Friday, September 25, 2020
Dears-I've been accepted to the self guided silent retreat that starts October 11th and will go until the 23rd. My dear Clark will house sit for me so Felix doesn't need to go anywhere and Clark can play the piano and sing and sit in the hot tub.
I'll be in silence in the woods where my meals will be prepared for me. The rest of the time I'll be sitting in the dharma hall, or walking in the woods. In Noble silence. No responsibilities. I will call my teacher every few days so the retreat center knows I'm not cracking up. I promise I won't. Heavens, I've been on many silent retreats. I'll be fine. When I think about it, I feel excited. Even though it will be hard/interesting/difficult/joyful etc. My teacher asked what I was planning to focus on. Equanimity perhaps? I'll leave electronics behind except for my phone to call her.
Tomorrow I'm planning to buy a wetsuit. If the pools are still closed, I'm gonna swim in the lake like the other lunatics. I'll get one of those buoy things to drag behind me and I won't go by myself, well, mostly. I've done so many things by myself that it will be hard to resist. Who knew I would turn out to be this kind of person?
Monday, September 21, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
What kind of fresh hell is this? The pandemic keeping us apart, no hugging, no dinners together, certainly no trips to see our children. We're supposed to be masked, 6 feet apart, check for fever, breathing, contact etc etc. But get outside, commune with nature. So we do, trails through the forest with the dog and a water bottle. Don't go any farther than a tank of gas.
Now the air is so bad, we close all the windows, turn on the fans, buy out air filters. And we don't go to the forest. We can watch films about forests, we can water our house plants. We can play with the cat.
I know I talked about this before but I admit. I'm obsessed with Outlander. I've made it through the series twice and Judith snagged me all the books from a little free library. Thank you anonymous woman (you know it's a woman) for dropping the whole series in a little free library for Judith to find and she sent me a picture. "Isn't this the series you like?" Uh, I don't like it, I have an unhealthy relationship with the characters. Especially Jamie and I'm a lesbian. Or maybe I'm not really. I have no way of knowing anymore. And it doesn't matter what I/we call ourselves. Anyway, he's a Scottish hunk with a sexy Scottish accent. I swoon.
So Judith lugged home all eight books. And I mean lugged. They are bricks. They are seventeen hundred pages long. They broke the bag they were in. I've made it through four, working on the fifth.
Yes I am reading my usual stuff-Sunday NYT, The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue, Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, John Lewis autobiography, etc but when I want to comfort myself, it's Outlander all the way. And these days when I wake up to the uncertain gray of smokey skies and I let the dog out and decide if it's ok to walk around the block, I need/we need all the comfort we can get. The First Noble Truth is the truth of our suffering and dissatisfaction. Yep, check, got it. We are surely suffering right along with everything that lives. As we say in our clinic when we evaluate each client for risk, sometimes there are just 'too many things' for us to safely care for this woman outside the hospital.
Y'all, it's too many things for our little hearts and psyches to hold.
Friday, September 11, 2020
When yr driving North on the 5 and the phone keeps blowing up with alarms evacuate now high winds wild fire and you just want to get home wherever that is the thought of home being North more North than here then the sky becomes black in an unnatural way so black you can't poke a hole in it not like the night sky black with winking stars but black a heavy thick black rolling over the hills but you can't see the hills only the black with edges of red and orange but not the sun no you realize the red is the fire the wild fire pushing this way and that and yr going as fast as you can yr going 80 85 who's gonna stop you anyway yr wearing a mask the smoke will choke you will choke yr fellow travelers all going North like the deer and rabbits as the fire brushes them along until they too are consumed you don't want to be consumed not today you call yr sister so she can be there for your panic your animal panic this is how we die wind and fire and we see the fire hopping the freeway raining ash and embers we're doing our best to outrun the fire built with twigs and living trees and grass and creatures like us who want to live who want to live who want to
I came back from S Oregon on Tuesday. We were camping along a river and we woke up at 2 AM because there was smoke in the air. We stood around trying to decide what to do, should we stay, should we leave. We decided to leave and were on the road by 4 AM. Maya and her friends went south and I went north, right into the beast.
It was the scariest car ride I've ever had. When I got past the second fire, I stopped for gas and looked across at the freeway entrance and cops were blocking it so they were closing the freeway. I got out in time but so many didn't.
Today the smoke in the air is unbreathable. The humming birds are still at the feeders. Micha still has a newborn foster baby in her home. The dog is still dirty.
Fire is an uncompromising fucker. All I can do today is cry. As my friend Clark said in a text "poor sweet everything".