The Re-education of Molly Oliver

Chronicles of the adventures of a returning student. Watch Molly leave home and learn new things.

29 June 2010

always a student

Haven't told this blog yet that I am still a student. When I started this little project I thought it could be a nice way to stay in touch with friends while I went on hiatus and studied Ayurveda in New Mexico and I could leave it when I was done. Which is pretty much how it has gone.

However, I'm in the process of thinking about a website for my little Ayurveda practice and one of the first things one should do is to google oneself. And this site popped up on the first page, after the lists of websites devoted to the 1970's rock band, Molly Oliver, formed the same year as my birth. I realized I am still a student and still have a little something to say, and maybe a few people still look at this site. I am working toward nursing school. In addition to sitting with the lovely R. I have been volunteering in hospice and really loving being with\caring for people. To that end I have been taking a few classes at community college, finding out that I love math, and prepping myself to apply for a very competitive program at the University of Rochester next year.

It is summer again here and today is a perfect day, crisp, breezy, green and full of sun.

Wishing you the very best of days,

16 February 2010

On the edge of not knowing

My dear friend R. declares to the room"We're all on the edge of not knowing!" At almost 94, she is facing lots of change and lots of letting go. Soon she'll move out of state to live with her son and his family. She's lived in Rochester since 1946 they tell me. Physical activity is difficult these days. Walking hurts, she needs help putting on her stockings. Balance is precarious and she uses a 3-wheeled walker to get around, very slowly. Her mind is slipping a little, sometimes a lot. She can't remember words, names, or the activities she used to love. Often she is disoriented, wondering when she's going home. Looking around her living room she'll say, "So many things here look just like my things." The hardest thing is that she knows she doesn't know.

Somehow she stays really positive and present in all this , when her world is muddling up and folding in around her, she still wants to hear about what is going on in politics and the rest of the country. She gets up and walks every day, despite the pain, because she does not want to stop walking. Even though she can barely see, she points out beauty to me all the time: a certain tree that stands up just so, a cloud or rare shimmer of cold late winter sun, the orchid that still holds its bloom.

All of this is just fine, and sweetly painful: the kind of things I love to comment on. There is something deeper in the time I have with R. that is difficult to articulate. I feel like she's transmitting lots of serious information about how to live life. It comes and goes quickly, like a little razor cutting through the fog. She'll say: "It is very important to know what you can do and what you cannot do." or "I've always been most interested in learning about my own self, how and why I do what I do. That is what has been most important, don't you agree?" or "You have a wonderful nurturing self, you are so competent and kind. You MUST do this for your self too." I'll ask her to say more about it and she'll respond, "Now, what day is it? Have we had any dinner yet?"

I'm walking on the edge of not knowing, taking one step and another; listening carefully.

13 November 2009

after a long absence

After a long absence, I just popped in to see what is going over here. I realize that I miss blogging here and think that space may be opening up for me to return.

So many things since I last posted, another 6 months of life-altering education, another period of re-entry to life here in the northeast, another beautiful autumn.

Along the way I have been starting a private practice offering Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle recommendations, been teaching and lecturing a little. Great blessings have been heaped upon me...a family has asked me to help give care to a wonderful lady in her mid-90's.

It is an incredible job, I love this little woman R. more than I can say. She teaches me so much. Here's just one small example. We took a drive to Naples because we had both been wanting to go. I had a toothache and was in some pain. R. said, "Are you sure you can do this tremendous driving." "Yes," I said, "a nice trip will be fun and distract me from this pain." So we went, we had a wonderful time, we almost lost her purse but found it, we ate crepes on the porch of the Naples Hotel in the sun on the 8th of November. We met a small boy with his family who said "Be my friend, be my friend." "If I could hear better," R. said, "I would certainly love to hear what he was saying and we would have a grand conversation about all the great things." It was a long day. We were both tired by the time we got back to the city. The next time I saw her, R. said to me: "I cannot believe you did all that driving when you were hurting so much." I said: "Oh, it was my pleasure, and I had so much fun." "You were sick" she said, "and did not look at all well. You are the kind of person who likes to make everything wonderful, aren't you?" "I suppose I am." I said. "Were you showing off for me, with your grand skills, great strength and excellent driving of very long distances?" she asked. "Yes," I said, "I guess I was."

I am reveling in seeing and being seen by someone who has such clear, direct access to reality. It is an incredible gift and an honor.

love, gifts and honor to all of you,

31 December 2008

going back

I am going back to ABQ for another 6months of study.  will try to put notes here from time to time to keep a little record of how it is going.  2008 was pretty amazing.  Here's hoping 2009 is another wonderful year for you and yours.

much love,

17 November 2008

Waiting to get a life

And then it was Halloween..........barely any kids stopped by but we were ready. After it got a little later I made a fire in the back yard and roasted the jack-o-lantern. He made a delicous soup the next day.
Posted by Picasa

Summer is officially over

Summer is officially over, it snowed today. Trying to get myself in the winter feel of things, the hunker-down, draw in and recharge zone; but I am cold. Just found these very late summer snapshots of my garden and wanted to share them. Grey is a fact of life here. I used to have a great tolerance and sort of poetic regard for the darker time of the year. Today I feel impatient, let's get it over with already. This usually happens in March, not November. The colors are more saturated when it is grey. We can eat more soup and snuggle more when it is grey. Cloudy days are great for studying.

All that said, I am cherishing the little moments and slices of late autumn sun.
Posted by Picasa

27 October 2008

End of October, already

I was out of town for 2 consecutive weekends in October. It was great fun traveling solo, first to my sister in New York and then to Chicago for an ayurveda conference. But I missed the fall here at home. Please remind me to stay put in October. It is such a magical month, a crazy blend of all four seasons if you look closely enough. One day it is sunny, sweaty, and high 70's, another it is a crisp water-yellow sun-dappled 50 with bright red leaves fluttering to the ground. Sometimes it snows inches on Halloween. We all know that here. How often do you see the spring in October? You know it if I tell you...the soft grey day that is humid...anywhere between 45 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit; the leaves have fallen and the branches are bare and sopping wet. Look in the garden bed...bulbs are pushing up single small hard green nubs and one bird is singing a song so sweet, I could swear it is April.
Today it is almost the end of October, already. I missed the falling of the leaves and have a little edge of the autumn melancholy. It will be darker soon, and much colder. And in the New Year, I will leave my love again for 6 months of school in another state.

About Me

My photo
A long-time student, I have studied art, ayurveda and now nursing and vajrayana buddhism. I claim to be more interested in the next question than the answer....