Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 7 – Bittersweet

How should the soul not take wings
when from the Glory of God

It hears a sweet, kindly call:
"Why are you here, soul? Arise!"

How should a fish not leap fast
into the sea from dry land

When from the ocean so cool
the sound of the waves reaches its

How should the falcon not fly
back to his king from the hunt

When from the falconer's drum
it hears to call: "Oh, come back"?

Why should not every Sufi
begin to dance atom-like

Around the Sun of duration
that saves from impermanence?

What graciousness and what beauty?
What life-bestowing! What grace!

If anyone does without that, woe-
what err, what suffering!

Oh fly , of fly, O my soul-bird,
fly to your primordial home!

You have escaped from the cage now-
your wings are spread in the air.

Oh travel from brackish water
now to the fountain of life!

Return from the place of the sandals
now to the high seat of souls!

Go on! Go on! we are going,
and we are coming, O soul,

From this world of separation
to union, a world beyond worlds!

How long shall we here in the dust-world
like children fill our skirts

With earth and with stones without value,
with broken shards without worth?

Let's take our hand from the dust grove,
let's fly to the heavens' high,

Let's fly from our childish behaviour
and join the banquet of men!

Call out, O soul, to proclaim now
that you are rules and king!

You have the grace of the answer,
you know the question as well!

Yesterday, July 16 2011, was a bittersweet day… a day when we made the hardest decision of our lives and said goodbye. The balm in my heart was the peace she finally received.
The start of this project was in anticipation of this day. It’s been an amalgam of thoughts with snippets left for this particular blog. Now that it is here, I found those words just a little difficult to put down. In fact, I gave my brain a little rest yesterday and didn’t write to just be in the day and to reflect.

It is the first anniversary that is almost as hard as the process. When I spoke with my brother, he said exactly how I was feeling, “It’s still not real.” Upon hearing the voice of my mum’s friend on the phone checking up on us, the sound of a Japanese accent brought back so much of what I missed that was my mum. It was so nice that the spirit of my mum lives in so wide of a spectrum. Her friend had called to let us know her church prayed for her and her family today.
But just like each day since one year ago, we wake up and have our coffee, go into our garden, cook our things and live life. We go through our moments and travel through our day in the hecticness of modern day life. Yet in looking back, I see a little different color to each day. I see the shade of red that was one of mum’s favorite colors adding a hue throughout the day. I see the traditions I carry each day in honor of her.

One such tradition is lighting incense for her…usually at night when I go to bed. It’s my tradition that I brush, put the dog in his crate, and stop to light incense for her and say goodnight. Or say thank you. Or say help. Or say anything else that comes into my mind. It is a moment of reflection that has come into my life as a direct memory of watching mum do the same with her deceased. From the Japanese incense she used to use, to the stones in the dish that was like what she used, my little spot of tradition is my daily dose of Japanese. It is also in this spot that she had her first bowl of rice in this house. Tradition dictates that the first bowl of rice in a new pot goes to honor those that aren’t with us.

Through conversation and reflection, I know her passing from this realm is just a journey of her spirit and she lives through and in each of us. She lives on through the stories, through the traditions and through the ways our lives would not have been if it wasn’t for her presence. For that I am so thankful.

Just like her jovial spirit, yesterday had some awesome moments that brought great smiles. Perhaps it was a response to some prior blogs I had written.
We had helped Pops clean and organize his garage…a daunting task. We made it through the piles and sorted. We approached the end of the garage where boxes were piled up. The only way to do a task is with the spirit of Mary Poppins so with one box grabbed we began the journey of this task. The boxes held a lot of mum’s clothes so we sorted into donations, things we would like to keep, etc. One box in particular had shoes and bags. After a couple of pairs of shoes sorted, there were the acupressure shoes I had written about. I immediately put them on and in painful glory relished wearing these shoes. My feet had been hurting and it was a glorious pain that I walked back and forth in these shoes. I brought them home with me and I look forward to the owies as I walk in them.

A little further in the box, was a packet of Japanese health things. Upon looking inside, it was the batch of acupuncture needles…With The Chart!!! Woohoo! I get to experiment… perhaps to the lament of those around me.

So…Mum..thank you for these little gifts. Thank you for the wonderful traditions and memories. Thank you for being you and for giving each of us the amazing spark that was you.
Thank you.

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