Last week, my dear friend whose hospital stay strategies we documented a bit in June ended up back in the hospital for a rather scary heart procedure. Test-after-test indicated dire problems that had to be taken care of NOW, ASAP, STAT!!!!
While helping him navigate challenging tests and meetings with the doctor, my 94-year-old mother passed away in her sleep, about a perfect a passing as you could ask for. But a blow nevertheless.
It’s been a week of very wild life, each moment unpredictable. Big things often happen in two’s or three’s and there is nothing to do but go with it and practice the essential principle that Improvised Life is all about: within each moment there are a number of possible solutions. We just have to find them; to do that, we have to open ourselves up, be present, listen.
Much came out of this trying time (and many future posts). But after a solid week of intense improvisation, I’m going to take a day or two off to get my bearings…rest…reflect.
The image above was my view from a hidden bench I found at the hospital, nestled among trees. While waiting for answers to my friend’s final crisis, I lay down and took in the trees and dappled wall and birds, which all seemed like a miracle amidst the dreary hospital reality. A few hours later, the crisis was resolved and I brought my dear friend home.
Riding the train back and forth to the hospital last week, I read Pema Chodrun’s When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics) on my iPhone’s Kindle.
It’s a book to carry everywhere, as it is packed with reminders that help, like this one:
We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.
Coming together and falling apart and coming together is what last week was. Now it’s time to take a little space and rest….
(back in a day or two).