After several years of working with health professionals, I healed from multiple sclerosis in spring of 1995. The body is amazing; it will do its best to adapt to any circumstance. It took years of additional rehab to undo all the adaptations in my body, to enable smooth, fluid walking for example, muscles and nerves coordinated and in balance. I learned a lot about how complex and interwoven these ordinary tasks are. And I had a renewed appreciation for the hard work of babies to learn to walk in the first place.
I did not set out to heal from MS, which I had been told was not possible. I set out to deal with depression as my physical symptoms increased and the life path that stretched out before me diminished. I am careful when I say that I healed from MS, and there is solid evidence that this is so. This is not the day I want to talk about that healing process, nor what I learned. What I do want to say is that healing from MS cracked me open creatively speaking.
Most of my life I had the impression I was not a creative person. In looking back, I can see some of how that misunderstanding took root. It seems ludicrous now that I have found my home in creating beauty, in poetry, photography, music, etc. For me it took MS to bring me home to my creative self. The symptoms most often affected my left side, controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain, the creative center. In some unconscious way, I had cut myself off from my creative side. This is obviously simplistic, but has truth in it. Once the MS was gone, I had a creative awakening, with ideas bursting out of me as if they had been waiting my whole life for me to notice. I continued working on healing. I began a poetic journal, which has now been going for almost fourteen years.
Within a year (1996) I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two tumors, one in each breast, picked up on a routine mammogram, followed by further testing. I was 44 years old with a husband and two young children. It is not stretch to say that writing the poems saved my life. It was an integral part of my healing from cancer. Writing allowed me to express what was happening to me, to understand, and to share. It turned out that others were also helped by these poems.
Early on in my writing, I noticed that certain people seemed to stimulate my creativity. When I was going to my voice lessons or having a massage, for example. I started calling these times, my space of grace. A time when I could more easily draw from the universal creative well. I am sure you have these times and people in your life as well. What people or places or events open a space of grace in your life?
Space of Grace
There are some times, some places, some people
which evoke in the space before and after
like a cushion of rarified air—
a space of grace during which anything
can happen: insight, inspiration, healing, clarity,
answers to thorny questions asked, joy, levity, harmony.
This grace is unearned, unmeasured, unpaid for,
unencumbered by elegant expectation.
This grace is a miracle or
the environment for miracles to happen—
a little bit of heaven,
casually interwoven with
the apparent ordinary.
Margaret Dubay Mikus