Friday, November 29, 2019
There's Got To Be A Morning After
Every morning after breakfast our pups find their way into the Cha-Cha Room (The Sun Room). Ms Sadie Gene Waggy-Tail finds a spot on the floor in the shade. Mr. Lenny Brisco is often right in the path of the sun.
But, Sir Theo the Loud perches himself on the top cushion of the sofa and looks out past the water onto the road and watches the cars go by. It's as if he's in a meditative state, closing his eyes and then opening them to a squint, only to close them again.
I wonder if he sometimes struggles as I do with "Monkey Brain" - the tendency in meditation for the mind to jump from one thought to another rather than focus on one until everything else fades away and we become one with the universe.
Or, perhaps, he's considering his future as he watches the cars go by on the road ahead, contemplating future travels, the things he'll see, the creatures he'll meet.
Or, perhaps he's looking out across the water and marveling at the beauty of the universe, especially on a gorgeous sunshiny day like today when everything seems right with the world in this present moment and it is just good to be alive.
Or, he might be considering a Very Big Idea, like "What really happens after we die?" Or, "Was Jesus really fully human and fully divine?" Or, "If God is merciful, why do bad things happen to good people?"
Humans often project their own stuff onto their critters so it's probably just that he is "in the zone" for dogs, being well-fed and warm and content. That pretty much sums up where I am this day after Thanksgiving, with special emphasis on the part about being well-fed.
I confess that while there is contentment in my body, there is an emptiness in my heart, a hole just about the size of Louie Crew Clay, that I know, with time, will heal. But, not today, this second day which has the impossible task of being somehow lovely and joyful without his presence in it.
Every now and again a memory floats in from somewhere in the cosmos and settles into that emptiness. Just a few minutes ago, I was remembering that a meal with Louie and Ernest was never simply a meal.
It was an event.
There would be place cards with your name on it and the menu, complete with various different wines in between courses. At the end of the meal, you would be asked to sign the guest book where Louie had posted a card with the menu.
Louie would joke that when you were being fed by two Queans, you should expect to be treated like royalty. I would counter that I felt like a rose between two pansies and they never failed to laugh uproariously at my old, worn-out joke. In fact, it became as much a part of the ritual as the place cards.
I am also finding small patches of peace - that I had called him just a week before he had his stroke and he seemed delighted that I called even though I can't even remember why I called or what we talked about. I only remember that he was delighted which warmed my heart because for the past almost two years he had weaned himself off social media and emails and often didn't pick up the phone or return calls.
It also delights me that on Monday, I brought him a few slices of Down East Maine Pumpkin Bread. Ernest fed it to him after he had finished whatever he had wanted of his hospital-food dried out chicken leg mixed in with some lukewarm mashed potatoes for a little moisture. I can feel my heart swell with warmth as I remember each "Mmmmm" after each bite.
It is of such patches of peace and drifts of memories that the heart will heal. As I grieve, I think there is great wisdom in following the example of Sir Theo the Loud.
It is important, throughout the day, to sit quietly and look out the window and let whatever it is this earthly frame is feeling or thinking or considering, feel and think and consider.
And, as I do, perhaps more patches of memories will come to me and the hole in my heart will begin to fill and heal and my grief will be more tolerable. I'm discovering that gratitude is a pretty powerful medicine for the invariable losses in life.
Have a blessed Friday everyone. Don't spend too much money at the mall. And, remember that wonderful wisdom which we celebrated on Thanksgiving: “Gratitude doesn’t change the scenery, it merely washes clean the glass you look through so you can clearly see the colors.”
Maybe that's what Sir Theo is doing. I think I'll join him.