Sunday, January 13, 2008


Yesterday I drove to a nearby town to visit my son. Here is a shot of a local mountain. I'd like to come here to paint in sometime when it's warmer outside. If I'm brave enough to paint in public.

Visiting my son is a mixed blessing. I love being closer to him than I have been in years so that I can drive down to visit. The visit includes visiting with my ex-husband as they live together. They are always sitting at the kitchen table smoking and reading. Under the table is the kitty litter. I guess you don't see it if your chair is pulled up close to the table.

Then I return "home" where Mom sleeps for about 18 hours a day. I guess this is what very old people do. I see my brother only occasionally as he is over there across from the barn with my SIL tending to her illness/dying.

So now I am thinking of my present life as a silent retreat since genrally there is no one to talk to here. I walk around with my hands in prayer position. I talk to my cats and talk out loud to myself sometimes.

I wish I could make plans for my future. Meaning spring. I am tired of my stuff being in storage and unavailable. The storage unit costs $150/month. Plus I have so many sweet things collected through the years, special things like paintings by friends and my grandmother's pots and vases. I want to have these things around me. Part of me thinks how can I make plans, it all depends on Mom's health and SIL's processing of life/death/life. But another part of me knows I do not need to make decisions based on some theoretical process other people may or may not go through. What do I WANT to do is the question.

Kikipotamus quoted from a book about weight loss on her blog. I almost skipped the quotes as I've never had a weight problem and generally I eat anything I want to. But I read them.

The quotes talk about not needing to justify our choices, about saying "I choose" instead of "I have to" and about choosing from our wants not some made up "reasons." I have often noticed how people (myself included but it's easier to see this in others) come up with all kinds of reasons to do things when underneath lies an unacknowledged "I want to." This is especially noticeable when the reasons on day one are the opposite of the reasons on day two. Logic and reasons have little to do with it. Even if we don't consciously acknowledge it, I want to do this or I don't want to do this lie underneath all reasons.

The problem is figuring out what I want. Not always of course. I know what I want with small things. I want this book, I want to watch that movie, I want to eat a potato chip etc. But when viewing a larger picture. What do I want to be doing and where do I want to be living??? This is so hard for me that i sometimes hide behind "One day at a time" and being in the present moment kinda thing.

I sometimes think that if I focus on today and doing the best I can today with what arises that I AM taking care of the future which will unfold from today's choices and thoughts. I don't have to anguish over figuring it all out ahead of time. What is meant for me to do will be there in the spring. Waa laa.

Still i am a thinking human being and we humans often want to figure things out.

Right near the mountain above is one of Thich Nhat Hanh's monasteries. I could go there if they are open in the winter and meditate. Or I could just look at the mountain and let my mind flow. Or I could just keep on doing what I am doing, one day at a time, and stop with the thinking already.


Kikipotamus said...

Wow, Suki, what a situation you're in. I can really relate to having your stuff in boxes instead of gathered around you in your own space. Me too. And--like you--I am just trying to be present every day, assuming that 'the next right thing' will unfold by itself this spring or this summer. Yet we are human and sometimes our heads get to running, running.

Lynn said...

Suki. First see Karen's email on my last post/comments and ask again for the URL for the reading challenge. You are accepted always silly you.

Then...what to say? You have come to such an interesting station in your life...this place of giving of yourself...helping...being...yes, it must be like a silent retreat at times. What a forced meditation that must be.

Such dichotomies to deal with. Life and death. Love and cat shit.
(Sorry, but that one really got to me. It wasn't the sight as much as the smell.)Aging...Waiting...Watching...Wondering...

I admire you for what you are doing.
And I trust the next step in the journey of your life will unfold for you, and you create it, as you want it to be.

As for that first photo of the sky and clouds and red barn. My first reaction was to want to paint it too. Maybe because I have just ventured into painting clouds and sky. The red offsets it so nicely too.I hope you do paint it.
Maybe from the photo.

human being said...

Living in the monment is being in a dramatic situation... You know nothing of the future,i.e. you may have no control over it ... thus a feeling of insecurity.. Yes all of us are human and share this feeling with you...

At the time being, you are mostly living for others not yourself. That's why this dramatic situation is intensified...I had a similar period in my life that all my days were just for others... I remember how I missed having and thinking of a future of my own...

And how sincerely and beautifully you expressed it in your own life..
Think you are very strong ... Few people can analyze their situation so clearly... The first step in problem solving is locating the problem... and you have done it so nicely.
Maybe now some brainstorming can help... you can find a way out for sure.
Funny the crow in my blog also wants to solve a problem...

Love you "sukithustra"(I saw this in your comment on Lynn's blog . Loved it.)

Cris in Oregon said...

Silent retreat. wow. Now that would drive me crazy as I NEED someone to talk to. and with winter makes it even harder to deal with. but you know Spring is just around the corner. We are trudging thru January already and there is more winter to come but we know spring ISNT to far away. Sounds like you need people but you needed this time to get close to all your family members too.

I loved that picture you posted. I too hope you paint it.

Hang in there time does really fly. Do you visit with your sister in law much? At least there is the Blogging and a phone to use to talk to an old friend.

Mary Richmond said...

My, you are at an interesting crossroad, aren't you? Here you are surrounded by family yet feeling lost in silence to a large degree. Do you spend much time with your brother? It seems like there is so much waiting and accepting and silence and yes, snow and cold, too, which keeps you inside. I have gone through a number of deaths with family and friends and one of the unspoken things that goes with this going through is all the waiting and all the things people don't say, don't want to say. Your life as it was comes to a veritable standstill as you await the ultimate change you know is coming and of course there are all these emotions surfacing and floating about as you sit in the silence. You are being shown your life as it was, the things you opted out of all these years. How interesting that now you can contemplate your future in such an interesting way. You have more than a canvas or blank page before you. You have the whole landscape to choose from, a whole life to rearrange if you want to. Seems like a pretty cool and interesting place to be if you can just be quiet and calm (which I think you do really well!) and wait for the answers to flow to you....keep creating. It will help. These are hard times, no easy answers. And this too shall pass.....

ANDREA said...

Hi Suki, what a photo, what a post. It looks cold. Your post about choices is so interesting. I'm back from the fair, and have to make choices too. What do we really want? Is there such a thing "what I really want"? I'm wondering. Your collages, shields, paintings are beautiful. So are the turkeys. They are always there. When the grass is green and when there is a lot of snow too.
Have a good day

Elizabeth said...

I like the bit 'enough with the thinking already' - this made me smile, me of the chronic over-thinking habit!

I have so much sympathy for your situation as I HATE being rootless, disjointed and my belongings packed away (Cancer moon). At first I find it completely liberating and a relief, a chance to redefine myself: then it starts to wear thin.

You are strong and brave, a soul of generosity, caring and patience. Such an admirable and amazingly profound situation you are in.

I agree with Lynn, Mary and the others' wise words. One day at a time will get you through, identifying the situation and considering it, but meanwhile...

Can you store your things anywhere on your family's property instead, to save money, and then maybe unpack a couple of things?)

I wish we could all pop over for a cup of tea and a chat to keep you company. Instead sending you all good wishes & blessings from across the pond :-)

human being said...

Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

1. The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20

Patti said...

Oh Suki, you have so many downward pressures in your life at the moment. But Cris is right, life is like the changing of seasons and change will happen for you one day and your situation will change. It is still hard I know, to sit and wait. That is the beauty of living in each moment. Who can cope with the past or the unknown future.

Instead create your future in your head. What do you want to happen? Keep this movie running in your head, in as much detail as you can. Every day.

I would want my things around me too, we all like our special altars.

Meanwhile, supporting your SIL and caring for your Mom are very special things. You are special.

Take care and keep talking to us, cos we're all listening.


sukipoet said...

Thank you everyone for your kindness and reflections on my reflections. I will read them a number of times I know as each one of you has a gem of wisdom to impart. I agree that this is all interesting and when I view it as an adventure I do better with it. I know it won't last forever, as nothing does. I do think the waiting, as some of you have said, is the hard part. Waiting without knowing when or what will happen. This is the way all life is, but when in certain situations the waiiting and unknowing seem to stand out more.

Thank you again. I treasure all these words and the caring that comes to me from all corners of the earth through the airwaves like winged angels humming a chorus.

Elizabeth said...

P.S. Keep forgetting to say that I LOVE your new widget MEOW! She is so cute!

anney said...

Suki, just wanted to say I'm thinking
about you. It's tough to have your
life's belongings in an expensive
storage unit rather than surrounding
you. And I think it's hard to make
plans for the future. But at least
nowadays we have the option. I think
it must have been much tougher 100
years ago before mass media brought
all of life to our attention. I
often intend to try visualization
and affirmations... Just for a more
distinct image of the possible
future. As you say, come spring
you will know what to do.

HMDhesari--حامد^ من ، كوه ، تنهایی said...

thank u Sukipoet for ur Mountainy post.
u can visit my post as the link blow:

sukipoet said...

Hi anney. thanks for stopping by. I would thank you at your blog but your name isn't activated. Your words offer solace. Interesting you think it would have been harder 100 yrs ago. I sometimes imagine it would have been easier as the options to choose from would have been fewer. You choose a or b. Rather than the whole alphabet. On the other hand I am glad I live now, to know about the larger world and the so many ways there are to live and be. Blessings, suki

sukipoet said...

Hello HMDhesari. I will visit your blogsite. Thank you for coming here and looking at the mountain. Be well, Suki

HMDhesari--حامد^ من ، كوه ، تنهایی said...

dear suki,as u told I love adventure,and also the mountain.
unfortunatly I didn't write any English post on my blog,but I try to do it.
thanks for visiting my blog.see u soon.

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