Monday, May 01, 2006
Misty Morning Musings
The early morning hours offer both great opportunity and wistful remorse... since we homeschool, the children stay up late and wake late into the morning. Therefore, I struggle with just how best to use the quiet time before the children rise. We're second-shifters, with soccer practices, piano and guitar lessons, tumbling, museum classes, and a computer apprentice position keeping us on our toes for most of our days, so if I don't nab a little 'me' time first thing in the morning, the opportunity is lost until the next day. The dilemma, though... what to do with that hour or so? Read email? Write? Practice yoga? Sit quietly with tea? I'm always torn.
On this particular morning, the view to the east caught my eye, and my new digital camera beckoned me to experiment. I took several pictures of the morning mist with the sunshine slowly burning the moisture from the fields... it was lovely.
I have a friend, ....e, who spends each morning having tea outside, no matter the weather. Once upon a time, inspired by her ritual, I adopted the same practice and found it rather exhilarating to sit on the porch in sub-zero weather, bundled in a down jacket, clutching a steaming mug of Snow Monkey Plum tea and gazing north. Amazing how a few simple moments in outdoor meditation can center you and start your day off with a boost. I think perhaps I'll take up that ritual again, easier now with spring peeking out all around.
I've been quieter than usual these days, anyhow.... and lately, my morning meditations have lasted well into the day; a few days, never quite managing to change out of my sleeping clothes even. You see, my father died.
Funny, I can write those words, but I cannot say them. They get stuck in my throat and add a realness I'm not quite ready for. My friend Drew asked, knowingly, if I was tired of being asked how I'm doing yet. And I told him I'd learned it's the most difficult question to answer. I don't know how I'm doing. And it changes, day to day, hour to hour, moment to moment. My stock answer has become, "Right now? Ok. I'm ok, right now."
The pain is surprisingly physical - deeply physical. I never expected that. Early on, the hospital images haunted me, flashing in front of my eyes unexpectedly, unwelcomed; each time, sending a speeding wave of intense, suffocating, desperate pain through my core, making me catch my breath and sending tears down my cheeks yet again. I feared I would be forever traumatized by those visions, and on some levels I will be - but already, I've learned to slow the reel of pictures and ward them off at inauspicious moments.
In Mexico, native healers called Curanderas speak of susto. Susto, sometimes called "magical fright", is a loss of harmony between body and soul and occurs when something traumatic has happened. They believe the soul, or part of it, is lost or wandering... and must be retrieved or coaxed back. When we hurt, we heal the physical, but often overlook or disregard the spiritual or emotional. Curanderas help you to heal susto.
The night my father died, we all waltzed like zombies into a seedy hotel in that godforsaken town. We were too shocked to drive the 3 hours home, but no one was to sleep either. I spent the night rocking on my side, and I knew.... I have susto.