Loneliness gives us the opportunity to reflect, to heal, and to grow. And since we’re bound to feel lonely at one time or another at anytime throughout our lives, it’s best to stare it down, to meet it head on. Here’s a lesson I learned about passing through loneliness while taking care of my husband as he struggled through dementia. Please share with anyone you think it might help.
Published in the January/February 2016 issue of Isis Scrolls. Read it here. Or right here:
Loneliness: Three Practices
To Help You Pass Through It
by Karenna Wright
I lost my husband, the love of my lifetimes, three years before I moved to Humboldt in late 2014. Our bond was stronger than any I’d experienced before, and we both sensed it immediately. He proposed Continue reading
It took a while for me to realize I was a caregiver and what that actually meant. When my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006 and when he needed extra help as the illness progressed, I didn’t understand I was a caregiver. I thought I was simply lending a hand with things he could no longer handle himself. I didn’t label what I did for him. I did what I did without thinking of it as a burden. I was simply doing what one person does for another they love.
There’s no doubt that caregiving was the most difficult job I’ve had, the most difficult task I’ve undertaken. Yet, it’s also been the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. During my caregiving experience, I discovered that the obligation I had so lovingly and divinely cluelessly undertaken is best carried out with a yes attitude. And by saying yes to being a caregiver, I had equally importantly said yes to doing all I could to take care of myself.
Why do caregivers need to take care of themselves? Continue reading
A gentle rain punctuates the morning as I set off for the Harwood Museum of Art on historic LeDoux Street in Taos, New Mexico. I came to sit and to be there in the Agnes Martin Gallery. For some of the time I lived in Colorado, I’d make the trip to this gallery two or three times a year. Being in that gallery among Agnes Martin’s paintings invokes a deep, spiritual experience. You get it or you don’t. You’ll want to get it.
Agnes Martin in her studio on LeDoux Street, 1953. Photo by Mildred Tolbert.
Agnes Martin (1912-2004), known as an abstract expressionist, rejected the minimalist label some sought for her. Her artistic goals were about expressing emotional content rather than ideas. I don’t know how she did it, but she did it. Get into her paintings and they’ll show you the grid that life is built on and let you walk the tightrope inside the head of the universe. Agnes Martin is beyond genius.
Soon I’m on LeDoux Street, then in the parking lot, and then inside the museum. It’s early, and I am the only visitor here so far. Maybe I’ll have the gallery all to myself. I close my umbrella and park it on the coat rack near the entrance and walk across the corridor.
I pause at the entrance of the octagon-shaped gallery. The doorway, the opening to this sacred space, takes up most of an entire wall. Each of the remaining seven white walls Continue reading