Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Last night with the dogs, circles and spirals...

My last night with the dogs continues amidst their playful nonstop fighting. Dog hairs coat the desk my powerbook rests on like snowflakes on a high mountain top or sand on the beach. I will need to vacuum my keyboard. An interesting day this one. Received a citation for parking the wrong direction on the street even though I was not on the street. Go figure out that one. For me, it is easier to pay rather than contesting and thus having to deal with the court system. The typical pre retreat duties took about 3 hours today. Everything looks ready for the retreatants afternoon arrival. The purchase of a roundtrip ticket to Oahu only took 20 minutes. December will be a good time to visit the North Shore because this is when the big waves come and pound the reef into submission. I look forward to seeing my Mom and Dad. 17 months will have almost passed since last seeing them...

Right at this moment, I have all the dogs paired off. Rupert and Trixie are in the bedroom. It's kind of funny, but these two are the wildest of the lot. They are constantly playing, growling, barking at their 4 boys. Trixie's favorite sparring partner by far is Michael Jackson. I've got chocolate and Fatso in the sitting room with me. They play a little bit but not out of control. Meanwhile, Michael jackson and Mini are in the kitchen. I cannot hear them so they must not be doing too much damage.

Earlier tonight I was checking the Aggassi/Blake tennis match on the USA Network at a friend's place. When it looked like Andre was going to lose the second set, I cruised down the hill to be with the dogs. When I checked the score via the internet, it's reported that the match has gone into a 5th set. Lickedy split I take off up the hill in the black dune buggy back up to my friend's RV - where he has satellite TV of course. What do you think happens? The match has taken so long that they cut out and went to a television drama called The 4400. Can you believe that? USA Network has gone down several notches in my estimation.

Teeny weeny surf conditions + My friend John needing some work done on his prop + the tennis match starting at 4 PM (according to ESPN) + dog caring = no surfing for me today. Ughh... now with this retreat coming up it may be a challenge to get in the ocean before Sunday. It sounds like Sunday is when the waves will get a bit bigger so it should all work out for this bardo surfer.

The work with John took less than an hour: picked up several piles of debris and stuffed them in to big garbage bins. My side work with John has lasted longer than any job I have ever had (5.5 years). I find this interesting. A lot of the times that I am in his yard, completing the given task, John will come outside and work along side me. I rather enjoy this. He's around the age of my father and there is something comforting, reminiscent of the days long ago when I would help my father in his yard. I appreciate those times more now. I recognize that my reluctance to be more willing to help him created unnecessary space between us. It showed that I took things for granted and did not appreciate the sacrifices of my parents. Somehow, the thing that should have been the most obvious was the most invisible to me. This thing was: appreciation. Grattitude. Why was this so hard for me to see? When I was a kid, I did not value the importance of work and was a bit lazy in this regard. I always wanted to be somewhere else. Now I realize that my work is to enjoy the moment and to acknowledge the gifts that others offer. Stay in the present. Show appreciation. These are things I learned from my parents. It took me a while but I think I am beginning to learn.

John is a saint with regards to his wife. She has been ill for some time now. He's always running her to the hospital for kemo, tests, kemo, tests, tests, new doctor, more tests... this has been going on for over two years. I cannot believe how dedicated he is to her. This man loves his wife. He lets me know what's going on and I listen and just hope for the best... Tonight, they left for the City of Hope, they'll stay in a hotel nearby in order to make an early morning appointment with a new doctor.

I like to believe that life tends to offer us situations that we can learn from. "Those that don't learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." "Condemned" is such a harsh word; destined is more appropriate in this instance. So, over the years of working with John, I think back to the times that I helped my father in the yard, running small branches thru a mulcher, mowing the lawn, raking leaves... way, way back, it was rock patrol - when we first arrived in Pennsylvania. Now, while working with John, I treasure those memories and treasure the moment, the unfolding present. Those memories are like unopened presents that the windey road of life has returned to me. This path, we all move on, travels in circles, spirals and conspires for the enightenment of all beings. Om Mani Padme Hum