Jun 2, 2015

On the things that render us apart

It has taken me 2 years to begin to write what happened in 2012. I made several catastrophic mistakes that summer and fall that rendered my life, and me, into pieces. I began this blog far too early, too ambitiously - I thought I could write as I experienced each step of the nightmare I was living, but it was too painful, and too dangerous to myself to dig into something each month that my mind could not yet process.

I also deliberated over whether to make this story anonymous, or whether to include my name as well as the names of the police officers, the judges, the magistrates, the very poor lawyers and investigators who claimed to be helping me. I finally decided that this story is now as much a part of who I am as the wrinkles on my face and the scars on my knees, and since the marks made on my psyche are indelible, there is possibly more harm to myself than benefit in trying to hide them.

I have been changed irrevocably; parts of me have died, parts of me that remain have changed, and new parts have emerged. I can't hide any of it from my self, so why try to hide it from anyone else? I cannot be ashamed of what I have done, or who I am. I have to own it, and since I did not commit any crime other than that of being stupid and trusting when I should have known better, even apologizing for it isn't of much use to anyone.

So I have decided to use my name, and to name everyone else. There was no justice, and the police officers, the judge, the magistrate, the lawyers received no consequences for their actions. This will shock everyone reading it, but the US legal system is a corrupt disgrace and in desperate need of reformation. Public outcry is the only way to force change. Sadly, the riots in Baltimore are proof of this.

Nov 29, 2014

The death of a friend.

Two weeks ago a woman I had grown to love dearly left. Death came swiftly and deftly; an instant leave-taking without a moment for pain or remorse. It was a gentle death for which I am grateful, not only because it is the kind of death I wish for my most beloved people on this earth, but also because I am certain had she been given even a second, Rebecca would have been highly irritated with the timing.

Rebecca lived life with wide enthusiasm, open handedly, and gratefully. I don't believe she would have felt anguish or remorse because she was a Cancer surviver; she had plowed those fields already, and witnessed their flourishing as she healed from the great ordeal of survival. Rebecca won the lottery as far as cancer is concerned, and with great awareness she lived thankful for each and every day afterwards.

In Buddhism, death is as sacred as life. I don’t know where we go, if anywhere, when we die, but I think if our spirit rejoins the whole that sustains us, gives us light, the very grace that makes everything on this planet so profoundly beautiful, then probably the regret we feel when we die is momentary - a quick “oh no! But I had to… I wanted to.." followed by release as we grasp the bigger picture of it, the grace as integral to dying as it is to living.

Maybe this period of leave-taking takes an instant, or an hour. We who are left, on the other hand, are bereft, grief stricken, struck by the sharp blow of missing. We are left for days and years learning to abide the spaces left vacant and silent. We have to accept the departure.

So I don’t believe she is feeling the way I am now, wherever she went, and I am glad for that. I think all I can do is accept that she left, and feel gratitude for the time I had with her. Rebecca was a crisp full breath of life for me over the past 6 months, a sparkling light in the right direction. Her vibrant method of living, her unlimited generosity and reach lifted me out of darkness over and over again these past 6 months. I marveled at her, how nourishing she was to all who loved her, and at how she loved - it was vast, broad strokes of azure, fierce reds, and golden yellows and oranges. The way she loved was as singularly unique as the blossoms of her Night Blooming Cerius.

How lucky I was to witness the grace of Rebecca.