My morning meditation is the exercise of listening for the sound of my son’s voice over the cacophony of birds, tractors, refrigerators, wind chimes and the nagging interruption of myself: you forgot to do this. You should be studying. You were supposed to clean out the car. Why aren’t you running right now. Your life is meaningless.
YES! YES! YES! PLUS ONE TO THE LAST ONE!
Yes, my life IS meaningless! Returning to my breath now. Return to the truth that is in that thought. This is all so fucking meaningless! Everything except this moment right now and this letter a n d this one and this letter that I am typing is without meaning.
The overwhelming sadness that I feel when I look out the window and see a patchwork of blue between the tree limbs is just that. I am that feeling, I am that sky, I am those whispering leaves and I am that wavering voice I hear from the bathtub as my son warms up after his adventure in the mud puddle and today that is blowing my unsweetened whipping cream laced coffee right out of my mind.
Once I decided to wash the dishes. You know, like chop wood, carry water. For some of us it’s housework because we can really get the fuck into it. My friend Melanie, it’s detailing her car. My friend Melanie can transcend the hell out of the universe when she is detailing a car. She pretends she’s exercising but she is stealth meditating and when I give her a set of fine edged brushes and some Q-tips with alcohol she’s going to stop coming home on weekend nights. I got 5 on it.
We had a Meeting today with an Official at my eldest daughter’s school. We established a little rapport early, a little banter back and forth,a little “hey we can be friendly but not too friendly, yes?” because TeenHer is “you know- she’s that kind of kid who thinks she can just not do work all quarter and then ace the final, and she usually does….and it usually works; she is the typical Gifted student, with that attitude-” and here is where I interrupted her and said “Yes, that’s because she’s MY child” , and when the other, more tense words like fail and “not get into college” were circling like evil monkeys in the room, threatening to swoop down and kill me any second all I could do was stare at the paper that at the same time had a terrible number on it: a GPA not worthy of her time and this other number, the number of credits she needs to graduate, 2. That’s Two, the number two, as in less than one class that she has an entire year to pass. Next year, her senior year.
While the walls close in around us, and I’m thinking “R2! Shut down ALL the trash compactors on the detention level!!” I’m also thinking “holy shit!” Because that little fucker has almost enough credits to graduate, and several college credits to take with her when she leaves, including some that she earned in the 10th grade- even with the virtual school classes she failed, and a lawsuit against the school board over the GSA, which, can we be honest for a minute, was REALLY FUCKING TIME CONSUMING. And with being the first female ever to be allowed on the high school wrestling team, and even with the bullshittery she feeds the teachers and the counselors and even with all the turmoil and Trouble At Home. SHE DID ALL OF THAT SHIT. But I’m not bragging or anything.
I mean you know? You know? Show me the money, Jerry.
For a second my little girl couldn’t breathe because of what led up to the GPA and what that meant for the moments after the moment in that room, and my heart turned into a nuclear bomb in my chest because I couldn’t make her see that ALL WE ARE AND ALL THAT MATTERS IN THIS WORLD IS THAT TWO 2, TWO, DOS, 2! I could not say to her “LOOK AT THAT TWO. You are that TWO.” (No don’t look at that 2. focus on THAT one.)
Be the 2.