PRACTICE. EVEN WHEN IT'S HARD.
This week I lost two people from my life. One at the start of the week, a very kind man in his early 60s who had been waiting for a heart transplant and was simply too ill to go on. He had been dying for weeks. It was agonizing. When death came, it was peaceful and he was in the presence of loving family. Given his medical situation, I am happy for him. But I will miss him. I spent considerable time in meditation practice allowing memories of him to arise, allowing feelings to arise, and sitting with my feelings.
Then, this morning, I got news that a Facebook friend whom I had never actually met but whom I'd grown to love, died in her sleep yesterday morning. She was only in her 40s. She was diabetic, and mentioned that occasionally in her postings, but I never realized how brittle her condition really was. She worked and was in a long-term relationship with a guy she absolutely adored; she loved her furry companions; she designed and wore a bright red t-shirt that read "Ask me for a tarot reading!" - and people did ask her. And she read for everyone who asked. She was a believer in living out loud, sharing her thoughts with anyone who read her blog. She was truly fearless in the way she lived her life. And although I never met her, I broke down and cried this morning. What a sweetie, and what a hilarious woman. I will miss her so much...
So, it was back into practice--the hard practice of life after loss. I had already done my formal meditation when this news came, so instead I went to the studio and worked on my rug, while once again allowing memories and feelings to arise. I just tried to be present, to honor the memory of two great people who left the world this week. Am still sitting with all this, and holding them in my heart.
Tonight I engaged in a different kind of practice, on a much lighter note. I worked on the same tangles tonight that I had done for the first time earlier this week. Here was my first attempt (posted here on a previous date, and pictured first below):
Just above are the same tangles repeated tonight for practice. And yes, you are correct--I didn't repeat them "in order." They still aren't great beauties, but they are coming along slowly but surely. They were very soothing to do after a hard day.
Meditation is all about practice. Drawing, and Zentangle®, are all about practice. For that matter, life is all about practice, isn't it?
An Irish headstone tells us: "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal."
I send my love and dedication to Ted and Nadine. I will miss you both very much. I will practice remembering your kindness, humor, and courage. I will practice being glad I knew you.
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I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society