Norm's latest insights. He tells me that before he became ill he was turning a corner on new revelations and that while at Harbor Hill rehab, he got more clarity and now he wanted to get it down. Yesterday he began – "Brief Presentation" and could go no further because the demands of his body took over and fatigue would swamp him before the day would end.
I realized this morning I need to be more in focus each day, as each minute, is precious and to give Norm everything he needs to get these next thoughts into form for us all. This great man has spent a lifetime hanging out in realms most have neither patience nor sustainability for. The work has taken a great toll on his body. Sitting for hours in deep concentration, perhaps even in altered states of mind as he has processed the great wisdom of the ages first what he learned at MIT as physicist and mathematician computer programmer and researcher. Then realizing through the trauma in his second year at MIT that his lifetime of values and beliefs up to then were all wrong and suddenly his entire reality/worldview was lost in a step. Short of committing himself into the insane ward, he was fortunate enough to meet a psychiatrist who would support his coming to terms with this break down/breakthrough. And he would meet Robert S. Hartman, a visiting professor that year at MIT who would set his life-'s work in motion – to ground the work of Hartman – and create a science of values/axiology.
So today, the sun is shining, I'm feeling renewed for some reason. I'm astounded at myself, my ability to create a new each day, finding new ways to manage the care of Norm and myself and to find there within me the strength that my father gave me, the compassion my mother gave me and the creative nature to find novelty in each moment that comes from my birthsign, Gemini.
I had but two requirements of a husband, I told Norm when he told me he was going to marry me. 1) He must never bore me 2) I must come first in his life after God. Well Norm has kept both promises. His health issues are as novel as his nature would presuppose. Nothing is clearcut, nor obvious as to what is going on. His heart wants to find coherence, but does on some days and can't on others. His lungs seems to be clear of fluids from the pulmonary hypertension, but with each day as deep fears surface from a life-time, perhaps many life-times of abuse, disembowerment, his body yells no, no more.
These past few months have been a wonder in the mystery – he was so ill in hospital only a few weeks ago I thought I would lose him for sure. One night I sat with him in hospital room after they told me he had developed pneumonia and I could feel him slipping away. He told me he felt that way as well. I settled into my horrible hospital room chair for the night girding myself for whatever was to come and in my heart, I allowed Norm to pass into his next phase whatever it was to be. And I also called out to ALL THOSE IN THE UNIVERSE WHO WISH US WELL to come and be with us that night in that room to help Norm move through this challenge to find his life still with his body for a bit longer. I called George, Norm's son and told him to come as I didn't know what tomorrow would bring. And I felt there were legions who came that night. We were held by much loving energy from all levels and sources.
And the morrow came and Norm was better, much better in fact. So much better I knew he would make it this time through to many more morrows.
We had been concerned when the ambulance took Norm to this hospital as we had had some bad experiences there previously. And yet, living processes as they are, knew what we needed most at this time. A new young female doctor hospitalist was able to work with us for a full 7 days uncovering all that was holding Norm ill and with each day new insights would emerge and Norm got better.
The day we left the hospital an another hospitalist, a young male doctor said to me that he was a scientist, and that he had a teacher in med school who said, "Don't over think, over medicate, over do anything when it comes to working with the human body. The kidney's, or whatever organ are smarter than you'll ever be in solving the problems it faces. Do as little as possible to interfere in that wisdom." Well slap my thigh! Could this be the new doctors coming in? How better to exit the hospital than to have "organism" thinking shared and corroborated by a new voice in the medical system.
So the next time HOWEVER enters our conversation, I'll pause and allow the moment, go deeper, further, extend, open to new possibility and say yes, what else? What novelty, what creation lies in waiting for this day, this moment and this and this.... No time to be bored and yes, I do come first in his life after God and God/life-itself is driving this boat, I'll try to do a little as possible to interfere with its wisdom.