The power outage this afternoon provided a nice opportunity to break the ordinary flow of things. Vanessa and I had just made our way out of the office in contemplation of what one does these days with no power.
We were joking and chuckling just moments later when the knock came on the door. Neighbor Ron, the brother of the previous occupant of the house up the hill, whom I had not seen for many years was just calling with a smile to see if I needed anything.
Ron and Bruna took over occupancy just a few months back. It’s a steep hill so I rarely see my neighbors except on drive-bys. Bruna occasionally takes her walks coincidentally when I’m outside so we’ve made acquaintance a few times now.
It was a treat to see Ron and catch up for a while, as we did. He graciously allowed me to interview him a bit and I learned some about his work in construction and history with that as well as a few tidbits of his travels in the world an interest in meditation.
I offered that they might come by for our newly formed book study club if it caught their interest and said I would let them know when we were getting ready to start a new book.
Ron had had a good day, being able to visit his daughter who suffered a tragic injury a few years back and has been in assisted living – on quarantine for the last six months. This was their first visit after a long stretch of regular interaction broken by the pandemic and the glow was on him.
This beautiful human closeness and light in the face of hardship created an interesting juxtaposition with a phone call I happened on to earlier today.
Morning meditation was the fullest we’ve seen yet with the addition of LB to our standard complement of Ms. Patience, Miss Stephanie, and myself. I woke well beforehand enjoying a peaceful alert quality for about an hour, a good start of the day.
After meditation Stephanie and I began the journey upward bound. I could feel the tired, increased again from yesterday, and decided today to give into some resting. I thought I would take 20 minutes, I took an hour.
Stephanie was tired too, her sister, the choreographer, had decided that last evening was a good day to practice till 3 AM. We made it through, smiling in our own ways and rose in spite of it all shortly after 10 AM.
As I came to the desk I first popped open a window to see what was happening with the much-hyped announcements of my favorite fruit-based technology company. Just a moment into this I realized I was not so enthralled with the “noise” as I had been years before.
Returning to quiet I noticed on the calendar that Saleem was hosting one of his calls today and decided to dial in. Just as I came on the line I could hear him inviting listeners on the call to step forward, unmute themselves and say hello.
He pointedly said “if we’ve never spoken to one another, say hello.” That seemed like he was talking to me so I guessed the key combination, assuming it was like many other conference calls and next thing I knew we were getting acquainted with one another.
Saleem hosts these calls to reflect deeply on subjects that touch the human soul in the simple course of life, and then invites listeners to share in a personal dialogue around all these things arise for them. The calls are profound spaces of healing and beauty.
I shared I was in San Diego and asked where in the world I was finding him. Ashland Oregon, came the reply. The epicenter of deer and beloved friends to me, and Ground Zero for some important relief efforts for neighboring towns devastated by recent fires.
[See the bottom of this post for a call for local support there]
I digress… The juxtaposition…
On the call I shared my feelings that we were in an enormous human transition, an acute time in the scope of thousands of years, and that with all the suffering and devastation about, I wondered on the nature of my own personal empathy as things are unfolding.
The scope of 40,000 people displaced, just in that small region alone, and community coming together to respond reflected in the tear that surfaced quietly while I was sitting with Ron, looking over his shoulder at the iPhone video of the reunion he had shared with his daughter just hours before.
I stayed on the call this morning for about an hour, listening and multitasking through some email and some necessary annual corporate tasks. I had received an impromptu invitation to a friend’s webinar and was just making my way through miscellaneous debris as the time of its start was nearing.
Ironically, the link didn’t work and with nothing else forthcoming I found myself reorienting, grasping the nature of the emerging financial system in curiosity for how it might affect both my near term financial situation, and the economics of care in the world in general.
This was on target as I had promised a friend to chat early afternoon in support of their budding interest in the cryptographically secured, open source, decentralized, and radically public currency phenomenon.
Both she and Dr. Mike had radioed in their interest in connecting today in the early afternoon, looking forward to the treatment and happy to be helpful, I was working the midday in efforts to make room for that.
We had a nice short conversation, and moments after we were finished Mike’s smiling form found its way from the heat and sooty air in through the front door, black mask, blue scrubs, yellow socks. Sleepy Stephanie was just on her way out to a dental appointment and an evening with her folks beyond.
We saw her out and Mike and I slipped easily into conversation as we do. Today I had some interesting things to report, an occasional tingling in my right foot, felt sporadically over recent years has become a constant sensation in the last few weeks, even spreading to my left foot as well.
The incredible spasticity I have been feeling in my body over the last week – a sense of all of the muscles tensing and poising to lurch suddenly, without warning, and in any possible direction – has been both tiring and disconcerting, however in combination with strangely increased sensation and a few other signs of minor nervous return (15 years later than traditionally thought possible) invites the mines to consider it in broader terms than simple torture. 😉
LB came through and graciously helped me to the bed for a treatment and Mike got into my nervous system with his osteopathic touch and awareness as I laid more peacefully prone, the fear of falling from my chair now wholly eliminated.
Which brings us full circle, after the treatment up again with LB’s help, and back to work as Miss Vanessa appeared on the scene.
Power outage, chuckles, and around we go…
The light is fading outside and Patience and Uma have just returned from their second to last trip in the moving process, spasticity is rising in my body and it is time for dinner.
Supporting Southern Organ:
“The community in Ashland has mobilized fast and furious and in deeply beautiful ways of mutual aid and an outpouring of care for our greater community. It’s all impossible to put into words besides being heartbreaking and heart-opening at the same time. I personally have been doing my small part helping raise money and shuttle donated good to places of need. After 6 days of volunteering I am seeing the greatest immediate need is getting cash to the families that are still in acute crisis. Many of them with lots of mouths to feed and still no roof over their heads, staying at the Expo out on cots often without masks in the hazardous air conditions!! There are already projects underway to provide solutions for mid to longer term sustainable housing BUT the triage needs are still immense. I’ve personally been raising funds and getting 100% of those funds into the hands of the people who are working directly with the immigrant families, getting them into temporary housing situations until longer term solutions come online. All of this, in attempt to stem the need for them to leave the place they have come to know as home and to minimize further trauma.
There are 3 women we (me and my friend Julie have been a tag team on this) have been channeling funds to. They each are social workers with deep ties to these communities and families and are working directly to get them into hotels or home stays and helping with medicines and children with special needs (it goes on and on as most of the families left their homes with just the shirts on their backs). Each time we drop our donations we let them know the funds are coming from people all over the country who care and want to help and send their love. The funds are received with tears and hugs and a profound reassurance of how much it helps and matters…every cent.
It really seems to be working to have funds directly sent to me by either:
And then I am immediately taking any donations the following day to the women above. Honestly, even $25 helps. I know it seems a drop in the bucket given the enormity of the devastation…but trust me, it helps. In unseen ways, it is helping re-weave our relational wellbeing that has been on the chopping block of modernity. (But I won’t get started on that;). Please pass this along to anyone who’s heart is still pulsing with care!”
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…