http://themoth.org/stories/the-house-of-mourning Press the link to watch Chaplain Kate Braestrup’s video from The Moth “House of Mourning”. I really got this video, and understood it from a deep place. For there was a time–after my soiree in college studying Native American and world religions and post-my first daughters birth–when I couldn’t see another path in front of me that didn’t lead to me becoming a non-denominational pastor. So to engage as Ms. Braestrup does with her world from the caring of a larger sphere of knowing is the most comfortable place of experience for me. And often I feel like a foreign visitor to a new planet when people talk of vacations and cars and hedonistic-esque material things for those to me are
Saturday 11/25, 9:53 a.m., Salt Lake City. It’s hard to know what to do with the grief of this world. I look at this man and his dog and feel the pressure of disappointment on both his heart and my own; I can feel the loss of the dream he had for his own life and experience that loss with him. For I don’t move about my world so as to push it away from me; I welcome it to settle within me and become part of my experience; I let it teach me and humble me so that I can grow more each day in understanding and perhaps one day maybe we humans can be a collective, empathic, love-filled whole again.
[FB post from yesterday, 8/27] This morning at 5:04 AM I got an email via my yelp account from a recently-homeless woman who wanted to get a quote on how much it would be for me to board her two “beautiful” adult cats in my home. It was already a weird morning because my friend Graham sent me a link to my old Garfield house which is now for sale again and seeing the interior sterility and the back yard–which the summer after James moved in 2007 was the site of a “healing through manual labor and sunburn”–with its huge tree gone and most everything I planted looking dead really put the punctuation on the end of that chapter in my life. It was the punctuation you typically see after “you stupid fucking idiots; what the actual fuck.” And so it was that I started my day. Sunday. An easy work day before the madness starts up tomorrow and moves
[I’m a pet sitter in Salt Lake City, and Kora is a malamute/chow/samoyed I’m tending]. The pic is of Kora and I the other night, taking our moment to just “be” because Kora is new to pet sitting, was slightly anxious at first and in the week I’ve sat her, i’ve learned that after our walks, she likes to just vibe with her neighborhood. And the effort means I go over the time I’m being paid for and even though these people have told me to charge them for this, I never would, for to my mind, I never want to live a life wherein an act of kindness was somehow required to be compensated externally and when my heart says that something is the right thing to do, I want to listen to that, and make space for Kora, enjoying her company for the sake of no other reason except that I want her to know that she’s
[I’m a pet sitter and the above picture is Sophie–a Siberian Husky I’ve cared for many times–who took a turn for the worse while I was sitting for her and, in dramatic fashion typical of this charismatic girl, her last day on earth was spent with her parents racing back from their honeymoon–driving all night–in order to get to her, after which just a few hours later–time they said was wonderful–she collapsed and died peacefully. I knew they’d get back in about 2:30 a.m. so during my evening visit Tuesday night, I said goodbye to her, and told her that in whatever world she ended up in, to come see me, for I’ve known her in better times, and long for her to walk and eat and prance and do her barkbeg for treats, and maybe even keep stealing her sister Greta’s chewies and hoarding them in her bed, and walked away in tears, hoping she would come see
[734 words; 2 min 34 sec; heartbreak, neighbors, vulnerability].
And even in the dark, I knew I was cutting it too short.
But the late hour and the music from my headphones were mixing forcefully in my head with the words she had spoken so back and forth, back and forth, I cut the grass, leaving
[865 words; 3 min 9 sec]
And it was a time of great vulnerability. But I didn’t know it then.
Because at age 20, away at college, and in love with the future, I couldn’t see anything but sex and hope and an unwavering commitment to fervor and reverie.
[703 words; 2 min 34 sec]
I’ve never cried so hard as that day in 2007 when James drove his moving truck down the street.
He was moving from Salt Lake to live with his office assistant/girlfriend and her son 2000 miles away, just weeks after we told the girls we were divorcing, a divorce which blindsided me, James and Sarah probably beginning their relationship that summer we
[706 words; 3 min. 31 sec; Janis Joplin, nonconformity, changing the world with your story]
Sometimes I think it happens that Time becomes a weird entity, mashing together events of totally different origins and reconvening them as if they were occurring together, right then, into a singular story, clear in connection, real and provable. Maybe it’s a Tune in,
When my mom turned 40, she had an epic meltdown in the upstairs bathroom of our geodesic dome house on Hazel Dell Road, crying and rocking herself in the bathtub while relaying how disappointed she was in her life, and the myriad things she thought she’d have accomplished by that age that she didn’t. We were having a party later that day that people would be driving from all over Northern California to attend so I remember feeling like it was important to bandaid this situation so she could get out of the bathtub, don some clothes, maybe some makeup and come down to her own party. There just seemed little sense in adding THAT disappointment to the mix, and it really felt like her meltdown/“existential crises” was just a little too much to handle from the cold water of an upstairs bathroom on party day. I don’t do epic meltdowns. I don’t do “I’m aging oh my god what