known and unknown: living with what is

mornings at the counterMost of my life is ordinary. There are “big” life events, but it is the day-to-day moments that make up my life’s rhythm.

There is comfort in ordinary time: the comfort of the known. I get up, make breakfast – oatmeal or an egg, walk 1.5 to 2 miles at the Newton YMCA, do some client work, straighten the house, read and write, take an afternoon nap, and find a light supper. Mix in a visit and a few emails and texts. Go for a sunset drive with Jon, our cameras in hand. In the rhythm of the everyday, I experience connection and meaningful work.

There is comfort in ordinary things: the comfort of the known. The porcelain tea cup used every morning, purchased at a tea shop in Deadham, England with John (Foster) and my friends, David and Michael. The beautifully framed Japanese symbol for “courage” that stands on the mantel, a gift from Wendy. The infinitely soft afternoon nap blanket made of four muslin layers that warm and breathe. The weight of my wedding rings on my hands. Noticing everyday things, I experience the love and memories anew.

But today was not ordinary: Jon and I again stepped into the unknown. Today was “chemo day.” Today we learned that the current drug combination was no longer  effective. In consultation with Dr. Morgan, we chose the next “line of treatment,” a new combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy drugs. Treatments will have a more complex timetable. I experience the unknown – uncharted territory: anxiety and unanswered questions, fear that is designed to protect me. And, I experience a sense of adventure and curiosity, wondering what will be revealed around the curve with the ‘No Passing’ zone.

A blessing for your own life rhythms:

May you be blessed
by ordinary time
and ordinary things.May you be curious
at thresholds holding
fear and revelation.

May you be comforted
by the love that
connects and surrounds us.

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9 Responses to known and unknown: living with what is

  1. Thank you for sharing the gift of your wisdom, and the gift of that beautiful blessing.

    • Laurie, thank you for your words of affirmation and the many photographs and words that you have created and shared over the years through your book, blog, and social media. You have inspired me too.

  2. Amy says:

    That blessing is absolute perfection. Thanks for sharing you EXTRAordinary thoughts on this monumental day. Love and peace!

  3. Karen Franz says:

    Your story from your heart this morning was an added morning devotional for me…an appreciation for both the ordinary and extraordinary in our life’s journey.

    • Karen, I’m glad to know that you found meaning in my words. Sending peace and love for the ordinary and extraordinary in your own experience.

  4. Phil Troyer says:


    I write this from Betsy and my dream house we had built in 1998. I returned here Sunday night alone for the week except my girls are sorting things here Friday to decide what art things are left to donate to the “Gild”. Mary Ellen flys in Saturday. We drive to Kacey’s Mon-Tues then to Buffalo Friday Sun-Mon 23-24at the CAN Falls Tues 25 Ft Huron with view of ore boats entering the river then back to Ill.

    New shared experiences with Mary Ellen including showing her my farm home-Topeka-Shipshewana on 17th

    I am 74 she is 71 how many years are left for the next chapter?

    Experience the day is the thing! My next door nghbrs took me to brkfst a good start.


    • Phil, Thank you for joining the conversation on the blog. However many years are left for the next chapter, I agree with you that experiencing the day and creating new shared experiences are the way to live them!
      Peace and love to you for today and each day.

  5. Pingback: are we there yet: living with what is | Contemplative Photography

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