Sunday, January 20, 2013


(orginally written and sent 1/29/12)

hey richard-

yesterday was my dad's memorial service.  he's been "gone" now for almost exactly a month.  because there was a small "family reunion" already scheduled for this weekend we made what I regarded as the intelligent and obvious decision on the day of his "passing" to have his memorial then-  meaning, yesterday.  and here I am, and there you are, today.  and maybe sometime in the next month or so, during one of the tomorrows we still have available to us, we will "meet up again," as we have been planning, to review and explore some of what these past couple of months have been and done to us and the people we love. 

I make very deliberate use of italics and quotation marks in the paragraph above in a feeble attempt to try and illustrate/express/underscore the highly fluid nature of "time" that I have been experiencing these past couple of months- watching my dad decline, reviewing his life, my life, our lives, together and separate, watching him decline further, realizing with increasing intensity, clarity, and compassion that this thing "death" was really finally happening to him; experiencing the flow of certain things becoming less and less possible, then clearly impossible, but simultaneously other things becoming more and more possible, and then clearly manifesting- weird sorts of feedback loops, weird sorts of energy transfers, and the flow of time starting to leave some of its usual channels-

I prefer to remain vague regarding this stuff for the present- we'll have "time" in due course to start sifting the details.  I guess it's just a sort of a principle or attitude that I'm trying to share here.  which is pretty much nothing other than the rather generic observation that "gee- life can sure be mysterious."

richard, allow yourself access- generous access- to whatever channels are flowing around you right now.  I sense that you and ellie and the rest of the gang have been doing this all along, so it's probably unnecessary to make this suggestion.  

but regarding you and ellie- yes, certainly something has shifted.  certain modes of communication and company-keeping have become absolutely impossible.  but stay open to the possibility that new and in some cases maybe even improved modes may have only just now come into being...I don't know...maybe I'm way out on a limb here.

apparently there is a fairly well-documented phenomenon regarding a broad and heterogeneous range of energy transfers/communication potentials between the recently deceased and their closest surviving human companions.  the "bardo experience" in tibetan buddhism is an example of one of the more colorful variations of this supremely mysterious phenomenon.  my basic understanding of it is that we are all on some sort of cosmic journey- every day.  every second.  in fact, time measurements of this sort can be highly relative and even deceptive when placed within certain metaphysical contexts.  so, anyways, we're all journeying, yipee-ki-yay, cosmically, in one way or another, in one realm or another, with one or another set of companions and influences.  when somebody "dies" or is "born" this is only a more exaggerated example of the fleetingness and impermanence that is flowing around us- that is us- all the time anyways.  hence the "no big deal" attitude regarding death that one often encounters in certain eastern philosophies.  

according to some of these traditions, something very near the core or essence of people and other beings is shared. so intimately shared, in fact, that sometimes even things as taken-for-granted as "self" or "identity" or "other" or  "separateness" are described as illusions-  very real illusions, perhaps- real in the sense that they are often very viscerally felt and experienced at or in or on a certain immediate, "everyday" level-  like loneliness, for example.  like disappointment, or absence, or illness- very real stuff, agreed?  painfully real, in most cases.  hence our need to access and explore some of these "non-everyday" levels-

wow, it just hit me that this is sounding almost like a sort of cheese-ball religious consolation- the likes of which you may or may not already be getting, needing, wanting, appreciating, or otherwise.

don't mean it to sound that way at all.  my regard for your intelligence, intuition, sensitivity, and spiritual/human/artistic acumen is way too high for me to presume anything regarding you and the advice/consolation you might want or need, at this time or any other.  I'm probably just riffing on these old themes for my own personal benefit.  after all, I'm still pretty much in the thick of it also.  my dad "passed" almost a month ago.  but that doesn't necessarily mean the intense stuff has died down- it's just shifted.  a little calmer.  maybe a little more clarified.  his memorial service yesterday probably served to re-stir things up just a little.

I had and still have this very distinct sense that my dad continues to have a stake and interest in this world and his loved ones.  like maybe he wants to tag along for awhile.  and he needs his loved ones for this- he needs our eyes, ears, hands, legs, voices, etc- he also needs our memories of him and even more, our mysteries of him.  the things we never quite knew- the things he never quite knew himself- yeah, my sense is that he might have a few things he still wants or needs to sort out- and he needs his loved ones for that- a delicate process that will take place with and inside of and to a certain extent for us as well-  the uncanny and sometimes even uneasy sense that there is maybe a little inheritance coming our way.  in the sense that all of these talents and qualities and tangles and mysteries that my dad was juggling with all his life- well, to a certain extent he doesn't need them in the same way that he used to.  they are, in fact, available.  something very near his core or essence is, in fact,available-  and yeah, very much like a greedy inheritor, I am getting in line.  and as his son and member of the care-taking team there at the end- well, I guess I might sort of be near the front of that line- the uncanny sense that there are serious riches available now.  damn-near unspeakable riches.  (with maybe this little caveat: riches granted primarily to inheritors who have understood and agreed that passing along and/or reinvesting is much preferred to privately hoarding.)   (just a hunch)

                                       a hug,