Saturday, December 5, 2015

Share #26: Post-Thanksgiving Day Dinners

I was invited to a post Thanksgiving dinner with Laura and Clinton and Hugo on Saturday and Sunday. Whenever Clinton and Laura have an abundance of food, they ask me to come help them eat it. It is a ploy and one that works. I am always (often) hungry. While there, I listened to Hugo played his youth symphony orchestral compositions on his new French horn. Then, on the piano, his own compositions. His music lends me to mood and story. This new piece felt literary and stately.

And the meal food was warm and plentiful and lifting my heavy plate was exercise enough, but nobody really ate with me or planned to eat with me, they more fed than ate with me, which was plenty good enough for me. There was lots of talk and laughter and story telling. And that was our share.

On Sunday, I went back again to Laura and Clinton's for a second post-Thanksgiving Day Dinner! This time, Laura's brother Daniel was there. We all ate together then when the other dispersed, Daniel and I talked over dessert--three pieces of bread pudding, all different, with whipped cream. Mmm.

Like Laura, Daniel is committed to meditation and is deeply engaged in a spiritual search. He suggested a teacher to me, a woman in Oregon named Gangaji, who invites people to think about the question "Who Am I?" After dinner, I watched a few of her talks. Her eyes are half-mast, her mouth is firm and her smile is challenging, but when she said, "And then the word 'I' will fall back to its origin," she won me. Her teaching is simple. Letting go of "I" is the hardest thing we'll do, but all the nothing it offers is worth more than all we can achieve. Awareness existed before "I" was formed. Letting go of "I" allows us to reconnect to awareness. To me, it seems everyone is saying the same thing, but some are saying it better, saying it just for me to hear. Gangaji.

I've found Daniel, at times, in the past, to be cynical, short, off putting, out for a shock, flip. Tonight, he was a wise man, tolerant of the worst anyone could offer—negativity, complaints. "Bring it on," he said, "trigger me!" He wants to get all that out of the way so he can get onto what is real. What an invitation to the world! I'm amazed by his resistance-less-ness. Go Daniel! And a little jealous that he and his sister can talk so freely about their personal search. My brother and I used to be able to talk about anything, but mostly I listened and he talked, but back then that was enough. Then I think anger or criticism drifted in and the room started getting cold and eventually the door froze shut. Or is that just  what it seems like? It looks like we have more differences than similarities now, but I don't believe that. I believe he's holding up a world he doesn't really care about. I wonder if he thinks I'm hiding from a world I cannot face up to? I wonder if we'll meet again and where.

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