Monday, May 7, 2012

a 'full' day

Yesterday seemed to be full of stuff.

My younger son left the house before I went out to do zazen. It was 10 o'clock-ish and he was headed to a baseball game in Boston -- the Red Sox vs. the Baltimore Orioles. After 17 innings -- eight more than a regulation game -- the Orioles won, 9-6. My son returned at about 9 p.m. The better part of two games for the price of one.

Then there was zazen.

Then the guy I had been trying to get to come and stack the firewood in the driveway called to say he would be here today ... after several failed promises.

Then my 95-year-old mother's minder, Gideon, a fellow who watches after her bills and health and other needs, called to say that we had to prepare ourselves for the fact that she might have to go to a nursing home: The money to pay her rent was running out. Gideon wanted me to check Medicaid, the state program that looks after the poor, and see if it were possible to move her from New York to Massachusetts. There is no way I can pay the $1,500 per month paid for her rent-controlled apartment in New York. There is no way I can move her in here. All of these facts are perhaps six months or more down the line. The idea that my mother will be put in an environment other than the one she is used to is nasty. Since she has said in the past, without self-pity, "I'd die if I could, but I don't know how," one of my first thoughts was how I might get my hands on a big bottle of barbiturates. When I was little, she once lectured me sternly when she caught me pulling the wings off a fly: "If you're going to kill something, just kill it!" But life and circumstances seem to be determined to pull the wings off their available flies.

Then there was the refrigerator -- one of the 'newer' and more ridiculous models with digital settings -- which frosted up inexplicably and I had to call Dave, a guy who knows small appliances. He came today, sympathized, left me a couple of cooler chests in which to store cold goods, and told me to unplug the machine and let it rest for 24 hours.

Then there was dinner to cook and the grass to water.

None of this amounts to much, but sometimes it can feel as if it amounts to much. Hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, feeling and thinking take energy and there's no doubt that I am less energetic than once.

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