Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Remember. (from the Tibetan Book of the Dead)

0 nobly-born, the time hath now come for thee to seek the Path [in reality]. Thy breathing is about to cease. Thy guru hath set thee face to face before with the Clear Light; and now thou art about to experience in its Reality in the Bardo state, wherein all things are like the void and cloudless sky, and the naked, spotless intellect is like unto a transparent vacuum without circumference or centre. At this moment, know thou thyself, and abide in that state. I, too, at this time, am setting thee face to face.

After the expiration hath completely ceased, press the nerves of sleep firmly; and, a lama, or a person higher or more learned than thyself, impress in these words, thus:

now that thou art experiencing the Fundamental Clear Light, try to abide in that state which now thou art experiencing.

Now thou art experiencing the Radiance of the Clear Light of Pure Reality. Recognize it. 0 nobly-born, thy present intellect, in real nature void, not formed into anything as regards characteristics or colour, naturally void, is the very Reality, the All-Good.

Thine own intellect, which is now voidness, yet not to be regarded as of the voidness of nothingness, but as being the intellect itself, unobstructed, shining, thrilling, and blissful, is the very consciousness, the All-good Buddha.

Thine own consciousness, not formed into anything, in reality void, and the intellect, shining and blissful--these two--are inseparable. The union of them is the Dharma-Kaya state of Perfect Enlightenment.

Thine own consciousness, shining, void, and inseparable from the Great Body of Radiance, hath no birth, nor death, and is the Immutable Light-Buddha Amitabha.

Knowing this is sufficient. Recognizing the voidness of thine own intellect to be Buddhahood, and looking upon it as being thine own consciousness, is to keep thyself in the divine mind of the Buddha.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sing it.

As I was walking through the park I got a quick memory of Jesse smiling that little turned up corner smile he had, then him laughing when he was little. God that hurt. After that movie, brave one, where she’s telling her husband to talk to her, it’s easy to identify with that. I was saying to Jesse last night, kind of knowing how futile it is. Talk to me. And then this morning kind of mentally chiding him to help me find my card (it’s a family habit to nag the dead about things like that).

Kept hearing these background singers in the park (in my head) going
Sing it sing it sing it

But I couldn’t remember the song. I couldn’t stop hearing them either. So I tried to let it “play out” as I stood on the platform, nah. Nothing. Think of other things. I could hear the strings, a little, the voices swelling, a little insistent. Wait endlessly for train. I’m late.
Sing it sing it sing it
Then I get a train, the 6.
Sing it sing it sing it
And I sit down, and go through my bag, hoping to find my card. Noticed that my sweater had a stain on it (brand new, now I have to throw it out). And then

Some day, we’ll be together
Yes we will yes we will oh yes we will.

Goddamn I’ve been crying all morning.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thinking about loss

I’ve spent a lot of my rumination time lately, trying to figure out the difference between missing Jesse and missing something in myself. I think of my kids’ childhoods the way some people think of their high school days. I can’t say those days were perfect—I wouldn’t have left their father if they had been even close to okay most of the time. But I can say that the time with my kids was as close to perfect as I could hope for. They were both the kind of boys people love to be with. Rough and sweet, athletic but gentle, loving, smart, funny, tough, a little smart alecky. They could be pains in the ass. I could come home and find mysterious divots in the furniture that defied my investigations. Jesse had a streak of bully, his brother a bit of trickster. But they were beautiful inside and out and it was more than I thought I’d ever get from life. I guess that made those days that much more amazing. And the loss of them that much harder to bear.
So I would be mourning that shining moment of my life, no matter where Jesse and his brother’s lives took them. That’s a thread. Another is that Jesse was angry with me for leaving his father. He pulled further and further away from me as he got older, from around age 11 to 13. So that by the time he finished 6th grade he moved out to live with his dad. He refused to come to my house. In 7th grade, I would sneak over to his school just to catch a peek at him, spend a few minutes while he glared at me and told me to leave him alone. He hated it—it was all I had. I’m trying not to blame his father for all of this, but there wasn’t any question in the court’s mind: the judge, the court psychiatrist, they knew what was going on, but there really wasn’t anything anyone could do. That is the closest I felt to what I feel right now. That I had lost him, but worse, that he hated me and believed horrible, untrue things about me that I couldn’t defend myself from. But at least I believed that somehow I could win him back. It’s not as if I had a choice. If I thought I could get him back from the dead right now, I’d do that, too. Motherhood is a form of insanity.
What changed it? Jesse ended up in the hospital with appendicitis. His father, unaccountably, refused to visit him there. His father’s comment was, “that’s what your mother does.” He couldn’t be bothered, was what it sounded like. After all he’d done to tear Jesse away from me.
I didn’t care. It was my chance. I stayed there for days by his side. He couldn’t leave. If he didn’t want to talk to me he could click his dosage button for morphine and fall asleep. He did that. Mostly though we slipped back into what used to be good between us. It was a tiny break in the wall. Within 6 months he was making excuses to come to my house for dinner. You know how hard it is to start a fire sometimes, and when you get it going, you nurse that little puff of smoke and spark, and hope to God it doesn’t die, but all your attention is on it? Well.
And now, the fire has gone out for good.