East Texas With Rug Frame

October 15, 2009


Yoda in Progress

I’m off to East Texas this weekend, toting a bunch of stuff I’m giving to my sister, plus my rug frame and supplies.  My sister, Mom and I plan to sit around and do fabric work (They quilt, I hook) and deal with the event of the weekend.  Dad’s headstone will be installed tomorrow.

The other day I had to be at work early.  I accidentally woke up at about 4:30.  What was wrong with me?  I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I read for a while, then I got up for zazen.  I sat for 20 minutes.  Ah.  it was really a great morning.  I had oatmeal for breakfast, and got on my way.  That night I was exhausted, but I did my zazen again, and slept like a baby.  It’s the little things.

The secret is I have hated getting up early since I was little, and the next day I got up as late as possible on a work day.  But that one day I got up early and it was good.  Getting up early isn’t a moral issue with me like it was with my father or my husbands’ parents.  They thought only lazy people slept late. And lazy wasn’t cute to them.  I have rebelled against getting up early when people have insinuated that only the early riser is worthy of anything worthwhile.  But really, to me it doesn’t matter.  You can do as much from 12pm to 4am as you can from 5am to 9pm.  But it was just a different here, now day.  I was there at a different now.

Now I’m working on just being with what I’m doing.  I’m not good at it yet, but I’m learning from it.  If I’m eating I try to spend at least part of the time just being with the food.  (Last night I made potato, mushroon, onion, celery soup with matzo balls.  I don’t know why I made that, but it was quite satisfying.  If there’s still some left I’m having it again tonight!)

With zen I feel like not eating so much meat.  That’s interesting, isn’t it?  I never intended to become a vegetarian when I started this, I just find that what I feel like spending time with is veggie food.  I wonder where that will go.  I’m not a vegetarian today.  I don’t know if I will be one later.  I just find it interesting that when I am mindful about food, I want vegetables and grains.

I’m off to go home, pack up my frame and my zafu and some furniture that’s going to get a new life.

Things are good. The big rain drop tears that come with knowing my father is really and truly done with this world and that a big granite stone, rich with feldspar and polished to a bright sheen will hold him down in the plain East Texas dirt (and his soul must surely be in Oklahoma) came and I just sat with them, and thought, “These are some big tears, and my chest is surely going to erupt in some big crying volcano of missing my Daddy.”  Maybe he didn’t think I should sleep so late, but he loved me.

When he was in the hospice one day, it was morning and I was getting ready to go.  I said goodbye and gathered my overnight bag and hugged my family.  They trickled out into the hall, and when I went to say one of the scary good-byes to my dad, he stopped me.  He wanted to talk about something… I wish I could remember more about what.  I know it had to do with something to do with not understanding why the doctor wouldn’t let him go home, and all that painful unwillingness to accept that he was dying.

When we had talked it over, and I had explained what I understood… I remember.  It had something to do with the young woman doctor who had told him he really was going to die.  He liked her.  He was a bit of a flirt in his old age.  He was unnerved by what she said although it had been said to him in a million ways by all of us for what seemed like forever. The next day he didn’t remember what she said and didn’t understand that he was dying again.

But what happened that day was that I was getting ready to go.  Maybe it was evening.  I used to stay as long as I could.  I hugged him and told him how much I loved him.  He said, “Well, Kell… I love you, too, times a million.”

I get to have that forever, or until my own brain starts to skip beats. Right now it makes me weak to think about it, and I can’t write it without all these tears and all this snot.  But it’s like … it’s like the best thing he could ever give me, and he gave it to me in a thousand different ways.

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