I’ve retired from the old job, given away or sold anything that could be replaced, stored what couldn’t, and moved from Texas to Vermont.
I took refuge vows, and am exploring and studying Shambhala and Tibetan Buddhism.
I’m working again after a year of retirement, and living in a community setting after living alone for almost twenty years.
And if I were to pinpoint the beginning of this journey into Buddhism, it would be the Creative Joy retreat at Garrison, where I walked the labyrinth, and met the Buddha statue on the steps, whose hands are the banner photo for this blog.
This is a story about the stupid, unnecessary loss of a friendship. About stubbornness, rigidity, pride and emotional stinginess. About the way misunderstanding and distrust, if left untended, can sprout like tangled weeds in a garden, choking what is beautiful and true at its very root. It is a story about the way we are often too hard on each other. We expect too much, find fault too easily, forgive too little. Most of all, this is a story about regret.
I’ve been buried in work for the last three months. I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Yesterday was the anniversary of Ting’s death. At some point I’ll write about that experience. Of the sadness and grief, but also the awe of being a part of the passing, of watching my close companion leave this world on his own terms and in his own chosen time.
Thursday would have been my mother’s 93rd birthday. She died at the age of 91, and based on her constant lament that last year that she had been here too long and why couldn’t she just die, she lived a year longer than she wanted.
Observing the contrast of Ting choosing his time and my mother’s inability to let go is a lesson I still ponder. I look at the things in my apartment that I don’t use, the bad habits that I’m trying to change, and I think about this struggle in life to let go. To let go of the possessions, to let go of the beliefs that don’t serve me, to let go of the habits that tear me down instead of build me up.
All of this involves passing from one stage to another, whether it’s the biggest passing of all, or small passages that allow the release of the old to make room for the new. None of it is easy.
Today I saw two bright red tomatoes. Just there, as I drove into the parking lot at the market. There, bright red against the grey blacktop. Beautiful. Red. Perfect. Lost.
I drove on. And parked. And shopped. I did not purchase bright red tomatoes, although I did purchase brilliant green peas, and sweet yellow corn.
Leaving the market, I drove out the way I’d come in. I saw two bright red tomatoes, there, just waiting. No bird had been tempted, no bugs were swarming.
I’ve washed the two bright red tomatoes. Beautiful. Red. Perfect. Found.
between posts both here and elsewhere. But I’ve been writing, and reading, and trying to stay afloat.
And it’s Monday.