Counting my losses


I feel sad.

On the ride home from work I tried investigating why I was feeling sad. I came up with three or four major suspects:

The Southern California fires got me thinking about my brother and the happy family that never was. I don’t think about it often because it only leaves me with residual sadness. There is no more anger or blame. I am the person I am today in part because of my fucked up family. If the law of karma is indeed correct, I created the causes for that, most likely in a previous life. It was a lesson. It was purification.

The fire also brings brings up a lot of memories of the times I spent in Lake Arrowhead as a child. While my own family never took a vacation together, I spent many a summer with my friend Karen and her parents Margaret and Jim. At first it started as camping for a month at a stretch in the Dogwood Campground near the lake. I had no ideas what dogwood was, I figured it had something to do with dogs, and that was OK with me. After a few years, Margaret and Jim bought a former hunting cabin made of stone called Greystone.

Ah, Greystone. But, that is the subject for another time. But, for now, it is in danger because of the Lake Arrowhead fire. And while Karen sold the house a few years back, and I hadn’t been there for over 15 years, for some reason I mourn that potential loss.

I’m also mourning the loss of my spiritual community. Taking classes and helping my Buddhist Center gave me a sense of meaning in my life. But, now I wonder what was it I was working so hard for. I still love the three jewels – Buddha, dharma, and sangha – but the vehicle by which it was delivered to me (the NKT) I no longer trust. I’m trying to embrace the uncertainty of it all, but sometimes it just feels sad.

And finally, I don’t know how much longer Alaska will be with me. He’s a needy pain in the ass, but he’s a special guy. Next week I need to take him to the vet to get some tests done to see where he is with his CRF.

So, I allow myself the sadness, but try not to hold onto it or let it define me. It can all change so fast. Especially when you have a small feisty creature like Mr. Binkles around. When he isn’t attacking my face or feet, he’s really quite endearing. And nothing can turn a mood around like chasing a small woodland creature around the house on hardwood floors. Or sitting in your comfy chair with your sweet old cat and having a rabbit jump up on your lap and try to work his way into the petting.

I believe I’m reaching a bit of a detente with the Binkles. The couch is still disputed territory, but he’s starting to get that I’m the big bunny around the house. Yesterday morning he was having a fit because I was in his space, which he happens to share with the washer and dryer. But, I went in there with an attitude of “screw you, rabbit. I need clean underwear” and he seemed to respect that. He made lunging motions, but never nipped or bit me. Small victories.

Now, I’m not feeling so sad.


3 responses »

  1. I’m glad I read this, you make a great point about not allowing oneself to hold onto sadness or let it define you, I need to do this.

  2. Hope your sadness dissipated as the weekend progressed. I understand mourning for greystone.. though I hadn’t visited in years, it sort of shook my foundations to discover my gradeschool had been razed to the ground to build a bigger, better building. While the rooms still stood, it was easier to feel close to those early childhood joys and dramas.

  3. Thanks Amuirin, yes, the sadness has abated. And fortunately, my mourning was premature. Both the brother’s family and Greystone were not harmed by the fires. But, it is indeed amazing how places stand as placeholders for our life, so that when they change or disappear it feels like that bit of our life likewise fades.

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