Monday, June 18, 2012

Getting Through a Really Bad Day

“Jasmine/Never Sorry (for Ai Weiwei)” a light graffiti work by Vicki DaSilva
The above photo was published today in the NY Times.  This light graffiti will appear tonight 23 stories high on the side of a building in Times Square, a charming use of electricity, if you ask me.  It becomes more resonant if you know something about Ai Weiwei, (who is said to have 40 cats).

But I was going to write about getting through a horrible day.  Two of them, actually, yesterday and now today.  I'd expected to wake up much better, but I woke up dreaming about talking to a kindly spiritual advisor about how the class just wasn't working, and I wished he would visit more.  That got me remembering Dr. Paul Kerschner, minister of my youth, and that made me sad.  It was so long ago that he must be dead.  He appears nowhere on the internet, and he was a wonderful person.

Yesterday we went to church, hoping it would not be about Father's Day, and it wasn't.  The program was presented by a number of women connected to the School for Young Children at our church, and about play.  Letting them play.  Not judging kids, not pushing them, respecting them.

The more I heard stories of kids blooming under this treatment, the more I remembered my very lonely, strained childhood, the abuse I got constantly from my father and intermittently from my mother.  Later that afternoon we had a long talk with Tom's sister, who is just very down about their father's slow demise.  Today my father's ghost has been visiting, still tormenting me after 15 years despite lots of therapy and various mental tricks.  And poems.

Saturday I visited my friend Tina, who was just moved into hospice care.  We meditated together for years.  It was a good visit, short. She has terminal COPD and had to gasp to say two words.  She liked the hydrangea blooms I took her, pink and blue; she likes pink.  Had breast cancer years ago, and I noticed she was still wearing her pink elastic bracelet, though otherwise not adorned.

I am just not there Buddha-wise.  Tina is 76 and wearing out, and it's time for her to go, but it makes me sad. And it is always sad when people are not relaxed and happy about dying.  I think about John Tarrant's description of visiting a dying dharma buddy who accepted what was happening.  He calls it "just two men having lunch."  No sadness.  Well, okay, if you say so.  Maybe I'm resisting being a person like that. Though I'm still aiming for a relaxed death.  (Just not right now.)

Last night before bedtime the sky was illustriously beautiful, the air magic.  I wrote about it all this morning, for myself.  I looked up Allen Ginsberg's poem about Walt Whitman at the Supermarket, and read it to Tom.  We went and exercised.  Meeting my daughter for dinner soon.  Slowly the day has become less difficult. 

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