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Archive for December, 2009

Renie died this afternoon, and even though tragedy is ultimately both common and ordinary, each time it dances, it wraps itself back in on each one of us and consumes what we use to orient our lives. Namaste.

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Driving back to the dentist, I observed the difference observation makes. I was observing the difference between the almost panic of the last trip and this much calmer trip. Last trip, it was not enough to try to hold steady in front of an un-understandable demon of dental terror, but I had to go the wrong direction on the freeway and wind up in the middle of a spaghetti bowl of elevated construction. I am terrified of driving in construction. I am terrified of falling off. I hate being late. This time, the trip was like standing still in front of a much smaller tornado. Observing allows the body to empty what has been stored. Observing allows us to come closer to reacting only to what is in front of us. Purification. Desensitization. Done.

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Charter for Compassion

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Sat hospice again tonight. Someone has strung Tibetan prayer flags outside the bedroom window. The streetlight reflected off the snow. The plows passed by, blocking sidewalks and driveways with new walls of ice pushed up off the street. It was warm and silent in the bedroom. Twenty six people are sitting 24-hour a day hospice in a duplex that used to house a meditation center. The owners of the house have moved into the old meditation center space and have turned their home over to her hospice. Namaste.

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Like most Decembers, I resorted to drivenness to try to get ready for Christmas. Then I was lonely, because that is the story in my head when my drivenness meets an abrupt changes in course. A big, potentially dangerous storm ran roughshod over the holiday. In the end, my upstairs neighbor took me to her friends’ about a mile away. They were more than happy to take a storm orphan in for the evening. We ate crab legs, drank scotch, and talked about whatever happened to Joseph? Did he stay in Egypt?

I will remember this Christmas because it was different. I will remember it because I struggled with every minute of my story of loneliness, all the way until I arrived at the neighbor’s red front door. I will remember it because in the view from their picture window, the lights from the city looked pink and orange behind the black silhouettes of clouds and the high rises of downtown.

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A note for all those who may have trouble giving. A note for all those who may have trouble receiving. Pema again today: Sending and taking should be practiced alternately. These two should ride one breath.

A corollary: I believe that to have true appreciation and compassion, one must embrace both sides. This goes for giving/receiving, apologizing/forgiving, loving/allowing others to love you. Just writing it down, because I need to remind myself.

A Christmas Eve namaste.

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Snow anxiety, Snowmagedan, snow terrorism is in full swing. The media is saturated with the coming storm. There is talk of postponing the family Christmas until New Year’s Eve. My brain is circling around itself because all focus has been on trying to get work, presents, food, done, wrapped, baked. It occurs to me that maybe all  momentum is drivenness, especially when one is tired and all energy is forcefully focused on a deadline. Then moving deadlines makes the entire structure collapse, the structure that is holding me up.

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