So how do I begin? What is the schedule for today? What is the plan for-the-rest-of-my-life? That last hyphenated bit needs to be said with a deep, god-like voice and sound very impressive and a bit scary. Am I putting too much pressure on myself? No pressure. No pressure. I have been dreaming of this moment since last spring. The long anticipated time of lying fallow, the time of healing, growth, new wisdom, etc., is here. Could I be more pretentious? Maybe the pretension comes with the assumptions that I can change and grow into something of more service. Maybe the sounds of pretension are really ego sitting back and judging my heart’s desire to heal from the loss of my (and how I want to say “better”) half that I can’t have anymore on this plane of existence and to plan on changing the world in and around me. Maybe I hear pretension because I am scared of the opportunity, the possibility, and in the vein of the willing spirit and the weak flesh, I would rather let day to day living and small tasks not add up to anything other than survival.
I am no fool. I know that to live the cliches of inspiration, it is the I, the ego, that must engage.
And so, on to day 1.
Cheshire went back east yesterday. I dropped her off at the airport in the morning. I don’t think I wrote about her wipe out last week, and so, to mention that on our second day of physical fitness, I was riding my bike and she was roller blading. She took a hill, down hill, way too fast and met an unexpected curb at the bottom. She had to jump the curb and for a very short moment it looked like she was going to make a good landing. However, she is no trick skater, or not even a very experienced skater, and she went down, landing on her side, scraping her leg and the side of her face. THANK GOODNESS SHE HAD A HELMET ON! Our friend, Mary, came to rescue us and bring us home (thank you, dear friend!), and then Cheshire had to start healing. We spent a bit more time inside and on very short walks then we had originally planned, but then Irene (the storm) kept her home for an extra 5 days. And Cheshire didn’t do any damaged that some neosporin and bandages and air and rest will not cure.
It was so good to have her home. Since vacation at the beginning of July, we’ve been together pretty often. The casual togetherness of family -- eating some meals together, exchanging words of the day, advising each other, nothing momentous but ever so important to me. Coming home after leaving her at the airport, I teared up and felt so lonely. A shot of loneliness went through me. I know I have work to do and I know that I must do it alone -- with Julia, but alone. And I also am very sure, more all the time, and reminded by last week and the feelings of yesterday, that when my time of lying fallow is over, I will be looking to not live alone even though I can not at this time be sure of what that will look like.
It is so hard to trust in the process. Even when it is me who is in complete control of the process. I want the crystal ball of results.
Julia headed off for school today. Willing and able. I can't find her lunch box. It is the victim of the pre-vacation packing up of the house. I am sure I put it somewhere that I was sure I would unpack before school began. I didn't. When I looked around the remaining boxes last night, I could not even figure out which I should open. I thought I unpack everything, EVERYTHING, that I needed. Today, I packed lunch in a "red door" bag -- what is red door anyway? -- tomorrow . . . I'll look again today.
Julia was excited to go to school today. Two nights ago, at the school’s open house, she was a bit shocked. I think the noise level was pretty high, with kids and parents flinging school supplies in desks, on tables and in lockers. Everyone seemed to be talking at the same time and multiple message of greeting was being offered. Just writing this gives me pause to realize how quiet I keep our lives. We have always been a quiet family. I may yell a bit from time to time, but we listen to quiet music, we don’t watch loud tv or movies, we read and chat. This is great for Julia who is sound sensitive and at least for her and me, the pervasive quiet encourages order which is another thing that Julia thrives on. However, when this quiet life we live comes up against the noise of others, like the other evening at school, I can see Julia retreat. She goes into herself a bit. She walks around a bit like she is a zombi, coping with the onslaught of stimulation.
And so, we practiced walking from the door of the classroom to her desk. It is a new and bigger classroom this year; Julia’s desk is near her teacher’s desk and not the door like last year; and there are 28 desks in this room. We walked together. I had her walk to the door while I stayed at the desk, and then, walk to me. And finally, we both walked to the door and then she found her desk by herself. I could see those little shoulders come down a few inches by that third time. I could see her open up just a bit. And we left school that evening pretty happy.
Of course, this cannot help but bring up questions of where Julia’s schooling is best accomplished. Is it in a big public school? Or something smaller? Or home? I continue with those questions.
So, to restate, how do I begin? All I can think of is a daily list for the short term: Meditate for 20 minutes; write 1000 words (and those that I am writing here will count, at least for now); physical activity for an hour (for the time being it will be gardening); and for the next few days, getting my desk in order.
The first tick on the list -- 1000 words -- is done for today. Actually, 1094 words today.