Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thursday is for Bells

It was warm nearly all last night in CK's flat. I fidgeted being on top of the bed, finally getting under at least the sheet. Somehow that bit of "normal" behavior around trying to sleep helped me settle and rest even if fitfully. CK got up in the early hours, it had finally cooled considerably, and covered us up, dropping a kiss onto the back of my neck. She said I made a happy noise when she did so.

It would have been nice to slide from that sub-aware moment of feeling a kiss, responding to it on some level, into happy dreams. Instead I slid into taking a chemistry exam. Knowing I was truly in the wrong room, the wrong exam, "I don't study chemistry!" Yet there I was, trying to make heads or tails of questions, calculations, and knowing with certainty I was failing utterly.

Then it was time to get up and get ready. I rode into the office of the Broadway Bridge. The bridges get marginally less terrifying each time, just practice. Work was starts and fits of progress here and delays there (yet more again, same project).

Although I slept poorly, insufficiently, I don't feel quite the same volume of anger-static around me today. The grief feels less enormous again, just there with me. IW's work yesterday seems to have cleared a little of that energy up.

The ride home was difficult but possible. I was congested, the August air is rather stale from all the heat, so the uphills were even more difficult to breathe through steadily. My legs were pretty done by the time I got to the house, but no cramps or spasms. At times I'm not sure I'm actually enjoying the activity of bicycling but I enjoy being done with a ride and having traveled under my own energy.

AM had a rough day with his depression and I walked into the hosue into a storm of it for a moment. He settled after a bit. I tried to point out to him in a more compassionate way that I was feeling a little overwhelmed at the, to me, sudden and unexpected intensity. We just sat cool basement together for a little bit and let the whole day settle.

AM made us Vietnamese inspired rice noodle bowls, bun, for dinner. We discovered that the marinated tofu, nearly charcolized on the grill by accident, tasted quite good. A maple and tamari marinade would make for a crispy, "bacon-eque" type snack. We included cucumbers from the garden, which is really wonderful to be enjoying.

AM didn't feel up to, or had the time to shower for, before zazen at the Dharma Center. I quickly changed and brushed my teeth. Still having printer problems so I swung by CK's to print the merit list and drop off some things she needed. I had wanted to check in on her anyway because Atari had another UTI and I knew being at the vet with him, transporting him, and worrying about him all had been stressful. I felt bad at having to rush away from her, she looked so tired.

More compliments and suggestions of improving confidence at hitting the bells during service. I'm still so caught up in all the things to keep track of that it is hard to also have confidence. Besides, having confidence is truly difficult practice, same as pride. I am trying to remind myself it is only the second time I've done the chanting and bells together, something that is traditionally done by two people. There is a lot to learn and it is OK to learn it at my pace. I did think I felt a little more confident in my chanting at least; the stress of the bells distracting me!

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