Weeks ago I found a shirt that I liked for $3.00 at the thrift store. It was pink – I don’t really wear pink, but I decided I could dye it. With denim dye, I submerged the shirt in boiling hot blue water; washed it and dried in the hot dryer. Then, I realized the dangle straps from the hood were ear buds…. that inside the front belly pocket was the connection for an MP3 player and that the lines ran up through the front seam of the shirt. Crikey!
But, to my amazement, the shirt still played music! So I started wearing it as I mucked horse pens and watered and repaired fences. I ripped all the music I liked that I had found recently and played it, a LOT on the shirt (with the shirt?).
As things unfolded with my mother’s deteriorating health, I found that sitting with her at the hospital, I could play my music in the shirt when she was sleeping (and I disturbed no one). When she was awake, I would sit and hold her hand, stroke her head and tell her stories with the music turned off. The shirt was helping me get through the rough times. Strange, now, that I think about it, how the shirt has become important to me… simple things.
My Mum is still holding on, I don’t know what the future holds (in SO many ways!), but I really do just face things day by day, hour by hour and keep the music playing. Billy says I do tend to dance a little without realizing it and it looks odd when no one else is hearing the music. Good. Odd works for me.
I sit now with a jar of wine (can’t find the wine glasses), ready to make herbal ointments for orders from peeps and some extra for myself. It is too windy today to work outside. Two days ago, opening a bale of hay with the knife, I stabbed myself in the hand… I need to make the ointment.
And lately, it will feel like 4 days have passed when only 4 hours have gone by. I have found that it is not easy to sit quietly with someone else’s suffering. Especially one so beloved and cherished and know that there is nothing I can do. I see the miracle of allopathic drugs that take away the pain. I see the “living between worlds” condition in humans that I am intimately aware of in animals, having stood beside dozens, maybe a hundred by now, as they passed over. I see the love of friends and the reality of processes necessary to step someone through illness to recovery or to release.
And I write. Disjointed, emotional, sometimes rambling posts on my blogs and social media, emails and letters… notes to students left pinned to the tackroom door. If I make little sense or have bursts of outrage, my hope is that I am forgiven. I remind myself to apologize when all is done and dusted and my mind settles once again.
Just now a thump at my office bay window excites the dogs and I look to see at least 40 quail dancing on the patio, staring in at me and just plain being happy. They set an example. They remind me to dance, to gather with my tribe. A friend has come today bringing treats and good company, an ear to listen… I give my big dog, Phoebe, her Benadryl as thunder booms in the distance and the air smells of wet chaparral even though no rain has fallen here. The time changed today for us here in the States – from daylight savings time – and I have no idea of the time at this moment. This will instantly change the riding lesson schedules because of early darkness. sigh
All I can do is be. Be here… now. As the world’s ways wash over me and I reluctantly submit (for the moment) just to be able to get through to tomorrow, I hold onto everything that defines and nourishes me. I plan to be clear and whole again soon. Until then, I’ll dance.