Thursday, 30 October 2014
Quite unlike the other times when I got really depressed. Perhaps the depression is waiting around the corner again, but I feel high, with barely enough sleep. I like the jumbled timings, staying awake all night and sleeping during the day. Surprisingly warm for this time of the year, the water a warm 70 degrees, Payson tells me. I ordered a wet suit while I was in India because the one thing I truly enjoyed this year in our mountain home was wearing the wet suit top I had and swimming around in our stream on hot days. In fact, I think that was the highlight (among many other highlights!) of this visit there. But my bottom got cold and hence the full wet suit. The dogs accompanied us and had a ball. Payson and I used to jump into the Pacific during our younger days and we haven't done it for so long that we think its time to get young again. So, jet lag permitting, we're going to do it again!
Sunday, 26 October 2014
My mad mother is also very remarkable. Let me count the ways. Actually, no, let me not count the ways since right now I cannot see beyond her madness. One possibility: she is acting mad because she wants me to break with her before I leave so she can break with me. I am the only member of her family that is caring and loving with her, having made a vow when my father died that I would support her in every way. She’ll have a fight with me almost every time before I leave in order to make the parting less painful.
Another area I have been learning coping and managing. My mother is not a happy old woman. Quite the opposite. She has developed paranoia’s about all sorts of things and people. She has not learned to relinquish control in areas where it is most needed; she has not developed trust; she is becoming bitter and nasty. Today I could see very clearly the arc of her madness going way back in behaviors that troubled all the members of her family. She complains so much that people don’t like to be around her. I alone spend hours and hours with her, loving and supporting her the best I can. But I have to admit I am looking forward to getting away!
My mother’s maid told me this morning that the maid in our neighbor’s house had died, leaving behind two young children. The information registered but did not have an impact till loud wails wrung from the cells of the mourners hearts pierced my ears and I felt an arrow of human agony hit my heart. This is the human condition. These are the circumstance of our mortality. This is part of the contract. Coping and managing are the only things in our control
I am amazed at how I have gone from having nothing to say to blabbing away in these posts. I thought I had nothing to write about, but all I had to do was turn my attention towards writing one post and the rest sort of took care of itself. That initial gesture of going to my blog site was like a gentle, almost inaudible knock on the door of my skull, and it opened right away. Without this sort of attention, or rather, turning to (I love this phrase, ‘turning to, or towards,’ ) we can so easily become vegetables (don’t mistake me, I love vegetables, I just don’t want to be one).
Guru Nanak (my book on him, THE SINGING GURU, will be out in March/April in the US and India) has a word for this turning to, Gurmukh, one who turns his/her face towards God. That’s all you need to do – turn. Don’t face your shadows or your ego, but face God and your shadows will move behind you. All will take care of itself without any effort on your part.
A footnote to the last blog: I hit upon something very important in the last couple of sentences in the last post that I want to elaborate on. I have not been very good about mediation or yoga lately. What works best for me is expecting to have bad times now and then, knowing they are inevitable and unavoidable, remembering when they are here to get into the coping and managing mode instead of expecting to function as I do during 'normal' and good times, and welcoming them like unwanted guests with grace. Who knows, they might come bearing gifts?
Coping and Managing are extremely crucial skills to have in this journey with many twists and turns.