Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saturday Morning, Catching Up

Good morning. I'm sitting here with my coffee on the couch in the morning sun--it's a cool enough morning that that's nice. I just heard a cicada for the first time this summer--it seems too early to remind us fall will be coming. Hm.

I spent yesterday doing nothing, just sitting with my life, letting myself catch up with myself.
I don't want to rush past this moment, when I've learned my father is in the process of passing out of this life. It feels to me that death can open up a soft spot in time... when things that might not normally be able to touch you, now can.

I got a little bored in the evening and thought about going to watch the Great British Bake-Off at L&M's, but sometimes I've gone too quickly past these distensible, softening times, and I don't want to this time.

The contact with the past has mostly been nice and mellow, like opening a big old chest and looking through goodies. It seems I've spent enough time in the past being angry and hurt and disappointed with my relationship with my father that now all I feel is a gentle sadness that he has to go, 
and gratitude for this treasure chest.

Though I also feel a stomach-churning drop as I free fall toward orphan-hood. My father has not been someone I would normally turn to for help, but I do hate losing the history he contains. 
But I'm not a vulnerable child, I can do this. I can carry on. 

The only question for me, really, is how to mark my father's death, when it comes. (Sister is holding a memorial with his neighbors, but that's nothing to do with me.)
I don't know. I'm sure something right will present itself, if only a glass of red wine.

At the same time, my life here and now is picking up speed, with so much incoming information, new people, places, and things, and the challenge of being active in my body again. (Hello, feet!)
This is good timing--my job in thrift fits me, it reminds me of who I am and things I like and care about.

I've always felt heartened by contact with connectors who are kind, or maybe not even kind, but who look me in the eye: 
workers at the post office, bus drivers, baristas, librarians, and clerks (sometimes at thrift stores).

We're like those mushrooms I learned about recently--the above-ground life-forms of an underground network, fine fibers that carry messages throughout the forest floor.

All people could be mushrooms, but the awareness of fellow mushrooms is more likely to break through with strangers, for me, anyway--because there's no particular reason for that connection to occur, except that we're... you know, connected. One.

These recognitions can be weirdly profound and simple.
Years ago, I was sitting on the lake shore, and a man with a child came past in a canoe. 
The man looked at me, and I looked at him.

"Hello, man on the water," I said.

"Hello, woman on the shore," he said.

And that was that, a mushroom moment that was like meeting a fellow member of a spy network and exchanging a secret code:
you are not alone.


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