Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wetlands Without Water

Robb and I went back out to Coyote Hills Regional Park today. We checked on a few of my letterboxes, and learned the interesting lesson that the rare earth magnets are stronger than contact cement. I've got one letterbox missing, and I haven't decided if I'll replace it or not. I'm feeling uninspired about carving.

The last time we were at this park was in April. At that time, the drive to the park was the longest we had done, and this was the first time we took the old wheelchair out for some recreational activity. Robb really wasn't able to propel his old heavy chair, so I did most of the work. The old chair also didn't have any sort of suspension or shocks, so Robb's back was sore after a rather short time on the trail.

This time out, Robb was able to push his chair over most of the terrain. He still needs a little help going up steep hills, and over really bumpy areas. In some places, the easiest thing to do was to have Robbb get out and walk while I steered the empty chair. I don't love the height of the handles on the chair. They are too low, and I have to stoop to push Robb, which gives me an instant backache.

This is the highly endangered California Clapper Rail. We got a very good look at this chicken-like marsh bird. Actually, we've seen this species many times, particularly in Oakland.

This, I believe, is a Nuttall's Woodpecker.

Something catastrophic has happened to the marsh, and most of the water has been drained away. The whole thing is in disarray. Things are a mess, and not as they should be.

Today should have been a lovely day, but I felt like the marsh: emptied of what I need to be right, and all out of sorts. I have a pretty deep well of positive energy, but it feels like it is running dry.

I feel like I've been losing myself over the last seven months. I feel like I can't keep up with all of my responsibilities. I'm upset and angry, and feeling overwhelmed. I met with a counselor, and while she was a delightful person, she didn't have much to offer, and didn't suggest follow up visits.

I frankly feel really guilty discussing any of this, because Robb is the one who has actual problems. One one hand, I feel that I should shut my mouth, and stop whining, and on the other hand, I feel really lost.


shiloh said...

Don't sell yourself short. A lesser person would have given up already. You seem like a wonderful person,Robb is lucky to have you.

I'd like to meet you both in person one day.


Lock Wench said...

Hey girlie. I left a message on your phone. Let's share a virtual cocktail real soon. *HUGS*


Anonymous said...

Rain is necessary for beautiful things to bloom. Have yourself a good cry, sit in the sun and feel yourself begin to grow again.

Derek said...


Robb's problems are no more "real" than yours. I mean, it's not as if you have been pretending to suffer through these last seven months.

I am very glad to see you are being honest about your feelings. I am not surprised that you feel lost. In a way, you are. Both of you were impacted by Robb's injury. The life you once led has changed forever. Like any type of loss, mourning takes time.

I think discussing your feelings with a therapist and with friends will help refill that well of positive energy.

You have shown all of us what love looks and feels like. Maybe it's time you cared for your own injury as well. I mean, what good is it to Robb if he keeps getting stronger while you just sink into your own despair.

Find another therapist. Tell him or her that you know you need to discuss these things. Maybe your strength fooled the last therapist. Make it clear how you feel and that you need follow-up visits.

There is no project better served than one that has your full attention, Lisa. You are strong and uncompromising. When you set your mind to something, nothing seems impossible.

Maybe it's time that your project is you. Maybe it's time you followed your insticts and sought the support you clearly need.

It's funny, you dismiss your problems by comparing them to Robb's. I feel the same way about my own when I compare them to yours.

Be good to yourself. Hey, maybe someone out there could volunteer to push you around in the chair for a day or two.

Is that so crazy?

ericaflory said...

lots & lots & lots of hugs!

jackbear said...

Just like that wetland...the rain will come again. The forces of nature always bring rejuvination when things are bleak. Take note of the change of seasons, we are tested in winter of our endurance, but are refilled with hope that the leaves and birds will return in spring. Don't suffer silently, you don't need to be a martyr. Even in the darkness of night there is light.

night writer said...

no one can give and give and give without refilling. none of us are bottomless wells. as selfish as it may sound, take some time for you, do things you want, and need to do. curl up with a good bok, or take a long soak in the tub. my dad is wheelchair bound, 20 years with ms and now diabetes and kidney failure and dialysis in the mix. this is something I have to keep reminding my mom. while it's good to give and serve, if you don't refill and refresh, you eventually give all you have, and when you have nothing left to give, you're not much good to anyone, even yourself. Lisa, take care, and know you're not alone. remember this too...identifying the problem is half of the battle.

night writer

Anonymous said...

Ah, so it's time for a melt-down.........well you are entitled. I can't see this as being much more than a passing thing are entitled. Can't be at the top of your game 24/7. What happened to Robb happened to just have different jobs to do in order to get beyond this....and whatever the future brings.
You hang in there Girl (and Boy)..this too will pass.

knitica said...

Of course your problems are real, just as real as Robb's. You do need to take care of yourself to take care of him. Besides, Robb is doing an awful lot now, with a certain amount of "MacGyvering;" I bet he'd like to take a little care of you now and then. I think you should let him.


Eclipse said...

Hey Lisa,

I can't say anything better than what's already been said. Be good to yourself, listen to your heart, and give yourself downtime when you need it. You're an amazing person and you've been through a lot. Don't be too hard on yourself, and remember you have many friends who love you.

Hang in there.

And, wanna do dinner sometime?


Anonymous said...

Lisa.... still have my number? Call me anytime you feel the need to chat. Robb... that goes for you too!


Anonymous said...

The feelings you are feeling seem normal to me. It is hard taking care of a love one or anyone by yourself 24/7. It eventually takes a toll on the caregiver. Try to take some down time for yourself. This will give Robb some time for himself. He probably is feeling the same way. Talking about your feeling is good. You need to get it out. If you feel like crying or, screaming go ahead. It will help to release some of the feeling you have. Keep your chin up.
Praying for both of you
Rumford Teapot

Anonymous said...

Eating a big bag of Doritos and getting a foot massage is in order, I think.


Anonymous said...


Take lemons, and make lemonade. I see the cracks in the earth that you have photographed, and have an overwhelming desire to pour a large container of latex onto it and make a big casting of all those textures, I also to roll it with ink and make a print.

When done printing, throw a bunch of wildflower seeds into those cracks and see what happens over time. I saw those cracks happen once in Florida, and filled the cracks with branches of a really contrasting color from the earth and photographed it. It made for cool earth art, something I have been doing quite a bit of for years.



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