Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Yesterday I worked in my clinic for 12 hours. I can't think after 5PM. My brain freezes up and words won't float to the surface so I stumble and bumble and my eyes water. Clients don't seem to notice. As I was saying goodbye to the last client and her son, one of the homeless men who lives up the street under the viaduct came in to tell us a pickup truck parked outside had it's lights on. We assured him that neither of us owned a truck. He supposed that the truck could be jump-started if the battery went dead and he seemed reassured by this idea. He said his 'Indian money' hadn't arrived yet but he didn't ask for anything from us. He was just being neighborly.

There is a small community of homeless men who live right beside the parking lot up the street. They have some furniture and a stove. They're very quiet. Sometimes the cops park in the lot and sometimes I see them in the encampment. Mostly, they leave them alone. All around are condos; young people with small dogs on leashes, babies in $300 baby strollers, and researchers at Fred Hutch, the huge research center across the street. So much money. The Gates Foundation is in the building across from us.

Tomorrow I leave for two weeks on retreat. Talk about lucky. I'm going to sit in the woods in silence with a bunch of other retreatants while others cook our meals. All I have to do is follow the schedule, if I want. We pick a chore. Maybe I'll work in the garden or clean the bathrooms.
In the hall, you can hear the train whistle off in the distance. There are deer and raccoons and bunnies and frogs. I've been there many times. During afternoon breaks, I'll go visit the creek and the hand hewn bridge a father dedicated to his children. I won't write (well, not officially) or read or talk, except during interviews. I'll eat sparingly and go to bed at 9:30.

I'll sit with my own damn self. No distractions except for the ones I invent. And I'm very clever so I invent a multitude of distractions. Finally the mind quiets down. And who knows what's there, lurking.

And back home, the babies will keep coming and the men under the bridge will hopefully be safe and protected from harm.


Ms. Moon said...

Oh Beth. I will miss you but I am glad you are going. Sweet journeys!

Radish King said...

Dearest Coyote, I will miss you while you're quiet.

Laura Gamache said...

I never noticed "becoy" as your address before 'til now, but you're off retreating in the tulgy wood. Hurrah!

RachelVB said...

Dear Beth,
I've seen you around Radish and thank you for the stellar recommendation. She's an incredible teacher.
Your retreat sounds wonderful. What I wouldn't give to shut myself in myself for a little while. I hope you have/had a wonderful experience.

Marylinn Kelly said...

After too long an absence, I find you are wonderfully on retreat. So much comes to us when we are still. I look forward to whatever you wish to share when you return. Continuing peace. xo