The dark of the year

Monday, December 31, 2012

I am still feeling quite down.  Christmas isn't Christmas without Dad.  I feel like an orphan.

Inside, in the dark of my heart...   I don't understand the point of life.  I'm trying to work my way out of it, but it's not easy.  One breath at a time.

It's not something you talk about in polite company.  I shield it from everyone, because, really, what could they possibly do?  Shower me with platitudes?  Try, pointlessly, to cheer me up?  If I am helpless and powerless, how would everyone else feel?

I don't want to share these depths.  I don't want the reactions - the requisite pity, the worry.  What else would come of it?  I have no use for that attention.  I have no use for the inevitable added pressure, to fix it in order to make everyone else feel better.  I have enough on my plate.

It's funny the things that make me think of Dad.  Today, it was slicing a banana. 

He used to eat these giant bowls of cereal for breakfast.  He would always cut up a whole banana and put it on top, his bowl almost overflowing.  In recent years he switched to blueberries.  I swear he'd put a pint of blueberries on top and then smile and say (realizing that you might have observed how many he was eating) how good they were for you - antioxidants and all.

A stark contrast against Dad this past year, battling cancer.  My heart hurts thinking of the single crab rangoon he could barely choke down at the Chinese buffet.

I miss him.

There is no end to it.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

“Let me tell you a few things about regret...There is no end to it. You cannot find the beginning of the chain that brought us from there to here. Should you regret the whole chain, and the air in between, or each link separately as if you could uncouple them? Do you regret the beginning which ended so badly, or just the ending itself?”

― Janet Fitch, White Oleander

Old writing, and ghosts in my head.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I just rediscovered some content which I'll post below.  It was written back on 12-31-2010 and tucked away in my Evernote files.  Before my Dad was diagnosed with cancer.  It represents what I knew to be real, at that time.

I've been feeling down lately.  I was looking for some content I'd written earlier today, about how every day is a new loss, losing my father.  About how our instinct is to grasp at the material things, at the familiar things... Only to realize much later (if at all) that these things are just that - separate and not 'of' the person.

Dad's 2nd wife, Han, decided to cancel the main phone line.  The number that I've known for 32 years is no more.  The recording of my Dad's voice, saying (and yes, he enunciated just this clearly) "You have reached # # # - # # # #; leave a message if you wish." is no more.

I called the number on the day I found out - wishing, hoping... just wanting to hear his voice.  Wanting to grasp.

Would the familiar voice on the machine answer?

Two rings.  Three.  Four.  Finally, it picked up.  One last time.

And so, I heard it for the last time.  Last.  Gone.

Every day.

I've been a bit down.  


I needed this.  I hope it may bring a ray of sunshine, to me and to others.

Every day.


Gorgeous Moments:
  • A tired dog curled up in your lap
  • Beautiful birds on the bird feeder in winter
  • The first snow of the season and the change of the seasons
  • Excited dogs chasing birds, squirrels, etc. out of the yard
  • Cool beer on a hot summer day on the front porch
  • The feeling you get just after completing a good workout
  • The love of good friends, great hugs, and laughter
  • Realizing how much you have in common with someone
  • The excitement of doing something new or learning how to do something
  • Sharing something that is exciting and new with someone you love
  • The light shining through the windows and glimmering off of things
  • The smell of good incense
  • Wind chimes
  • Resonating singing bowls
  • A bright blue sky and glowing sun
  • Comfort food on a cold day
  • A good nap
There is something about all of these moments that is the same - thinking of them puts you in a very specific time and place - it makes you aware of the moment.  This is when Buddhism comes forward as "true" for me, because the emphasis is on being aware, and on being "in" the moment that you are living.  It is so easy to float through life in a dream (this theme is referenced often in the spiritual books I've read, including things like The Four Agreements, etc.).  We sleepwalk through our lives and rarely just stop, observe, and appreciate exactly what is happening in the moment we are in.  We live our lives in the past ("I wish I would have done XX differently"), or in the future (I can't wait for XX"), constantly reliving and pre-living, rather than bothering to stop and live in the present.  I suppose that our ancestors were wired this way, learn from the past, plan for the future.  Living in the moment is a bit of a luxury, but I think it could also be a great survival mechanism - be where you are, be aware of your surroundings, exist in the moment, don't dwell on the past or fear for the future.  Something I come back to, from one of the books I read, is "chop wood, carry water" - what this means to me is just that... For that moment, chopping the wood or carrying the water is what matters.  All the rest is just the noise - the ghosts in your head.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Some days I just feel defeated.

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