First off, thanks to all of you out there who have sent good energy my way these past difficult days. It really does make a difference, and has kept me out of what I think of as “Lear’s heath” — that terrible place where you feel absolutely alone out on the howling wastelands. Patrick and I were a team, and we survived some pretty difficult situations together, so to have to get through this one without him is really new territory for me. And I’m enormously grateful to discover that I am not, as I had feared, alone.
For years I’ve been hovering out on the borderlands between Buddhism and Catholicism, theologically I find myself more Buddhist than Catholic, but I do love the Mass. It’s been interesting to discover that at least in this particular case, I’m not getting much succor from the Catholic side of my religious nature, and in fact, I found myself enraged by the language of martyrology at the service we had in Chicago (I did make it out of the actual building before saying, in regards to the Beatitudes, which were the Gospel reading “Fuck being blessed, I just want him back.”)
So I’m back on my zafu, with my odd assortment of Buddhas and Virgins of Guadalupe. Sitting in the mornings trying to just breathe my way through this. Trying to still my “monkey brain” that’s chattering in the trees about insurance settlements and his apartment and settling his debts and getting a thank-you card printed and sending notes out and replying to all the people who were so kind. Half a stick of incense. My buckwheat zafu. The zabuton I ordered before all this happened because I’d intended to get back to sitting practice anyhow. The odd Chinese figure, that may or may not be a Buddha that my grandmother bought on one of her travels because it was the same shape as the group of Mexican madonnas that her mother bought in Mexico in the ’20s and that she gave me, the whole group of them, because I am sad and we don’t talk about emotions my grandmother and I. My little back room. Half a stick of incence’s worth of quiet before getting up to get on with learning how to live in this new life.