I woke from a fairly sleepless night, feeling not as unsettled as I might’ve imagined I would. I was nonetheless plotting my most direct and efficient course to surrender to oblivion, by which of course I mean the disposition of all remaining assets, turning myself over as a ward of the state, and discovering first hand the nature of life in our lesser kept and cared for nursing facilities.
My job, I could remember, was not to deserve some place of high stature, but rather to remember the grace and gift of life and stand firmly in the vastness of gratitude regardless of the path.
My body was weak and confused, meditation was difficult, but not out of reach.
Stephanie had shared some of her current tribulations with me last evening, deep and vulnerable parts of herself, normally concealed in the strong stature of an unflinching resolve to do and be good in the world.
I sought counsel from Patience for her experience in similar situations, first thing after meditation as Vanessa’s flight back from Colorado and the memorial service had arrived late, giving us some window of privacy to touch on these delicate topics.
Turning to my email there were encouraging words from Kari inviting and facilitating my emerging “professional persona” online. She had a few questions and I meant to call her right away. There was also a text message just arrived from a friend I’ve made over the last few years, but don’t often get the chance to connect with.
Her text was simple, “good morning… You’re probably in the midst of your meditation… Please call me when you’re free.…”
This is one of the special dynamics of publishing a journal daily. I have a larger number of friends than I know, who know something more detailed about the weaving threads of my life than I am often aware. It was sweet to see the knowledge of my whereabouts and activities expressed so gently.
I called. She had seen my post from yesterday and wanted to know if money would help. Her offer was not insubstantial, it was generous, I was speechless. What need have I of money on the way to oblivion I wondered?
This quote of Rumi came to mind:
“I died as mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was human,
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die human,
To soar with angels blessed above.
And when I sacrifice my angel soul
I shall become what no mind ever conceived.
As a human, I will die once more,
Reborn, I will with the angels soar.
And when I let my angel body go,
I shall be more than mortal mind can know.”
It is easy to fear the less cared for pathways of our “civilization.” Care is notoriously overtaxed in nursing facilities, and downright scarce in the lodgings held for those of us with limited resource, or on public assistance as a first order of support.
Facing this option, I have begun the process of coming to terms with the ideas of food of lesser quality, wounds that take longer to heal and appear more often, atmosphere more barren and company already starved for love.
I have gone to zero before. I have never been less for those moments of dying.
I finally managed to sputter out a thank you, yes, you can help, that does help, thank you.
We spoke longer and the possibility that she might have, or be able to connect me to meaningful work connected to a salary came up. This day had barely started, but was already on a more magical path that I could have plotted on my own.
Next on the agenda was a meeting with the home health nurse, conjunct my period of wound care. Patience has been the constant view on this iteration, and her delight at the state of healing lifted my spirits even further.
Nurse Heather is smart and interesting, mother of a teenager or two, and wife to a nuclear physicist, recently out of work for the pandemic. In no time at all, our conversation was rich, exploring the pathways of human connection, the crises of our times, and what might be possible for our future.
It’s hard for me not to be in conversations of this nature, which is to say, I go there often, perhaps always. Sharing this sense of possibility, beauty in the face of terror, and the reality of our connections to one another when we let ourselves open to that, is mana for my soul.
Kari and I caught up on the phone and project of her work on my profile and CV while I rested on my side, healing even further those tender broken parts on the surface. More enthusiastic energy…
I was by now resolved to spend every available moment plotting the course to oblivion, save for those moments that demand my attention for possibilities more flowering and creative. The day did not disappoint and I have have not a moment to attend to those more rocky paths.
I had promised my friend to share my recent vision statement for myself and decided to publish that as a part of my wider effort to achieve collaboration.
I needed to request testimonials to ensure that any possible inquiries to the platform would be well met. This led me to adding overlooked entries to my work history, and looking in to possible places to put myself out there.
Step-by-step I found my way through the day, engagement opportunities, as if I had never known to see them, began to appear in meaningful ways in nooks and crannies.
Dr. Mike came by in the afternoon, one of the contacts who may help me apply for a position in the UC system, and drew my attention to the existence of benefits package, foreign concept to me given my unconventional and entrepreneurial pathways thus far.
We had a great conversation, not steering away from the real abyss along which my feet are teetering. We made our way to the bedroom where he could find me prone and give the osteopathic element of our treatment together.
Midway through the treatment, a flush of energy, warm and soft flooded down my legs into my tingling toes. I could feel my own efforts internally then to wiggle those toes. They were in shoes I doubt we could’ve spotted any movement, but certainly the sensation was there.
Coming back from that engagement and sending Mike on his way toward the home front for dinner and evening with his lovely family, I found myself thrust back into the flow, a call from Kari to move the materials forward. She also had some application ideas and I am as we speak about 80% through a most remarkable offering that seems to suit me, perhaps as well as anyone in the world.
David and Elisa have come to prepare and share dinner… I thought I would finish these words before dinner. I will have to come back.
I have known few days as full as this.
I’ve just excused myself from the dining room where David served Elisa and Cassandra and myself an amazing home-cooked meal, it’s roots in the Jordanian desert, its journey through David’s heart and practice and skill, food so decadent yet so simple I have not had in ages.
And beautiful conversation, four friends – the bonds between so deep and ancient, at peace even with the stories of heartbreak to be shared.
Stephanie arrived as dinner was clearing, a smile and joyful news of a new niece, the same day news of her mother’s return from the hospital, new strength in her own heart, broken as well as anyone’s from tragedies close to her. David’s nourishment, one more heart to sooth.
Joyfulness woven with the recounting of ancient and durable karmic patterns tickling pains through lovers bodies. This we shared together, Patiences arrival, another story of intimate heartbreak, those who struggle and we find ourselves incapable to help, this camaraderie of lovers, “it doesn’t make it hurt less, but it certainly doesn’t make it hurt any more.
I leave the bubbling room to return to these words before the hour is too late. A quiet day, mostly just the work at hand, now the house with an atmosphere of celebration, just the simple loving community of kind souls gathered round.
By the end of the working day, I was applying to yet another amazingly well tailored opportunity for my skills to express their fullest, and then as if the magic needed to insist itself more fully…
A voice I have not yet met, over LinkedIn, calling to say – “my partner who works with you now, I have seen change in her in only a month, beautiful change, a heart with just a little more love… And my heart goes out to you, let us work together, if we may, perhaps…”
Each of these moments feels sacred, like precious relics to be covered quietly in the heart cloth, and carried in prayer. Yet I write them here, in this private journal which is not at all private, and publish them for the world to see.
I feel brokenhearted and vulnerable. Uncertain, hopeful, but afraid of hubris. I feel human and humble in the face of the painful fate which may befall me. Music drifts in the background, I have been graced to hold this house, and moments like this, where hearts commune is precisely why I have made such a place.
If it is to be, I will make the home of a heart in sparse quarters so the best of my ability. For now, I will keep working on the applications and the invitations and the prayers, and in between will chart the course as best I can.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…