“When you touch one thing with deep awareness, you touch everything. The same is true of time. When you touch one moment with deep awareness, you touch all moments.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
We think we have to “feel” inspired, but inspiration often comes once we have started and not before. – Julia Cameron
I threw Julia Cameron’s quote in here, too, because lately I have been struggling a bit with the writing thing. I’m not sure it is so much struggling as it just hasn’t been happening. The last time I wrote anything of significance was on August 29th so that is a while ago. Now truth be told, I have begun focusing on getting my house into some sort of order and that includes going through Laureen’s stuff! And boy, does she have a lot of stuff. It can be overwhelming at times. And then there are the times where I simply become emotionally overwhelmed and then I need to walk away from it for a while and regroup.
Anyhow, after working on a few things this morning I decided to go out and hit one of my local coffee shops for a little writing time. So off I went, tooling on down the highway and then I took the exit for Marlborough. At the first traffic light that I came to I saw a sign – Labor Day Parade – roads closed. So, forewarned, I kept going and I quickly discovered that the parade route went right by my destination and in fact the police did have the road closed. So that took care of that. I got back on the highway, intending to head to my backup destination – the café in the Barnes & Noble store down in Bellingham. But as I was driving along I noted that there was a lot of traffic and a lot of people out and I began to think that maybe I would be better off just going back home and writing in my own little writing oasis, which I have been so diligently working on setting up. And so . . . here I am – back at home now and I am sipping on a Starbucks coffee while I wait to see what emerges from my fingertips.
In the meantime, I am presently listening to the newest Pink Floyd CD – Endless River. After all these years it is nice to hear that they still have that Pink Floyd sound. In a few weeks David Gilmour will be releasing a solo work. I am looking forward to hearing that too as I love his guitar work – always have.
[ok inspiration – you can come along now… Johnny-boy is waiting…]
Ok. . . so during a brief interlude that you all missed, I went to the front closet and pulled out Laureen’s two boxes of Sacreds. We were so alike. Who else would have boxes of Sacreds – except for me of course. She had hers and I have mine and we both had them before we ever met each other. Over time, we co-mingled some sacred items and then of course, some of the things that I gave to her became a part of her Sacreds and some of the things that she gave to me became a part of my Sacreds. Indeed, yesterday, when I was finally able to transfer her ashes out of the box that was given to me by the funeral home I put most of her ashes into a Himalayan salt urn which I will eventually release into the ocean, and I kept a small amount of her ashes which I placed into a small box that I found for her, once upon a time.
The box is cool – it has a picture of a native man on it and it says, “Medicine Crow” – presumably the man’s name. Indeed, a little research online revealed that there was a Medicine Crow – a Crow man – and his picture was taken by Edward Curtis back around 1908 or 1913 so I think the man on the box is supposed to be that particular man. And it is a fitting place to keep a small piece of Laureen, her connection to Crows being so strong. In truth, of course, I know that her spirit is long since gone. But I do find that I derive some small measure of comfort from having a part of her around me. It may be that when my time comes I will have this small remaining part of her co-mingled with my own ashes although to whom I will give those instructions I do not know as we did not have any children.
In the meantime, what I have been searching for, in a quietly intense sort of way, are her remaining Zuni fetishes and thus far I have had no luck. It wasn’t too long after she passed away that I found several caches of her fetishes but there are certain ones that I have been unable to find. It doesn’t help that about two years before she became ill we packed up most of our house, anticipating that we were going to sell our house and move. For a year or two, a lot of our stuff resided in a storage facility as we were preparing the house to show. And then of course, beginning in 2012 she started to feel rather poorly but it took us another year to figure out that it was because she had cancer and our house search was put on pause and then shit happened and we never moved. Not too long after she passed away I felt like I needed to get everything back to the house and so I emptied out the storage unit and now I have a basement full of boxes and full of – well, to me, Sacreds because everything she owned has emotional content to it.
Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have a great memory, but when it comes to Laureen I remember a lot. And so I find stories in everything. And I remember the stories – our stories. They are often, eventually, accompanied by a tear or two. I can remember some days when we didn’t have much to do, or simply didn’t feel like doing anything, we would just sit on the floor in our bedroom and she would open one of her little boxes full of all sorts of things and she would tell me stories about all of her little treasures. She had a story for everything and seemingly never forgot the context for anything. Her first earring, a lost tooth – you know, at times it was almost like we were little kids playing in a sandbox or something, sharing our little secrets. Alas, I must sadly confess that I have forgotten many of those little stories of hers, or they live only in fragments now.
I ponder on this sometimes in the context of the larger meaning of our lives. I was driving over to my sister’s house yesterday and I was thinking about an uncle who passed away about 10 or maybe 15 years ago now and I wonder who even thinks of him anymore. He and his wife didn’t have children. I think maybe our family was the closest thing to a family that he had. And I wonder if that will be Laureen and I someday. . . no one left to remember who we were. And maybe that is the impetus I need to write my book. Or perhaps fragments of our lives will continue on as bits and fragments of data on some server somewhere – although I can’t imagine that technology as we know it today will last eternally. It is all evolving so fast one cannot even say what “technology” will look like fifty years from now.
I think it all makes me realize that we really are rather impermanent – at least, this physical emanation of us that we think is the be-all and end-all. It all comes and goes so fast. Birth – childhood – adulthood – we become old (those of us lucky enough to make it that far) – and then we’re done. It’s all over in the blink of an eye. It leaves me wondering, this being the case, what really is the important stuff of our lives? What really matters? And this line of thought is rather ironic (or synchronous) because just last night I sat down to watch a movie called, “I Am”, created by movie director Tom Shadyac (of Bruce Almighty, Liar, Liar and Nutty Professor fame) who sets out to answer this question – “What’s it all about?” Well, I guess I wasn’t ready for the message last night – I fell asleep fifteen minutes into it. It has high ratings / reviews on Amazon so I guess I will try to watch it again tonight.
And now, I think it is time to go off and do a little more treasure hunting…