Listen to audio reflection or read below.
Sunday is often the day that I spend the morning in deep meditation. But this morning I just somehow couldn’t get to it . .... So instead I .... .... did the spiritual practice of sitting on the porch steps out to the back garden rubbing mink oil into my boots. Not with a cloth as the bottle suggests but with my fingers. Rubbing that oil, watching it soak in, making sure that it got in all the little seams and around the edges.
And as I did that I thought some of the things that I've been missing. Sitting at the window looking out at the Fraser river while drinking my coffee in the morning .... Sometimes on a Sunday night walking down to the Heritage Grill and sitting at the back of the club with Richard drinking a glass of wine and watching Mike Vaneyes with whatever configuration of band he was with that day, joyfully playing music ....
Just the comfort of having a companion in house, someone to .... Not even someone to engage in deep conversation necessarily, but just somebody who walked through life together with me .... ....
I also thought of some of the things that I'm grateful for. This back porch and the garden. The beauty of this place and the long walks I've been able to take, taking my camera out for a long walk. The fresh air after the rain .... Listening to the birds .... The local Sunday market in White Rock where they now have apples now that it’s fall, and the apples are so good .... A summer of farm produce that continues now into the fall.
The solitude of a Sunday morning sitting in deep meditation. And the truth that some meditations happen when we polish our boots ....
Listen to this spoken musing.
As I step into the bath I have this image of myself walking down the rut of a dirt road. I can even see the wire and post fence that runs along on the far side of a wide ditch full of weeds on the one side, and an easement of the road, also weedy, on the other side. I....I have often had these images, these visions of journeys, but in the past couple of years they've mostly been either, I guess helpful in allowing me to understand where I'm at or even, a year ago, making a fairly significant and major decision to leave the job that I was doing. So I’m curious about why I’m walking down a rut on a road ....
As I sink into this walk I have to say it doesn't feel entirely like that kind of rut we think in when we're stuck. ‘Cause I can see myself walking it as if I’m walking like a tight rope but playfully, arms out, one foot in front of the other as if I'm balancing. But of course I’m not going to fall off of anything maybe fall out of something.
And I don't feel, mmm .... I don’t feel anxious about being in this rut. I'm just in some ways using it as a way to follow the road without having to entirely watch my feet because I can feel the little path in the middle of this.
That's helpful, actually, to understand that in this moment the rut doesn't have to be something keeping me stuck but something keeping me on a path that for some reason I'm walking on and enjoying looking at the distance, the edges.
When I look down the road there's an openness. And I see off in the distance a mountain .... A mountain that is tall, peaked, inviting. And in this moment I am just continuing to walk toward it along this momentary path, this momentary country road .... Somehow knowing that there will be a point at which suddenly I and the mountain will meet.
But in the meantime I can simply enjoy walking on the ground and being where I am .... meeting who I meet along the way and seeing what presents itself on this particular part of the path .... ....
A spoken musing recorded as I prepared for the day.
I watch my body change, soften, thicken. Change that might happen over time, that you might expect to see happen over time condensed to this short time of pandemic. It's seems like my body changes with every phase of my life. And while that sounds like an obvious statement I’m not talking every age as you get older things happen, not that change, although that happened too. Puberty at youth, menopause within the last few years. This is different.
When Paul was in palliative care and in hospice, I became very thin. Almost as if I was trying to be in a solidarity I could not possibly be with my husband who could no longer eat, who had cancer taking every ounce of calories and nutrition out of his body.
I could eat but often didn't simply because of the circumstance of being in the hospital. People fed me, for sure, but I ate much less. And I didn't even notice until the day after he died and I was dressing for the tribute show and I put on a skirt which immediately fell down low on my hips and I was afraid it would not even stay on.
And then after that, having the time and also needing to keep busy and to keep active, going to yoga five days a week, I stayed slim but built muscle and became strong. And so during that time I was fit and sculpted.
And then pandemic. And for a short time, maybe even as much as 2 months? I say with a question mark. I was able to, or I did, keep up with some amount of exercise with yoga with weight training. And then it just fell away. And here we are hitting the 6 month mark and my body is pillowy. Soft. My thighs, I can feel them rubbing together in a different way. And when I bend over I can feel just the folds of softness in my torso.
Oddly enough though, this softening, this shifting of muscle to flesh, has not fleshed out my bosom. I think it was the muscle that was keeping my breasts bright and my bosom has become smaller, flatter, less perky.
I don't notice this by way of complaint, it is simply noticing. This is simply wondering about how our bodies respond to and reflect the different phases of our lives. When I was in that liminal time after Paul died and going to yoga I had a sense of open-ness even as I had a sense of unknowing-ness. There were summers where I realized that I did not need to be responsible for anyone but myself. And I could go away and not worry about whether I came home. I started carrying a sleeping bag in the back of my car because of the one weekend that I ended up sleeping under beach towels in the mountains near Squamish. It gets cold in the mountains even on a hot day.
And now I'm here and I have a responsibility for my father-in-law who has dementia. And like everyone I've been home. The yoga studio closed and now it's far away even though it's open. And I have not started my own yoga practice, somehow finding that just not . . .something I just haven't been able to do in this moment.
We didn't know how long this moment would be. And we really don't really know how much longer it will be. But it seems like after 6 months I'm probably here for a while .... Noticing the change in Bill. Noticing this physical change in myself ....
My body holding my life ....
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