Profound transformation

Around 10 am on Thursday, 23 February 2012, as I sat quietly concentrating on the manuscript on my screen, I had a stroke. My right upper lip went completely numb and I felt close to collapse. The next nine days passed in a blur of shock and dawning realisations, in hospital.

Friends have encouraged me to blog about the experience – but cognitive impairments have, for now, rendered me incapable of putting it all together in a well-structured, accessible form.

I’ve also been dimly aware from early in my recovery that the transformation is deep, slow-moving and intimate. Some of my experiences and insights are logged, haphazardly, in my morning writings. I will probably, one day, begin typing them up into manuscript. Perhaps the distillation of them will be useful to others walking the long, slow stroke recovery path.

Recently, Chloe Higgins came to visit and gently challenged me to try writing haiku – such a short, disciplined form that my cognitive capacity is able to cope. I posted the first few to Facebook and received warm encouragement to start posting the haiku here. So these will be my offerings for a while.

I hope they brighten your day, as they do mine.

Here are the first few:

7 August 2012

dear body
much more serene


8 August 2012

glowing at street’s end
grandmother magnolia
my exquisite friend


9 August 2012

body and thought slowed
mindfulness penetrates time
profound peace settles


10 August 2012

lorikeet rainbows
eggshell sky, dancing treetops
heralding the dawn


11 August 2012

appointment at last
neurologist peering deep
into my mystery


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9 Responses to Profound transformation

  1. Love the Haiku. Fascinating and terrifying to think our health is so fragile, but the mind is so resilient …

  2. Selena says:

    Desney, I can’t tell you how glad I am for Chloe’s encouragement, and your taking up the challenge. Yes, these poems have brightened my day, and my view of the future. S xx

  3. lisa Heidke says:

    Agree with Selena and Jennifer…your poems definitely brighten my day. Much love, light and hugs being sent your way. xxx

  4. Annarosa says:

    Thanks for this Des, and for your haikus, your writing is opening a world to me. Xx

  5. Gabriella Sterio says:

    Sorry to hear, Desney! A friend of mine, who is 37, had a stroke around Christmas while she was swimming. It’s been a slow recovery for her too. The haiku are wonderful. I’m particularly fond of the lorikeet rainbows and eggshell sky. Haiku on! xx

  6. susannah says:

    Thank-you Desney for posting and for sharing your haiku. I have been thinking of you these last few days, and reflecting how pleased I am to see you on our monthly Saturday meetings. I was preparing to write to you when I received your note. I am moved by your grace and spirit, and your haiku extends my awareness of those qualities.

    With appreciationxxx

  7. Penny says:

    Desney – you’re Yoda now. You’ve had your very own Jill Bolte-Taylor stroke of insight – but what I got from talking to you was different, but every bit as inspiring as Jill’s sharing of her profound experience of a stroke. Can’t wait to see how you distill it. Pen, X

  8. anita says:

    love the haikus Desney

  9. Gail says:

    Beautiful words; your loikeet rainbows and egg shell sky touch me.
    Best wishes,

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