Monday, January 6, 2014
My grandpa died, in a few months it will be a year. He was so old, I was unsure what kind of hole might be left by his absence. There is a helpless space before we eat dinner. The time when we prayed. It was his time, and now we just stand there, choked. My aunt steps in at Thanksgiving, she says his blessing. And I get a huge lump in my throat. I hold Elwood close and breathe into the side of his sweet baby head. I take comfort, thinking how pleased my grandpa would have been with what a Fine Boy Elwood is. "Such a Fine Boy." He would have said that.
A little girl from my street died this year. And it's not my story to tell, but I stare at the house of her mom and dad every day and I'm afraid of how sad and scared I am. I don't know how to go on with So Much Sadness and Change All Around me.
Our dog died a few weeks ago. I could write a whole book about what happened in my heart that week when we let go of her.
Death is a thing that has been swirling around me. Not taking out any of my key players, but touching in a medium sized circle around me.
This year, I read furiously. I read the new testament, native american history, syliva plath, the battle of gettysburg, and on and on and on. And had Big Thoughts. And things just got Bigger and Bigger for me, until CRASH.
I had my first Zen interview this year. My question was essentially, how can I go on knowing there is an end? I think the answer might have something to do with a little pebble rolling between two hands. My teacher would think that was nuts, probably. But I don't remember her answer, I remember what she did with her hands when answering. And that became the answer for me. I love her face and her loud laugh. Like a bell that shakes you.
Today is January 6th and I'm just now starting to ease my fingers away from 2013. I have nothing to arm me in the next year. No new practice, no special word, no resolution. Just a sore heart and my breath. Again and again.