The fog is moving in and out playing games with the sun. I watch and move within.
Because people I know are dying, I’m very aware of death, and these last few days I’ve been going over the losses of the years. Perhaps it’s also because my mother’s birthday was Saturday and my “baby” brother’s was yesterday that my focus is there. My mother passed when she was 78 and would have been 95. My brother would have been 69.
I’m heading out to Inverness for a few nights. It’s where I process death. The land is on an earthquake fault and one travels back and forth from one tectonic plate to another. It’s like playing hopscotch, a chance to pick up stones, and hop from one square to another, journeying a joy, augmented with sorrow, filled path.
We’ve had four cats between two neighboring homes. One was put to sleep a few years ago, and our two this spring. Now today Pele will be put to sleep at 10:30. She has been the huntress of the four cats. The other three were mellow and uninterested. Pele is now 6 pounds and her vet for her 17 years says he no longer has the heart to euthanize pets so they’ll use our vet. I think of what it is to be a vet. One enters the field because they love animals, and of course putting an animal to sleep is an act of kindness and love, and yet I see how it would wear one down.
I’m grateful for those who do jobs most of us could not handle. I think of what it is to go home after a day where that is a part of it, and yet it is essential to relieve our pets of suffering and pain.
I’m grateful for all the joy our furry friends bring to us and grateful for those who help them move on, and I feel sad as we have to let them go.There’s no way around the pain and grief.
I’ve been in pausing mode, cocooning. I’ve been with transition and how we meet what comes.
A friend has been going through chemo. The doctors thought if the chemo could shrink the tumor, he could have surgery but at this point he is so weakened, that the question seems moot, and so how do we meet this? How do we meet what comes?
This morning my heart is heavy and my eyes are filled with tears. My heart feels like a breast dripping and pumping milk into the mouth of a baby who sucks to live, and the world sucks now on my heart, on all hearts for the milk of compassion. I suck there too. Compassion. May we all feed there!
From Robert Aitken, “The Nature of the Precepts”
The Dharma is the mind, not merely the brain, or the human spirit. . . . It is vast and fathomless, pure and clear, altogether empty, and charged with possibilities. It is the unknown, the unnameable, from which and as which all beings come forth.