For the first time in over two weeks, since Nomie’s death (let’s skip the flowery language – passed, transitioned, left us, etc – and use the dread “D” word), I was able to sit in her favorite chair in the sun room. This is the chair where she almost exclusively spent the last month of her life. This is the chair where I sat with her and meditated, where I chanted to her, hoping I could plant some good seeds that would ripen in future lives, and that also served to calm us both. This is the chair where she died and laid in state for a night before she was buried. This is the chair that used to be in the community room of my now defunct dharma center. This is the the chair where many a Buddhist butt sat, socialized and laughed together in a center that is no more.
The sun was bright and hot on my face as I simply tried to remain still and present. Alaska took advantage of my stillness to curl up on my chest in the warm sun. As he has gotten older, he’s gotten more needy, and it’s hard maintaining patience with him (particularly when he’s standing right in front of the keyboard as he is now). But, it was nice. He was still. I was still. Eventually, he had enough and jumped down, leaving an open chest for Sasquatch to lay his head on. And soon enough, he jumped down. The sun soon shifted, and so did I. As lovely as it was, it was over. Don’t hold on. Don’t idealize it.
It’s the holding on that is so painful. When I was feeling depressed last month I now recognize that I was trying to hold on to Nomie, my teacher, my center and my status at work. It was the fear of the loss that was the heaviest. Now that much of that is indeed lost, it feels like there is so much more space in my mind. Rather than fear of “what if?” now there’s a lively curiosity of “what now?”.
So, I take baby steps. Starting my Sangha Salon has helped. I’ve also called about training to be a crisis counselor. Today, if we can stand the searing heat, the boyfriend and I may go to the Highland Games. He’s going for the Celtic music, me I’m going for the men in kilts throwing telephone poles and other heavy objects.
For now, life seems lighter. And for that, I am grateful.