Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Journey Begins Anew

It’s supposed to be close to 90 today. But this morning, it’s pleasantly cool. I’ve opened the doors and windows to let the coolness in and the stale air and stale spirit out.

I meditated this morning for the first time in too long. I don’t know if I did it right. I did it the
way Easwaran recommends, but I don’t know if his way is a good way. He says it is. But can I believe him? How do I know that it worked for him? How do I know that even if it did work for him and others, it will work for me? There’s only one way I know to even begin to know. And today was the first step in the proverbial journey of umpteen miles. At least I hope it was the first step in an ongoing journey. A journey to what? I don’t presume to know.

We took my sister-in-law to the airport last night for her return trip to Thailand. It was over two hundred miles to SFO and back. I worked at SFO less than two years ago and have been there several times since, but I got lost driving around there last night. It was almost as though I’d never been there before. This is one of my learning disabilities. I could surrender to despair. But I’m trying to cultivate acceptance of what cannot be changed while, at the same time, working to change the things I can and learning how to tell the difference.

I don’t know who’s going to miss my sister-in-law more. My wife or me? She kept my wife company in a way that I can’t. She graced our home with her sweet presence. She’s one of the sweetest, most gentle, and most wonderful human beings I’ve ever known. Maybe too sweet, too gentle, and too wonderful for this world. I cringe at the thought of the world stealing her beauty over the years with its trials, coarsening her heart and soul with its demands and its ugliness.

I hope she returns some day to live with us again even though I doubt that she will. She came here to study English. I think she left feeling frustrated with her progress. She’s very intelligent and worked very hard, but English is a very difficult language for many people to learn well. I’m glad I don’t have to learn it.

But there is so much that I need to learn. I know so much less than my peers about so many practical things that are vitally important for me to know, and if I don’t learn them, I don’t know what kind of life my wife and I can hope to have. Life has been easy for me in some respects, but I think it’s about to get hard in many respects. The better prepared I am for the difficulty, the better my wife and I can get through it. Or so I hope.

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