07 July 2013
Okay?!? and Let it Be
Perhaps the most poignant sermon/Dharma talk I've ever experienced; I've come to this one right before my mother died and when the bruja walked on. It keeps me from screaming in a universe filled with chaos and unremitting horror.
I remember recognizing the lie of it's okay and/or it'll be okay when I saw my mother after her first bits of chemotherapy. My father had her take me alone into the bedroom, where she pulled off the knitted cap Sabina made for her. There she stood; bald, skeletal, in pain, dying before my eyes. She reached out for me, and-I was a horrible son in that moment-I recoiled; angry, mortified, frightened.
"It's okay," she tried to tell me in sobbing tongues. I cried too. I also drank a bottle of whiskey myself that visit, and it fixed nothing.
Bullshit! Your hair is gone and you're still sick. Don't fucking start this conversation with a lie!
I'll not even get into my reaction of my mother fucking dying on all of us after she told me it wasn't her last rodeo...
When the bruja was nothing more than meat, kept breathing on machines, I didn't bother saying it'd be okay. I told my friends it was going to be and that was that. Words like fair and right were deception. It was to be and what was to be not what was wanted or expected. Of course, in such context as life and death, want and get are such diametrical opposites I'd not waste oxygen in the explanation.
We were having coffee at the neighbor's when Sabina got the word; a compatriot of hers, a kind-hearted deadhead near her age, had been felled by cancer. I love her too much to lie and tell her it was okay. It wasn't. I walked back home and grabbed the half bottle of whiskey from the freezer. We let her cry and told stories of chaos and loss and the how such things as bills and traffic are really fucking trivial, but in the small moments, there's all the life and magic you'll ever need.
In a bit, we'll go for a walk, because that's what she wants to do. I'll make us dinner, because we should probably eat at some point. It's not okay and it won't be. So it goes. We'll just let it be and be in the moment, because, when it comes down to brass tacks and bedposts, the moment is all any of us have.
"Oh, child of a noble family,
Listen, and be without distraction,
You have now entered the bardo
you can choose to be reborn,
Or you can choose to attain liberation
and free yourself of the cycle of death and rebirth..." -The Bardo Thodo, The Tibetan Book or the Dead