Living with one kidney I would imagine, if I was making this up, that I would fear kidney failure more than anything else. I know, though, that other things scare me more.
Struggling with caring for my mother has brought me so many layers of awareness of what being is about. I don’t have to love her. I do love her. I don’t love her. She always judged me, she never judged me; she still can’t see me, she can no longer see herself. Dementia will do that to a person’s mind. Her heart is still very engaged, full of some sense of self and open in new ways, oddly enough.
I used to joke that if I could no longer cut my own toenails I would jump off a bridge and that would make a clean ending. It doesn’t. My kids wouldn’t think that was a clean ending. My husband wouldn’t either. My husband losing his mind, or his willingness to live in his body, is truly frightening. Am I a caretaker or can I open my heart and accept a transformation into simple wholeness? My mother says frightening things when I visit her, like “Thank you for coming. When you are with me is the only time I can find myself.” Oh, yes that is terrifying. Is this a new responsibility I have to take on? Is being me really enough?
So sometimes I think death doesn’t really frighten me. I have a very clear sense memory of moving towards the light until it was me and I was no longer separate during one of my surgeries. I could hear my dad calling me back, and I came. Thanks Dad for the next 50 years.
It is living inside a place that is no longer mine to claim or control that frightens me. What if my children have to see me as I now see my mother? She was only living the life that came moment by moment and she ended up here. Isn’t that what I am doing? Must we really let go of everything? Diapers and all?
Now I have been practicing yoga for nearly 9 years, and teach yoga in order to share the open space that is all of us. I am in better physical shape than I ever have been in my whole life, even with the arthritis, bone spurs, one kidney, whatever else there is… watery eyes and all. Every time I practice I feel my inhibitions and the total freedom that resides in me.
I guess that is why I started a blog in the first place. And certainly why I joined the 215800 project . I am coming to understand layer by layer what it is to be a human being who is not separate from any other living being. Our pain is differentiated into some level of separateness by our definitions and our ideas … our beautiful waves of mind will rock us. But deeper than the light reflecting off the waves on the surface, we are the water itself and we are the light too. All these atoms and tiny bits in space make an illusion of a separate entity.
I just put my sitting bones down on the earth and take a deep drink of air into my entire body. I no longer have to judge myself as separate from others. It is okay with me to let my projections go now that I see them, and my fear goes with them. I take a breath upside down, as a white haired one-kidneyed woman, and feel the way lightness enters my spine. I don’t think about what I look like, it is all possibility on the inside.