Friday, October 24, 2014

Dad's Work

I was picking up my father after work today which is near the yoga studio where I do my bi-weekly cleaning work exchange.  I went over to start cleaning, but first I called him to see what time he would like to be picked up as he said he may be done early today.

“What is best for you?” he asked.

“Well I’d like to get an hour of cleaning done.”

“Ok.”  (#1)

So as I was enjoying cleaning on a Friday evening while  listening to the Krishna Das CD that goes with his book that I’m reading (#2), I started thinking about my father and how flexible he is about being picked up from work.

Then I started thinking about some things I have never heard him say.  “Thank God it is Friday.”  “I can’t wait for Friday.”  “I can’t wait for the weekend.”  “Not Monday again.”  “I can’t wait to have a few days off…..”  (#3)

Also whenever he has said, “I have to go into work early.”  or “I have to go back into work.”  or “I have to go into work Sunday morning to check on something.”  It has always been stated as a pure and simple fact.  There is never any sort of tone of complaint in it (#4).  This is how I grew up and it is only today that it is dawning on me that these are qualities of a bodhisattva.

So I mention these things to him when I pick him up, the phrases I’ve never heard him utter.  He responds in a somewhat ominous tone, “Well, Tammy, I’m a lot luckier than other people.” (#5)

Yes of course this is completely true.

It is also just as true that there are plenty of people as “lucky” as him, that would still, find plenty to complain about.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Move Me Slow

Yesterday after a genetic counseling appointment I planned to walk along the Mississippi river. But after the appointment, I felt vulnerable and just wanted to go straight home (even though everything was completely fine).

I’m taking a vulnerability writing class once a month, and one of the things the instructor asked us to do is keep a “vulnerability” journal - to write down when we feel vulnerable and what we do with that feeling.  Yesterday what I wanted to do is go straight home and/or seek comfort from someone who cares about me.  But it was a beautiful day and I had this walk plan. and I had my camera with the intention of taking a leisurely, not exercise, walk.  I just looked at the photos for the first time and wow.  It reinforces/reminds me what a beautiful place it is that I live.  It’s so easy to forget to notice.

After my walk I went to hear someone who works for the city of Minneapolis talk about trees.  Apparently one third of the city is covered by trees.  20% of those are green (I think it’s green) ash which will die in the next 10 years from emerald ash borer (a non-native invasive species).  The city has slowly begun cutting them down and replacing them.  He said they’ve learned to not rely so heavily on one type and that the University of MN is working on different varieties.  I asked, “Aren’t there enough native varieties to choose from?”  He seemed not to think so, which I found slightly perplexing.  “Maybe not enough native trees that stand up well in an urban environment?”  I wondered.  It was interesting regardless.

Earlier this week I was singing as I was cooking and I thought, “This might be a good place to record a song, I think the acoustics are good behind the stove.”  So tonight I did.  This is a brand new one.  I didn’t have the initiative to spend much time figuring out better lighting, however I do think the sound is improved.

I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday.  I especially recommend the second show.

I’m almost packed to spend the weekend at a little retreat center run by three incredible Franciscan sisters.  It is a simple, beautiful, peaceful, nourishing place and I’m grateful to take advantage of it.  I haven’t used my watercolor paints in years, but I threw them in a bag and intend to pull them out at least once, along with a guitar, journal, poetry and Walden.  I successfully restrained myself from finishing Walden because I wanted to save some of it to read there.