This is not necessarily a “real” post. If you’re new here, you might want to skip this one and proceed to some of the other morbidly depressing posts from the last few weeks.
Mostly I just feel the need to check in and confirm that I have not, in fact, fallen into the pit of despair and hot lava and bad poetry. (Ok, I did write some bad “poetry” from the edge of the pit of despair (and — cringe — publish it) but I didn’t go all the way in.)
Also, I am now in a little hotel on Longboat Key near Sarasota, Florida.
I needed some solitude and space of my own. My sister and her husband and child needed to have their home/life to themselves after a month of hosting not only Mom and I, but then seven more relatives who came to stay during Mom’s last few days.
We’ve had a LOT of togetherness, which is difficult under “normal” circumstances, but when your artistic genius Mom (with great hair) dies right in the middle of the togetherness, everything takes on a new flavor.
The new flavor is “everything SUCKS” and we will pretend to be kind of ok with it but we all know it SUCKS and we are barely containing our extreme range of emotions regarding the pure SUCKINESS of it all.
I’m here on Longboat Key in a tiny little hotel overlooking the gulf of Mexico and it’s perfect. It’s mostly empty and the few people here seem as eager to avoid conversation as I am, so everyone is minding their own business. There are no kids. Which is good because (a) I’m a total curmudgeon right now and (b) I’m bracing myself for taking care of my brilliant six year old niece all next week. She’s amazing and a joy. And she talks 10000% of the time. You might think I’m exaggerating. I’m not. And it isn’t just idle chit-chat. She is either bossing me around or saying something that makes me think her parents should be talking to Harvard and MIT, like, now. Oh, and she is drop dead gorgeous. If I weren’t so mature, I would be jealous of her already.
Here’s what I’ve been doing:
- Walking on the beach.
- Reading (OMG – The Untethered Soul is still blowing my mind. Everyone should read this book.)
- Being mostly silent.
- I showered today!
- Watching Season 2 of Dexter (how did I miss Season 2? I don’t even know…)
- Trying to ignore the Internet, except for the “meaningful” parts, which by definition, means I’m trying to avoid TMZ and anything “E” channel related.
During my quest for meaningful-ness on the Internet, I watched a webcast of Thich Nhat Hanh (Buddhist monk/leader/amazing person) speaking about Mother Earth. Well, I think he was going to be speaking about Mother Earth, but he started talking about how we all have mothers, even the Buddha had a mother and, basically, there is this “overall” mother – Mamaya (sp?) – who, I’m assuming is akin to Mother Earth. But what struck me was the part of the story where a student went to study with Mamaya (who was dead, of course, so he did a sitting meditation and got to her) and Mamaya was all “I was so happy when I was pregnant with the Buddha — no worries, no fear, only compassion – I couldn’t believe how big my womb was to hold all this compassion….” (Note that I’m not AT ALL quoting this correctly) and Thay (that is Thich Nhat Hanh’s, ummm, nickname?) went on to say that like Mamaya, we are ALL pregnant with the Buddha. We all have this capacity for loving kidness and compassion inside of us – man or woman – and we believe we are just small humans but really we are huge, with huge wombs for all the Buddha-nature inside all of us.
[DEAR REAL BUDDHISTS: I realize I’m probably butchering this beautiful story and you’re probably all “JESUS CHRIST, if you can’t get the story right, don’t even tell it, you’re ruining Buddhism for everyone else!” And then I would say back to you “ummm, where’s the loving kindness in that, dude? At least I’m not acting like I’m some kind of expert on Buddhism…”]
I fell asleep before Thay got to the real message re: Mother Earth (if you’ve ever heard him talk, you will understand why it is easy to fall asleep listening to him. Also, he speaks Vietnamese.) which, I think, was going to be something like how we need to love our earth like we love our Mother and honor her capacity, etc. etc. So, I guess I did hear most of it.
I had already heard what I needed to hear: I am pregnant with the Buddha.
That explains a LOT.
Like how I should probably nurture the part of me that is chock full of loving kindness and compassion and peace and “it’s all good” instead of listening to the parts that are all “YOU SUCK. YOU CAN’T EVEN GRIEVE RIGHT. WHAT A LOSER.” It also explains my fat belly and current obsession with yoga pants 🙂
p.s. I warned you that this was not a real post.
p.s.s. Is it healthy or scary that I still have a sense of humor at this time?
p.s.s.s. How early is too early to start drinking on a Friday afternoon when you’re grieving the loss of all your alcoholic parents? (Today is Dad’s birthday – RIP JKT)