Friday, October 18, 2013

The Full Harvest Moon

The full Harvest Moon somewhere in the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse process

GL, 10/18/2013. Prevail.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Compassion Fatigue

Journal entry, October 5, 2013

My run, one hour-ish.

I am wrestling with compassion fatigue.

So far, in the past year (including 20-f#@*ing-12), wins are one and one for the big doozies. And this weekend, I want to make it two to one, with me on top. So this weekend is all about self care.


An example, one of many encounters…

I interpret a deposition, opposing counsel constantly saying, “Ask her…tell her…” despite the court reporter’s constant reminder of speaking directly to the Deaf person. After his statement that this is his first time working with interpreters, the Deaf person, through her attorney said heatedly, “And this is her 1000 or more times of hearing this, of feeling like she is not in the room.”

I agree. And work at reigning in my emotions.

Over and over and over again. Oppression.


Steve Hamerdinger, our MHIT fearless leader and resident curmudgeon, therapist Deaf, says that caring people, especially those in practice professions, WILL experience grief when working with oppressed peoples.

“Sympathy: I know what you are feeling.

“Empathy: I feel what you are feeling.

“Compassion: I have got to do something about this!”


Neutrality is a myth, he continues. Our Mind, Body, and Spirit WILL be affected.

-Our Mind…and sense of being, looking through the eyes of others, stepping into the shoes of another like the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird (btw, my own thoughts on the best book ever written.).

-Our Body…energy levels lowering in fatigue.

-Our Spirit…questioning…do I continue in this field…(of course I will!)


I know I am overworked when I don’t take time to go to the bathroom and wait for the green light at four way stops.

I know I am experiencing compassion fatigue/vicarious trauma when I, in exasperation, want to shake my fists in air and declare, “Hearing people…UGH!”

Which I have found myself doing lately.

So as I run, I realize that I have kicked up my speed, fueled by my frustration. I am not ready to finish so I add a block here and there, definitely no heaving today.


Steve also goes on to say that we are not an island. We must connect with other people.

So I do.


Last night, I celebrate with a Goddess and her art exhibits in the yearly Spokane Terrain show, her pieces skeleton themed, where science and art meet, memories stored, lodged within the marrow of our bones.

I enjoy a glass of wine as I listen to Alex play upright bass in his jazz band on First Friday’s art tour after visiting another friend’s exhibit, “What Would You Fight For?”

I spend extra time this chilly Autumn morning at Farmers’ Market and notice and photograph (much to the shocking surprise of vendors) each of their beauty.

And today, as I talk with Tolstoy’s Farms Diane, the Goddess who manages Market (isn’t she gorgeous with all her tattoos), sharing my compassion fatigue, Rianna, Julia Goddess’ youngest, runs to me, grabs my attention with her “that’s Goddess Lynne’s runner ponytail!”

Our tri-meeting, Diane, Goddess Julia and her kiddos and me, at Market was meant to be. And we all embrace.


What’s worth fighting for…



What makes me wickedly wicked happy

~MHIT…and Steve Hamerdinger, our fearless leader and self proclaimed resident curmudgeon…and his wisdom

~running. I know that I have said this over and over, but…, oh, I mean AND…as I contemplate my year anniversary of my brain bleed, I am GRATITUDE.

~that I can interpret and live life with minimal consequences of my brain bleed (some things, beyond nightmares, linger, but my fabulous doctor who doctorly doctors awesomely says that it takes time.)

~the Farmers’ Market

~the Goddesses.




My list is short this week. It is short but…oh, yeah, again I mean AND…each one is filled with intensity. So while it is short vertically, it is broad, long in its horizon.


My friends have encouraged me to write about my brain bleed. In the midst, I couldn’t, but on Anniversary, when my brain began to bleed, the floodgates opened and bled. I can’t stop writing…or feeling gratitude.


As a sign language interpreter, I will never level the playing field, even when I am at the top of my game. No matter. In every encounter and gig, whether it is legal, mental health, or vocational, I remember that each person I meet and serve is worthy of love, honor, trust, dignity, and respect.

Definitely worth fighting for.

GL, 10/5/2013. Prevail.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Journal entry, September 28, 2013

45-ish minutes.

Saturday morning. Autumn clouds are magnificent in their variegated darkness. Yet I have awakened from a serious nightmare, the kind that shakes me, an earthquake rattling my core. In my dream, my brain bleeds, my head is hit, like granite rock thrown against and cracking a windshield. My left arm numbs as I fall to the floor, unable to stand or even climb to my knees before trying again and sliding right back down. I drop everything, and my words slur. Then I awaken, certain my left side is once again numbed, immobilized.

So I had three mini nightmares Thursday into Friday morning, but I opened all the windows and doors in my house to let all the Autumn cool air chill me, counteracting my panic attacks’ heated sweats. And the result…a Xanax-like calming effect for the rest of the day, clean cold air entering me.

But still Friday night into Saturday, I have a massive nightmare.

I plan to go to Goddess Gathering…yet all I want is to sleep. But I stubbornly set myself to have a good…no, GREAT day. So off to Manito Park I drive so I could start my Saturday ritual run through the park and Market. I am gonna prevail, I tell myself.

I slowly jog through the park but I can’t seem to warm up. I notice that the red oaks bronze and maples change to a gentle yellow, their leaves on the ground, a discolored linoleum floor curling up in corners. Yet, as I head south, up Manito Boulevard, its center lined with maple trees, I suddenly can’t run further as I start to heave. I haven’t heaved in weeks but I heave and heave, throwing up liquidy coffee and thinned water, unable to catch my breath.

Several people walking by become quite concerned, and to their questions of if I will be okay, I respond weakly and greenly and not so brightly, “I think I will be…I’m just dealing with a little bit of PTSD…I’ll get through this…”


I manage to finish my run, passing by the Manito’s Park Bench Bistro lemonade stand, closed for the season, and collect broken branches of oak trees and maples, snapped apart like crisp carrots by winds for the collective bouquet that the Goddesses will bind in honor of Autumn’s abundance, and walk towards my purple Goddess-mobile. I insist to myself that I must hit Market as I want to buy honeycrisp apples from Danny and serve them with goat cheese and lavender spice at our Gathering.

And I am ever so glad I did. I bought those apples, and while chatting with Market folks, I pass by another vendor, my attention caught by the littlest feather EVER in a sunflower bouquet…and suddenly, once again, I am Gratitude on feet. And super glad that I got up this morning and prevailed.


Our Gathering tonight was the biggest yet. We ate from the garden and Market, goat cheese, the absolute last from Heron Pond’s batch. We shared gifts and gifted forward with one another.


My brain earrings, precious to me, remind me of the abundance of life, what I could have lost, and what I can now understand with those who have stood on the edge of the cliff of what is unknown. I realize I’m getting closer and closer to being grateful to that teacher of my brain bleed…not quite…but I am seriously getting there. I am more and more mindful of each moment.

No matter the moment or minute, I am irrevocably changed…in a wonderful way, at least that's what I’d like to think. And I think this is true.


What makes me wickedly wicked happy

~my Saturday morning ritual of a Manito Park run and Market

~and that little feather…it’s gone…somewhere on my desk…but I love my picture

~as I happily drive from Market, an ambulance screams by. I soberly pause my purple car and my thoughts…and offer blessings. I’ve been in that ambulance…and it is scary scary scary. I remember begging the techs to please save me…I am afraid I’m gonna die.

~the fallen nest that I found at the foot of a tree

~Harvest’s Abundance we celebrate

~Goddess Priscilla’s Skull painting that she gives me at Gathering

~my eight pound Sunflower head from Julia Goddess

Her Sunflower Forest…one of my favorite places on the planet. So many heights and heads in a variety of postures. Stooping, bent to the left, turning to the right, different curves of scoliosis, yet all supporting that gorgeous bloom without anyone criticizing the perfect imperfections, much like one of my main joys of running Bloomsday, accepting and appreciating the range of runner bodies.

So Julia sends us home each with one, seeds ready to dry. I weigh mine and it is almost eight pounds, more than my babies when born.

~Artist Priscilla’s Skull painting she made and gave me at Gathering

~and skulls, skulls, skulls! The original helmet…



I exhale. Deep inhales and exhales with each of my strides, and each filled with abundant gratitude.

I am gratitude on feet

GL, 9/28/2013. Prevail.