I haven’t been inspired to place anything here for quite a while…mostly there has been a lot of stuff not happening. I’ve been biding time. But in recent months, especially since July, there has been a fair amount going on and the inspiration was there but not much time to work with it.
One thing is the job, passing six years this week now, and how just when I thought I could not be more bored with it, I became so unbelievably bored and uninterested and impatient for change this year. Since March, when we get a fairly nice chunk related to our performance over the past year. Nothing like a banker’s but still something that can advance one’s plans significantly if shrewdly manipulated. What happens after that is kind of a let down, even if you’re paid well. Because of all the anticipation, when it’s over you have a post-partem of realizing it’s another 12 months before you’ll get another one of these. Life seems to become still, because whatever it was you had in the back of your mind that you hoped that check would somehow make happen Now is still at some point in the distance.
In-between Marches, a lot can happen. I went on a planned group intensive retreat with others in my practice lineage in Colorado in July. It was a closed retreat, so we practiced together without any connecting to the world at large for 12 days. It was brilliant material we were studying and a potent environment. When I returned to Denver airport, I discovered 10 messages from my Dad’s wife and one from my Aunt filling the screen of my phone. I figured out that I had forgotten to change my voicemail. I was with a friend, waiting for a couple more to get through security, and we were about to get lunch. I listened to a few messages, expecting the worst.
Dad had a Grand Mal seizure about 3 days after I had entered retreat. He nearly died. Then he slowly recovered. There were complications. There was a brain surgery in September. A very, very long recovery with a lot of ups and downs. He’s going to need care for a while. There is a complicated family situation as well, which adds to the worry. I can’t really talk about that, other than to say there has been a decades-long estrangement and a lot of mistrust ensues. And then, miraculously, he is in rehab, then assisted living, then back in his apartment in December. Tired, but showing up at his shop every day, paying the bills, working on carburators, advising his staff…until January when he has a heart incident. This time, it really seems like there will be no come-back. Another 4 weeks in hospital followed by rehab, and then, a couple of weeks ago, I get a phone call that he’s invited a friend from California to come stay with him at the apartment while he gets back on his feet. Amazing.
Also, when I came back from Colorado, I walked into my apartment, which had been vacant during this trip. It was dark when I got home, so nothing seemed out of the ordinary until I went into the bedroom and flicked on the light. Hanging from the window was a tree branch, and a spray of shattered glass covered the area below the window, which included my practice table and cushions where I sit in the mornings and do my meditation practice. Very ominous indeed. This maple outside my windows had found a way in with some violence – a quick search of the internet turned up news and pictures of a tornado that had come down my street in the Bronx a week earlier. Outside across the street was a 20 year old sports car a friend (who was still in Colorado) had parked for safe-keeping while he was away…except the tree next to the parking space was now missing several branches and the entire roof of the car, windshield, and hood were now resting on the drivers console.
It all makes me think that this retreat, which was the beginning of a very closely-held practice in my tradition, has ripened some intense karma and this is going to be a rough year. So for now, I’ll take the boredom.