Monday, December 22, 2008

Staying with It

I've been inside most of the day, really all day since the only going outside I did was to walk to the edge of the sidewalk, marvel at the snow and go back inside again. I logged into work and plugged away at a project much of the day, the rest of it was spent completing some online training I had listed as an accomplishment for 2008.

CK decided this morning to drive after finding another person wanting to do the same. The other woman also has experience driving on the snow and using chains. A vehicle was rented, chains were bought and the two of them set off up I-5 from Woodland, California at 11:55 this morning. I've been very relieved to be able to text with her off and on as well as talk with her a couple of times.

Nearly 2 hours ago they passed Eugene and were less than 100 miles from Portland. The would have started hitting the results of the snow and ice storm within the past hour and she sent out a message that they put the chains on about 35 minutes ago (about 8:45PM as I'm writing). I'm not sure if she'll be able to come directly to the flat where Atari and I are waiting for her, she may get dropped into downtown. If the MAX is running, and the Blue Line is, she would have to do the walk from the stop which takes about 15 minutes of brisk walking on a normal day. I may bundled up and meet her partway with more layers.

I worked on things until about 5PM today then decided to wrap it up for the day, my eyes were feeling a bit tired. Felt a little better after some asana practice, some deep forward bends, lots of down dog & twists, and a few sun salutations. I felt so stiff after sitting all day working, the relative cold outside, and an undercurrent of concern for CK. Then sat zazen for a little while, had a difficult time being present today once I tried to settle into stillness with that worry and ache.

Earlier in the day I had started some soup and it had filled the flat with a delicious smell. I finished zazen feeling hungry and impatient. I'd brought my dinner, soup and toast, out and realized that I'd started to check emails, news, road conditions, Twitter... All distraction while I was mindlessly eating dinner. I put the laptop aside and brought myself back to dinner, fully appreciating the very tasty soup I'd made.

I've been online either working or checking personal stuff (email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter) so much today that after eating I put aside my iBook at went back to my journal again. Added the words "NOW" and "HERE" on torn bits of blue paper, plus a red square (an homage to the "you are here" dots on maps) to the cover.

Last night I'd played around with the idea of putting the drawing of myself meditating in the journal. It isn't a realistic style image, it is me because I know it is. It is a drawing I did after explaining to HB what the fear feels like in my body. I had described a dark, heavy, cold blackness at the center of my chest. It felt like tendrils of that blackness snaked out, devouring all the warmth and light around me. Like a black hole consuming the matter around it.

After working on the colors for a while I went back and added just a little definition to show that there was a person there. When I put small lines in the face I decided to give the hint of a smile to the mouth. I wanted to see myself as knowing peace in that effort, despite the crushing, destructive feeling of the fear I still was able to maintain some equanimity. I spent a fair bit of time on carefully cutting out the piece, trying to preserve the tendrils of colors. I mounted it over gold foil, origami paper.

Neither the cover nor the piece inside feel completely finished to me yet. I've set them aside for the night, opting to write some and let my thoughts around them both settle. CK is on the outskirts of Portland now (about 10:24PM as I finish up this entry), making slow but steady progress.

It has been good practice, this past day of being alone. I look forward to waking up with CK tomorrow morning, knowing she is safely back in Portland. Back to the practice we share together.

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