“Grief is our common bond. Opening to our sorrow connects us with everyone, everywhere. There is no gesture of kindness that is wasted, no offering of compassion that is useless. We can be generous to every sorrow we see. It is sacred work.” Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow
Last December, I wrote ahead in my journal for both July 1st and August 1st:
Are you there yet?
In July, I read it and thought “no, not yet.” In August, I read it and thought “NO!”
Three weeks ago, I unpacked six boxes I’d sent from WA and arranged that stuff in the tiny house. It was a reunion, after three months, with mostly books and pottery. There are many things to buy for life in the tiny house but I am taking my time with new purchases, waiting to get things on sale, waiting to get exactly what I want, borrowing where I can in the meantime, or making do without. After working so hard to minimize before I moved, I don’t want to buy stuff quickly that I will end up replacing in a year when I find the good quality things I really want.
I confess there have been several times when I’ve thought “why didn’t I bring that with me?” but that was a silly little thing like a spatula or worn-out flip flops, nothing that felt irreplaceable.
A strong cup of organic medium roast coffee is a daily pleasure for me and my preferred method is what is now called a pour-over: making a single cup with a dripper, small cone filter, and boiling water. Last week, I bought a ceramic dripper for use in the tiny house and was able to make my first pour-over since May (now I think of it, the plastic dripper I left behind was from the 1990’s and was due for retirement long ago).
With the coffee dripping that first morning and my anticipation building, I checked my phone and read an email from a friend. I sat down, closed my eyes, and let out a deep breath at her news—another death due to cancer. In the evening, I walked to the beach with a favoUrite dharma book, read, watched the plovers, and just sat.
Last week, I knew there was no more waiting: I had the refuge of the tiny house and it was time to get disciplined about the meditation and writing practices that were the focus of this SLSR goal. I could easily continue to make my To Do and Shopping lists the focus of my day, but those lists will never be empty. So I tried the daily schedule I’d imagined way back in August 2014. It still looks ideal to me. After three years, finally I’m here now.
References and related links:
- The Wild Edge of Sorrow, Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief by Francis Weller
- SLSR: simpler living semi-retirement.
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