As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. Henry David Thoreau
Another morning without the dreadful and disruptive sounds from the mother and children upstairs. I’m very much aware of the absence. The peace and silence in this house this morning is deafening….
I’m playing The Dalai Lama chant on my stereo; the sound is humming quietly in the background; an audio pathway to inner peace, NOT a tool used at almost full volume to block the sound of mother and children as they fight, scream, move furniture, bang, thump etc etc…ad infuriatum… .
Letting down my guard, I’m aware of how much my guard is up, has been up. Before I step out either of my doors, I check the perimeters carefully from window to window, peering out from behind curtains, to see if all is clear; I look and listen carefully. I’m inwardly aware that I of feel highly reluctant to venture into the Common area of basement laundry.
I had lunch yesterday with my mother and a long-time mutual friend. For many years, we all lived close and took it for granted that we saw each other often. Since my father died, It’s been a long-time tradition to get together to celebrate my mother’s birthday and that’s a tradition we’ve more or less maintained although much has changed. We no longer live in the same community or town and our path’s rarely cross except by pre-arrangement. Even though our friend now lives in Vermont, he manages to return to his home-turf around the time of my mother’s birthday. We have Memories of more than a few such reunions since he moved away; yesterday’s reunion made another great memory. He brought sandwiches from a Deli owned by his childhood friend, I brought cupcakes and ice cream – the sandwiches and cupcakes something that has been woven into the tradition in the past few years. I treasure the few hours we all had together yesterday as well as in the past; it felt as if we’d stepped out of Time, for a bit, into a comfortable and pleasant space. I made a few videos of our conversations that I’ll hold as a treasure. I have one where my mother is telling us a few things from her childhood and where my friend added his story to hers. I’m pleased to have a visual reminder of my mother and our friend at their best and most natural. To me, this video is priceless.
When I was asked to decorate the Milk Can my plan was to renew work on the series I’ve been working on this past year after I delivered the decorated Milk Can to the Community Center. The Milk Can has been gone since Thursday afternoon and in that time I have yet to even contemplate work on the series. I was busy yesterday and last night and thought I’d get back to work this morning. I’ve been up since 6:30 and all I’ve done of any consequence is to sit quietly and enjoy the peace and do this quick little sketch of the view from my front door.