September 9, 1990 · Long View

February 19th, 2015

How did I get here?

We grow from rupture. Something happens to shake up our world and remove the solid ground from beneath our feet. In the scary in-between space we float, we grieve, and if we are lucky, we move forward.

My grandmother died earlier this month (1990). I was already a member of my Buddhist sangha and we had had a summer retreat which I attended without my wife. On Sept. 9, I recorded this dream in my journal:

“The Buddhists were meditating. We were in a long black room. There were low squat objects at regular intervals spaced throughout the room. They were like little islands of coral in the ocean. They were all made up of twisted knots. These were symbols of our problems. We were sitting and we were visualizing our problems as objects out there separate from us. So we were in empty blank flat space and our problems were separate from us and we were at peace.”

My grandmother wanted to die. My uncle and I were in her hospital room. We pulled her up by her big knobby-knuckled hands and pulled her up in the bed so she could gulp down, with great difficulty, a glass of water–more like she was swallowing a golf ball than water. “Let’s put an end to this…this is terrible…I’ve had enough…” I knew she meant it.

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