Saturday, April 12, 2008

Stomach Aches

My stomach aches. I wonder what the Zen buddhists have to say about that? I attended the funeral of a woman today who was only a few years older than me. We nursed our babies together. We counselled women together through La Leche League meetings. I sat in her house where she home-schooled her children and wondered how she did it. And of course, over the years we lost touch. But, never for long for both our children played in the Celtic Ensemble and we sat in audiences together, or sold cd's, and just were. Together. Quietly. Or I would run into her at Indigo's and we would discuss Shakespeare plays. I was searching for a play for my then grade eight class, and she seemed to know all the plot lines. She liked the comedies. Her smile was as big as her heart. I don't know much more about her, but her smile was huge.
Her daughter and my son became friends in their late teens. A lovely friendship that probably evolved from a crush, but has endured to become something more lasting perhaps then a first love.
I cried alot today. When her husband spoke of their messy marriage. When her son spoke of his love for her. When her daughter told a story of how her mom wouldn't take crap from anyone. When many friends spoke of what she had meant to them. She had meant alot, to alot of people from many walks of life. It was sad. But as the Buddhist leader said. Hers was a successful life.

But still my stomach hurts. A parent in my class wants to meet with me, again, to tell me how I am not doing the best for his son. I have tried so hard to be the best for his son, but it is never, never enough. I try to be the best teacher for 16 children everyday, and of course, I make mistakes and sometimes I just can't do it anymore. Today feels like one of those days. I don't want to do it anymore. I have dust bunnies to suck up, counters to wipe, taxes to file and just stuff to do. And I don't want to. I just don't want to. Because - what is the point? You do it. And then it gets messy and you have to do it again. You have the meeting, and sort it out and it gets messy again. You take your class on a trip, and then soon enough you are organizing the next thing. It is like you never get to stop and say "Look what I have done!", because the next thing is creeping up too fast.
To be a teacher, or a mother, or a wife is to never be done. Until is is done. Good-bye Louise. I wish I had known you better. I wish I had been one of your close friends. I am thankful for that part of you I got to be part of too. Good-bye.

Friday, April 4, 2008

500 years

And so I am home. Home from a city filled with history. Home to a place filled with my history. The dirty dishes, the laundry piled every which way, the newspapers scattered about, to help me reconnect with my life here. And the mess, well it is comfortable, it is my mess, my place filled with love and life.

Florence was amazing, the art, history, language, colours were all amazing. but sitting having coffee with my daughter is so very very lovely. i caught her up with me, she caught me up with her, and we made plans for tonight: shopping, movies, supper.

I did it, I took trains, and planes. I ordered food in restaurants where the menu was all in another language. I walked. I walked and walked, and climbed and kept going one foot in front on another. In short, I did it! I am feel strong and proud.

So I kept breathing, breathing life, into every moment. I wasn't afraid. I wasn't afraid. That, for me is saying alot.

And now I continue to look forward. To that quiet sleep in my nineties. I have so much to do still, so much to learn. I look forward to ellen and kyle's stories. My stories, brian's stories. So many stories....and still, so many years. Like those frescoes in the San Marco monastery some part of me will still be here 500 years from now. 500 years from now, I will still be here.