Monday, November 30, 2009


We got to Mpls about 5PM yesterday. It was a good road and not as much traffic as anticipated. Ann drove us around Lake of the Isles to see lit up houses then we entered the bowels of the Kenwood Hills Condominiums. We prepared a turkey casserole, cleaned up kitchen and put away the stuff we'd brought with us. After enjoying a delicious supper we all got into our pj's and watched 2 movies: "Monsters and Aliens" and "The Gathering Storm".
Yes, if I could have chosen what we would lose it would not have been my grandson. It would have been my right arm... my left eye. But we did not have that option. Suddenly he was gone. Our beautiful boy... the generous one... the gracious one. It changes ones perspective. It enlarges our capacity for grace. Relationships become more important. We embrace others in their grief and loss. Life can be a painful journey and we don't know what others suffer so we must be kind to all. We recognize our connection to all living things. "We see eternity in a grain of sand." Walt Whitman.
Willa Cather wrote, "The higher processes of art are all processes of simplification." I think the art of my life is to simplify. You'd think living in the one room that the Red Shed provides would be simple enough but I want less. I am learning to peel away the layers. What is most difficult to drop from my life are those things that have moved from my mother's life to mine. Things I recall in all my childhood homes. They cannot be simply discarded but must be passed on. I'd like to visit them from time to time because they have been so long cherished by my mother and myself.
Louisa May Alcott told her father, "I am trying to turn my brains into money by stories." She didn't know then that her pen would soon place her among the stars. Later she would write, "...scribbling (has become) a very profitable amusement." In her December 1859 journal she wrote, "The execution of Saint John the Just (abolitionist John Brown) took place on the second. A meeting at the hall, and all Concord was there. Emerson, Thoreau, Father and Sanford spoke, and all were full of reverence and admiration for the martyr." Her mother said Louisa had been an abolitionist since she was 3 years old.
Ann and I meditated together before she went to work. While Roberto slept I walked to Burch Drug for postcards. I selected 10 cards and 5 sticks of Black Jack gum (69 cents plus tax). Then I walked down the avenue chewing a memorial stick for my long-legged grandfather Antone Vanoss who used to live on Franklin during the late 30s and early 40s.

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