|My heart locket. Inside the big heart hangs a tiny baby heart,
and the words inscribed are:
“A mother holds her chldren’s hands for a short while,
but their hearts forever.
I am starting to feel overwhelmed. You ever have those times in your life where you feel you can never quite catch your breath? This is one of them.
I keep trying to put words to my feelings: “this is what I am feeling and why,” like putting lyrics to music. But it just doesn’t always work that way. If you try to think about how to ride a bicycle, you will probably fall. If you try to figure out the trajectory of a ball to catch it, you will probably miss. I know that whenever I start to analyze what I’m doing when I am parallel parking I screw it up, but if I just do it intuitively I am fine. Words, thoughts, as much as I love them, they just don’t always belong. Sometimes you just have to feel. Sometimes you just have to cry and not understand the exact nature of grief.
I know I am stressed out over this bone that could be Michaela’s. The testing is taking a long time, but honestly that is not what is stressing me out. In fact, I’m almost glad for the delays, because I dread the results. It will be far less disruptive to my life if it turns out that this bone does not belong to Michaela, and yet that will also mean having to pick up that lead balloon and start trudging down that road of hope again. And I do feel so, so tired. I’m exhausted trying to find Michaela, frustrated over the lack of resources and help, and over not knowing which of the many roads to concentrate on going down. But if the bone turns out to be Michaela, well, that means going to a place I have never been. I don’t know what that place will hold, but when I think about it … well, it feels kind of like a nuclear explosion in my life. It isn’t just confronting the grief. There are many things in that place that just terrify me. How will I live?
I know that Hurricane Sandy is also really getting to me. It’s reminds me of the uncertainty in life, and the possibility of total devastation that can lie unexpectedly in wait around any corner. And that is scary, unsettling.
“I have so many feels,” as my daughter would say. I love this phrase. It seems so appropriate, because all those things inside me certainly feel more like verbs than nouns. I have heard it said that mechanical breakdowns in your environment often reflect what is going on in your psyche. Well, my washer broke last week. It just never stopped filling, and water overflowed all over the dining room, dripped down into the basement and the garage. Water is a symbol of emotions, so it seemed appropriate. What really seemed appropriate, though, was that my locket broke, wouldn’t stay shut. I couldn’t close my heart.
This morning I was listening to a Buddhist teaching by Pema Chodron on the way to work, trying to bring some focus and relaxation to life. It was something about taming the mind and thereby extricating ourselves from suffering, and relieving the suffering of others. Mmhm. Not today, maybe. Although listening to it did help focus me in a couple of ways, wishing well to others, kindness to living things, blah blah blah. It made me feel a little better. But the fact remains, I do find it gleefully satisfying to pass a car that previously cut me off in traffic. I think I am not ready to get my spiritual wings yet.
One more day and then guess what. It’s November. The month of the Mourning Moon according to Native American Traditions. What will it hold? Well, my youngest daughter is performing in the main stage production at her college, in the female lead role, and I’m really looking forward to that. Lots of other plays in November also. Her boyfriend is in a play this weekend, and the dramatic arts academy that I am involved with has two groups doing performances in November and one in December. My son’s band has a final playoff in a Battle of the Bands contest, and that’s exciting. I’m looking forward to Christmas, because I am looking forward to going to see Les Miserables if I can talk someone into going to the movies with me on Christmas Day!
Minute by minute, one step at a time. That’s how we do it. Pema Chodron talks about the impermanence of fear, but I don’t really know what she means. I do know that there is always something good in life today, always something to look forward to in the future.