"Let us make shift together, until your fortunes turn."
-a line from the character Matty, from the BBC production Cranford
The Solstice is here. Pete and I hoped to see the Lunar Eclipse late last night just as Winter Solstice 2010 marked the longest night. The clouds were busy though, so when the alarm clattered on my cellphone at 11:45 Hina was a muted globe of light and no eclipse could be seen. The dark sky in the forest lights up with any moonlight though, and my sleep was less than deep as I felt the energy of the eclipse inspite of the cloudy sky.
This morning, the clouds have pulled away in big patches. As promised there is blue sky. JOTS is perched on my right elbow as I write, she's been busy on a Solstice morning doing what a huntress does when she is not warming herself under the heat lamp inside. Pete has taken Scout our Subaru, mini safe haven on wheels, to the repair shop. When winter came early in November, we were out in Scout ... and it was icey. I, a Hawaiian, was at the wheel and skidded on a patch of ice. A big truck parked at a traffic light slowed the skid, and Scout is in need of repair. It's been a month since the accident and we have found ways to keep Scout on the road. I have recovered from the trauma of the skid, and made my way behind the wheel after a couple weeks of recouperation. Car insurance is the one form of insurance we have continued to pay. When our financial reality led to our decision to stop paying $600 a month for medical insurance for two (we don't have it to pay and what we get from the premium falls short of what we get in return) what money we had went to maintaining our ability to remain mobile. Repairs to Scout and the big truck I hit will be covered by our insurance after we pay the $500 deductible. We will come up with the $500, and give thanks to a generous friend who sent an unsolicited gift to help get Scout back into shape.
We, like many thousands of Americans who live in the shadows of society make shift with the changing fortunes of life with chronic illness and living reassembled lives. After I kissed Pete good-bye, bidding a sweet A hui hou I sat on the slantboard couch in the Quonset and spent time browing the internet. With an open-mind to what I could post I found a series of posts at MCS Safe Housing written by Lisa Pausman. Lisa blogs at Sundogtales. Reading Lisa's chronicle of life in a tent gave me unexpected hope and a reunion with folks I had forgotten about. "Making shift" is an expression of what folk have done time and time again to get through travail and changes of fortune. Lisa and her partner Jeremy put expanded meaning to that expression for living in a tent in the Pacific Northwest in winter is a challenge few do, and yet scores of us with MCS will find themselves with no safe home this winter. Lisa Pausman begins her three part article MCS Survivalist this way:
"Death or injury is a real threat when someone with little outdoor experience becomes homeless in the dead of winter. Hundreds of people with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) will be homeless this year and many turn to camping for shelter. This guide is for those with moderate to severe MCS and little outdoor experience. It focuses on teaching the skills needed to survive safely until either housing improves or the weather warms in spring. "Another reality Lisa describes on her blog SunDogTales, is the issue of healing those pearly white within our mouths: teeth. Life with MCS comes with all the history before the illness, and with the daily challenges of survival maintaining dental health and attending to the ravages of tooth decay and loss without dental insurance the burdens get heavy. Lisa has a post about reversing tooth decay, with a link to WholeHealthSource, a blog with very informative and empowering practices that give hope to those who are can not or choose not to be dependent upon contemporary dental practices for their well-being. The links to WholeHealthSource and Lisa's blog are here:
I have been at this computer in the quonset so long, the foam slantboard has formed a dent from my bottom, my feet are chilled to discomfort and JOTS has taken to circling along side of me wearied from my long stint at the keys.
Happy Solstice dear ones. In the practice of becoming more and more human and innocent in the making I see the line from the character dear Miss. Matty of Cranford as a good thing. Making shift together is a good thing. Thank you Lisa.