Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Beginning and The End

I have several thoughts here, so bear with me.

I've been finding that the more I practice this Presence, the less I need to fill myself with things. Just sitting and being is becoming incredibly satisfying. I'm worrying less. It seems to come in waves. At times it's far more difficult. But the more I do it, the less difficult it is. And the more aware I am of what led me to a point of negative thinking, the downward spiral. It's rather relaxing. I still have many habits of eating and watching TV and talking on the phone and playing with my hair and wasting time on the Internet. And I tend to do those things unconsciously the easiest. But when I stop and breathe and just be, they start to lose their hold and feel less satisfying. Instead of "I shouldn't watch TV" or "I'm cutting sugar out of my diet" it's more like, "do I want sugar right now?" I notice more how it makes me feel. I associate those feelings with the item. Do I want that overstimulated feeling that comes from hours of TV noise? Nope, not really. I want to sit quietly and listen to music and play with Maya and just be.


This sitting and being has started (started) to give me a little bit of peace about Maya. You see, I am somewhat consumed with worry that something will happen to her and I won't have her anymore. I also have these moments of grief for the passing of who she was as she changes into who she is. And I wonder endlessly about who she will be. It's all maddening. And if I'm thinking all these things, I'm not exactly enjoying this moment with her now, watching her learn and move and do.

At the same time as these thoughts about Maya are streaming through my head, I am also thinking a lot about my Grandpa. He is about to die, and I have been thinking about his life and who he has been and what might be on the other side for him. I have been saying for months that I hope he is freed from his body soon. It is a burden for his spirit at this point. And yesterday, when I went to see him, I ached for his freedom. I am sad that he is gone, because he truly is no longer who I remember. His body is clearly no longer of any use to him. Though, as I write this, I am filled with feelings of sadness at the idea that he is, at this moment, lying in a bed, completely alone, waiting to die. I want to go sit with him and hold his hand and comfort him as he transitions into the next chapter of his being. He is about to go on hospice care, and I may go and do just that in the next week or so.

So, with these things in mind, and because it is National Poetry Month, I want to share with you a couple songs and a poem that have been in my head lately. We have this playlist of songs we play for Maya to help her to sleep. As soon as they come on she starts to get more calm. It's a CD Marco heard about on NPR. It's called Down at the Sea Hotel. It's children's music that is truly beautiful and not cheesy. There are so many songs on there that I just love. Two in particular I play over and over. One is written by Billy Joel, and the other is written by Neil Young. Both are performed on the album by Lucy Kaplansky. I simply love the lyrics and the way she sings them. You really should hear them. Even if you're not trying to get a baby to sleep, they are still beautiful and so filled with love.

Finally, at the end, is a Dylan Thomas poem called "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night."
These words have been going through my head lately when Maya is raging against sleep. And I was thinking them yesterday seeing my Grandpa. There is a line in the poem that says, "Though wise men at their end know dark is right." And my Grandpa truly is a wise man. Yet, even though I want him to pass in peace, there is a part of me who wants him to rage, to burn brightly. And I think he has. Even in the last days, he has made little jokes and said things that let you know he's in there somewhere. When I showed him Maya he said, "Now who is this? She's a cutie." And Maya was smiling at him, unafraid of his aged countenance. I think she saw him in there. He would have really loved her, and she would have loved him. I love you, Grandpa. I'm going to miss you. I'll make sure to go see Grandma as often as I can.

All of these have to do with loving someone and what that love does to us. It's sometimes crushing. But if we just sit with it, painful as it might be sometimes, it is so sweet. In yoga they call the pain you feel Sweet Discomfort. I definitely have emotional Sweet Discomfort as well. And being in it, living it and observing it, it's not as hard to bear.

Goodnight, My Angel

Goodnight, my angel
Time to close your eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you've been asking me
I think you know what I've been trying to say
I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Wherever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away

Goodnight, my angel
Now it's time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an emerald bay
And like a boat out on the ocean
I'm rocking you to sleep
The water's dark and deep
Inside this ancient heart
You'll always be a part of me

Lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu

Goodnight, my angel
Now it's time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child may cry
And if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart
There will always be a part of me

Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on...
They never die
That's how you
And I
Will be

Barefoot Floors

Sleep, baby sleep,
I know your day has been oh so long
Sleep, baby sleep,
I know your day has been oh so long
The night falls at your feet
Now the day feels so complete
Compared to darkness
Sleep, baby sleep.

Talk, baby talk
Sweet talk is all it's made of
Talk, baby talk
Sweet talk is all it's made of
Promises of the morning ways,
New beginnings for another
Day to spend together
Talk, baby talk.

Love, baby love
Has got me walking on these
Barefoot floors
Love, baby love
Has got me walking on these
Barefoot floors
Find the light
Surrounding you
Sleep the night til morning's dew
I will be here for you
Love, baby love.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

1 comment:

gates family said...

Hi Heather!! love your blog! i actually just started one myself!

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