Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Outline (in paragraphs)

Dear Blog,

I've been neglecting you. But you have been on my mind. I just haven't found the time to get to you. There's so much to say, type. I feel the keys under my fingertips and wonder whether I can get it all out. Hence, I shall make an outline. Of my health. And of my music.

I. Health
a. Healing with Eastern Medicine.
1. Dr. Keith Jordan. I experienced the most radical, life-changing experience I have ever had at the hands of a doctor. I have seen him weekly or bi-weekly since August 26th and have more faith in my body and spirit than I have ever had before. I have not been healed of my kidney disease, per say, but I believe I have been healed in ways that make me more ready than ever to embrace the road that lies ahead of me. There's something to be said when a complete stranger can put his hands on you and know the damage that exists within you, both physically and spiritually, and can articulate specifics of that damage. I spent my first hour with him in tears, feeling so much being removed from me while trying desperately to understand how he knew what he knew about my life and my history. He repeated, "I don't know how I know, but I do know I'm meant to heal you from these things." And he continued. And has for almost two months. Much of the focus has been on managing my immune system, and redirecting how my body handles itself. Ironically, the physical nature of my own immune system fighting my body mimics the battle I have had with my sense of self. It's almost poetic how rejection is not just an immune concept, but a concept I've battled in trying to accept my self, love, relationships, my music, acting, my family. As Dr. Jordan put it, "you have battled an infection of rejection." Now, as I prepare for a new kidney, it's more important than ever that I get this infection out and embrace, rather than reject, what the Universe offers me. My body needs to get used to taking in what is good for it, new kidney and all. I believe I'm in training--boot camp for a kidney transplant. And the core work out for my spirit consists of flushing out fear and rejection--because those are/can be deadly things. I've been working on letting go of a lot, because holding on to what is dead and/or diseased did much more harm than good. I am feeling better. Yes, I am fatigued. Yes, I am experiencing edema and yes, it's ugly. Yes, I don't go out nearly as much as I'd like and I often have to cancel plans because my body can't handle what it could just a year ago. And yes, this is rough. But I'm damn certain I am more ready than ever, more open than ever, and more loved than ever (by myself and others) and that, to me, is a picture of good health. Good health takes a lot of work, and I think much of it comes from the work I have done at the hands of Dr. Jordan.
b. Healing with Western Medicine.
1. Transplant Team. On November 15th, I will spend the day at the Cleveland Clinic having tests and meeting my Transplant Team. The Transplant Team consists of a nephrologist, a urologist, a social worker, a financial adviser, and a core gang of my loved ones. Yes, I said gang. My kidney posse. It's going to be a long day. But a very important day, full of big information that I am preparing myself for. I'm an emotional being, and there's a lot that's going to be put on the table. I know this because just last month I was at a routine appointment and was talking with my doctor about childbearing and he said, with deep compassion, that once I have a transplant, I will no longer be able to bear children. Ouch. And still ouch. I think I had convinced myself that I would be healthy enough post-transplant to have a child. However, anti-rejection drugs (see this rejection crap I got going on) necessary to maintain a new kidney would destroy any potential pregnancy. So, I was told I could get pregnant now and be in a high-risk pregnancy. Or never be pregnant. Not the easiest pill to swallow. And it's still kinda caught in my throat, so let's move on. Once this transplant meeting occurs, the "find a donor" campaign will officially begin. I think I may put together a concert to kick things off. My health and music continue to coincide.

II. Music
a. My Band. Every Wednesday and Saturday I get together with two very fun, quirky, talented guys. Here is a list of potential ideas for what we will call ourselves:

Maura Rogers and....

the 21st century
the Western Reserve
the Trigger
the Winsome Losers
the Atomic Sky
Bloodshot Moon
the Sexiest Band in the World
the Second Edition
the Phantom of the Amusement Park
the Situation
the Remains
the Regulars
the Maladies
the Graveyard Shift
the Night Hawks

It's been an extremely fun process, getting to know them and building relationships with them. They make me laugh A LOT. Which is refreshing, considering how serious I can be as a singer-songwriter. I'm realizing that at the core of every good band is a group of people that genuinely respect and admire one another. And I truly feel they admire and respect the music I've put on the table. THAT feels soooo good. It's been extremely different from the work I've done as a solo singer-songwriter. I find myself navigating my way through the sounds, loving it for the most part, but feeling overwhelmed at times by the choices that come into play when there's more people and sounds than just little me with a guitar. We are learning all 30 of my songs and are planning to play out in December for the first time. Soon, there will be some recordings on my myspace to give you a taste of what we sound like.

b. CD's. I've sold all my cd's from my first order--a very nice thing to report. I'm working on getting onto CDbaby and/or Reverb Nation. Brent (my bassist) has designed a website for me and we hope to get that up and running in the next month or so. Slowly, but surely, this musical journey continues.

III. Conclusion
a. Life is Good. Healing can be hard work and music can be hard work. But nothing worthwhile was ever done easy. I find that the more I invest in the things I love (even when they are challenging) the healthier I feel--mind, body, and spirit.

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