Update on Shoulder

February 22, 2019

Recovery from torn rotator cuff is progressing very nicely. Range of motion in all directions is between 92 and 100%. I’m working on regaining strength so I can return to my previous activities.

This has been a singular experience for me. I’m more of a process than a goal oriented person. I do have goals, but they are invariably tied to process, and once I finish a project I lose interest in it. This healing process has had little to recommend it: time consuming, boring, and often painful. So I have had to keep the goal in mind consistently.

Still, this has been, in many ways, one of my sweetest achievements.

Mary Oliver 1935 – 2019

January 18, 2019

Nature poet Mary Oliver died this week. She was known for her poems about emotional survival and the natural world.

Oliver struggled for years with cancer, but continued to produce. Her last volume of new poetry, Felicity, was about love. Her same-sex relationship with Molly Cook lasted over fifty years until Cook’s death in 2005.

Animals featured largely in Oliver’s work. In 2013 she published a book of dog poems followed the next year by another book of animal poems entitled Blue Horses.

Much of Oliver’s poetry, including her nature poetry, celebrated the resilience of the human spirit.

Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves. [continued]

Happy New Year!

January 4, 2019

This blog is 7 years old today.

As many of you are aware, some heavy eclipse energy this month. (Oh no, not again!) Partial solar eclipse January 5th and total lunar eclipse January 21st. Wait til after the 21st to initiate new projects. Spellwork should focus on removing obstacles and clearing energies. Paradoxically, this may be the time to make progress on goals that have been bafflingly stymied.

On a personal note, progress on my physical therapy has been gratifying. That frozen shoulder is starting to thaw. A good example of eclipse energy manifesting in a useful way!

Reflecting on 2018

December 28, 2018

2018 has been a hard year for a lot of people, myself included. Looking back, it’s also been a productive year. In 2018 I:

  1. Tore my rotator cuff in 3 places doing something stupid.
  2. Launched a book.
  3. Finished a novel.
  4. Had surgery and started physical therapy for my shoulder.
  5. Started another novel.

Shoulder is healing nicely. I won’t do that again.

Wishing everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!

Update on Surgery

December 7, 2018

Chickadee on a fir branch
Photo: Dawn Huczek

My surgery for torn rotator cuff and frozen shoulder went off without a hitch. Too soon to crow about success; fingers crossed. I am out of the sling and driving again, which is a big relief.

A Personal Note

November 2, 2018

Photo: Cassandra Tiensivu.

I am having surgery for a torn rotator cuff and I will be taking a hiatus for a few weeks. I hope to be posting again soon.

Divining with the Broad-Winged Hawk

May 25, 2018

Broad-Winged Hawk. Photo: Dawn Huczek

The Broad-Winged Hawk is a medium sized migrating hawk that summers mostly in eastern North America. It is usually spotted in groups or pairs circling overhead on the air currents, especially during migration.

I heard the piercing cry of the Broad-Winged Hawk in the forest earlier this week, then saw the bird darting through the upper tree branches. Despite the idiosyncratic whistle, I was confused, never having spotted the bird in the forest and never having seen a solitary bird. I did some research and, sure enough, this is a forest dwelling hawk, proficient at flying between trees. In my area, it nests in May and June. This week, the trees just began leafing here.

I interpret an encounter with a nesting bird as a sign of productivity, the opposite of goalless drifting. It shows effort directed toward achievement. Though the Broad-Winged is not a large hawk, it is remarkable that it can navigate through thick forest, and this points to nourishment of a difficult goal. This is a common hawk uncommonly spotted in home territory doing its main work of raising young, indicating a rare glimpse at hidden progress.

This was my second encounter with a Broad-Winged in a week, as a few days earlier a found a wing feather in a different forest. The feather prepared me to consider my second meeting seriously and reflect on its meaning.