Beltane and the Living in the Mountains Moon
Sunday gratefuls: Ruth. For whom my heart aches. Gabe. For whom my heart sings. Jon. For whom my heart waits. Rebecca. A kindness. Alan. A fullness of friendship. Seeking the whole lev-the heart mind. Wholeness. Kep, my companion. The Denver Mtn. Parks Trail with Gabe. Covid. Grief. Kate, always Kate. Shavout.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: Ruth.
Tarot: Queen of Stones, Bear
“Grief is a heart-wrenchingly painful problem for the brain to solve… to live in the world with the absence of someone… ingrained in your understanding of the world… For the brain, [they are] simultaneously gone and also everlasting, and you are walking through two worlds at the same time.” from the Grieving Brain by Francis O’Connor. Marginalia
This quote explained grief to me. In a way nothing else has. Since the experience is still fresh, I thought I’d pass it along. Grief lasts forever, grieving does not, O’Connor says. My experience, too. Grieving is over for me. At least in the main. But grief? No. Still sad and wistful. Still missing Kate. Still walking through two worlds. A beautiful phrase.
Had breakfast with Rebecca Martin yesterday at Parkside. Rebecca is a fellow kabbalah and mussar student. She’s 80, but very vital. Each year she makes a months long journey to a Tibetan Buddhist nunnery near Dharamshala in northern India.
She started out teaching English there but has become a part of the community. Though she still teaches English. She had to take a break during Covid and isn’t sure when she’s going back. Have to admire that chutzpah. The plane ride alone. Yeah?
A good conversation.
While there, I met a Leonberger/Bernese Mountain Dog mix. A really big dog. Odin. Ten months old, still very much the puppy but almost Wolfhound height and weighing in at 140 pounds. Not mature. He was so funny and loving. Wagged his whole body. Made me want one.
Realized when Ruth and Jon came up later that my life has shifted again. I’m the Grandpa with a Mountain home and love that needs nothing in return. Which is not to say I don’t appreciate being loved. I do.
But they feel comfortable here because I’m comfortable here and with them. And with their individual dramas. Most of the time. A role shift from Jon’s mom’s husband and sorta grandpa to a key life figure for all three of them. Not really grandpa, not really father, just a guy who loves them and is willing to hang in there with them.
I’ve struggled with this, but have chosen to lean into it, make it what I’m here for until the kids are through high school. Doesn’t mean I can’t travel, be other places, but I’m staying here for now. Probably as long as I’m able.
Dogs have closed minds. As do other humans. We can’t see inside and know what’s going on. It occurred to me a week or so ago that Kep may not have gotten up on the bed with me because it reminded him of Rigel. May have smelled like her, too. The last few nights he’s gotten up on the bed and stayed through morning. I’ve asked him to, and, yes, I believe he understands. It feels like he’s decided to push past his grieving to comfort me. Feels like a treasure.
I’ve also decided to get a puppy. Gonna do it. Kep will bond with the puppy over time, not be mean to it. A female. And, I don’t care what the breed is. Just filled out an application for Kahlua, a German Shepherd mix. We’ll see out what happens. Oooh, a puppy!