Thursday, November 29, 2012

Revisiting Budapest

Remembering Budapest in November, mid-nineteen nineties.

The painting behind me is by EL KAZOVSZKIJ, one of Hungary's top artists. Our little guy loved traveling in his backpack. He's nineteen now and still loves to travel (with a backpack!). Here we are at the artist's exhibition. Sadly, EL KAZOVSZKIJ died in 2008.  Click here to see more of her amazing work.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Please Sterilize Immediately...Thank you.

"Yesterday was difficult for awhile. Occasionally, thoughts such as is this worth I want to continue crossed my mind. I think it's important that at those times my thoughts need to be more in the line of: I'll get through this. It will pass. The pleasant, painless times are easy. It's the uncomfortable times that need my strength and conviction."

From my Bone Marrow Transplant journal (November 1979)
LAF=Laminar Air Flow (isolation room originally created by NASA for outer space travel)
Jessica Brilliant=Jessica Keener

From Nov. 1979, Journal--"One cannot remove anxiety by arguing it away" and "when astray--your wanderings are limitless." These quotes are from Paul Tillich's: The Courage To Be. Less eloquent are my four words in red: -- CALL THERAPIST IN MORNING

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turkeys Roosting at Twilight

Tonight, my husband and I saw a large turkey land in this tree with a full throttle gobble before settling down for the night on a sturdy branch.  Another turkey flapped and flew from a telephone pole to another tree nearby.  Both birds turned and craned their necks for a minute or so, getting their bearings as the moon brightened. We stood a good 60 feet below gawking up at them. I felt in awe, excited, and also a bit tremulous-the turkeys in our town have a reputation for aggressiveness. My husband pointed out that the turkeys had larger concerns than us--eagles on the prowl, for instance.  Sleep well, ancient birds, under your mystical, moonlit canopy.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Organ Donors Rule!

Recognize this person?
This week in November recalls the time I was in an isolation room 33 years ago for a bone marrow transplant. My brother donated his matching bone marrow and saved my life. I had a fatal form of Aplastic Anemia and PNH (paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria). This transplant was my remaining hope. It was a highly experimental and new procedure back then. After massive doses of chemotherapy, I lost my hair and gained so much more. My story, Recovery, is based on my 2.5 months spent in the hospital.

You can see my hair grew back, no problem.

More amazing--my (younger brother) was just seventeen when he donated his bone marrow without a blink's hesitation. Now he's VP of Global Sales traveling the world for UptoDate, which provides medical knowledge to professionals worldwide. How can I not brag about this?

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Here's another pretty November morning in Boston's South End. I like to imagine the artisans who labored to create these beautiful wrought iron railings--ornate, fanciful creations of function and design. There's optimism in these curling shapes. This section of Boston is recognized on the Nat'l Register as the oldest and largest Victorian neighborhood in the country.

Twinkie twilight

I believe Twinkies might have been my first brush with alien life, beyond anything I'd experienced before. My mother rarely bought them. But I adored them. They seemed to come from outer space, like some kind of futuristic food. Sitting on my hard, wooden chair in school, they took me to another dimension, instantly. One spongy bite and I was out the window, far far away from multiplication tables and rulers, and #2 pencils. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fall Finale (in our neighborhood)

Couldn't resist this splendid outburst of color as I walked home from the library.  Makes you wonder about all the glorious things that go on around us without making a sound, or so it seems. How easily I could have passed by without notice had I not turned my head as I climbed the hill toward home.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gazebo in the Sky

Gazebo-has the word: gaze in it. This one looks perfect for sky gazing.