This morning I’m finishing up a few things I started yesterday morning while my wife slept in. The post just below was part of what I needed to finish. Down the hall my two little kids are working on their vocabulary. My wife is off to work and my oldest is in summer school. It’s quiet now.
Last night after my wife and I went to bed she turned over to go to sleep while I did a little reading. I turned to her and said, “It’s a joy to sleep beside you!”
My world is a small world. Through the years I’ve been a home parent I’ve become more and more isolated from the world. I look out through a little window and what I see horrifies me so much that I write these blogs and work on the peace website and try to be a voice for change. But the world I live in, day to day, is tiny.
Since my mom died my world has shrunk even smaller. My siblings are not much interested in anything beyond their own big circle of friends so they are not a part of my little world. I see my wife’s parents sometimes. My life is four people who come and go as I spend my days in this little tin can house.
Once I was very bored and lonely. For years after I became a home parent I sought outlets, wrote online friends, searched all over for “somebody to be a friend.” I used to take off on weekends just to get out of the house. I don’t do that much any more, I do not like being away from my kids.
There’s little chance of finding friendly faces around this neighborhood, though, since I cannot accept the religion and politics of people here. I don’t look for anyone “out there” any more. I have no need for them.
I can say the teachings of Buddha have been a wonderful help. They have taught me to accept life as it is. I love Buddha and his teaching.
My world is not a religious world, though. I do not believe in the Christian concept of God. I doubt any kind of “god” exists. I do not pray nor believe it is a useful habit except for those who get psychological benefit from it.
I do not spend my day in front of the TV. I do spend too much time on the computer. I’m a little neglectful of my household chores–make that quite neglectful. My time online is spent searching for truth, learning what is happening in the world outside, trying to figure out how to make the world better for my kids.
I live in a little world. But you know what? My world is just fine. Each night I go to sleep thinking how much my family means to me. Many nights I drift off to sleep thinking simple thoughts about how much I love each of my children and my wife.
There’s not much I want. There’s little I need. I don’t dream of riches or fancy cars. I would like to travel but even that is not all that important any more. In fact, I have all I need and far more. I love my family with my whole, whole heart. They love me back! I lack nothing and life could not be better.
Today I sat with a group of Sri Lancan people, put my hands together, and paid homage to Buddha.
I was privileged to be able to take part in the wonderful ceremony of Vesak, the day Buddhists celebrate Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing.
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In the morning a new friend and I stood with the rest of the celebrants around the perimeter of the great hall while children made their way about the room bearing gifts for Buddha. It was a Dana ceremony. Later I enjoyed a wonderful meal and good conversation. In the afternoon Bhikkhu Rahula, who had graciously invited me to the event, gave a Dhamma talk. His words were wise and informative.
I hope I got everything correct. I have much to learn about the cultural aspects of Buddhism.
A little over a week ago my wife and I did something we have not done for many years. Seven years, in fact. We went on a little trip all by ourselves. It was great. We had a good time and grew our relationship.
My wife, as usual, wanted to shop. We spent some time in a mall west of Houston. When we left the mall we went in search of a grocery store to get some snacks. Waiting to turn under a freeway I saw a man with a sign: “I’m Old, I’m Ugly, and I’m Hungry.” He looked pretty ragged. I took a few bucks from my bill fold and gave it to him. As usual, all my money was in the bank so I didn’t have much cash. I wanted to give more.
Leaving the man behind I drove half a block to a massive super HEB grocery. It was a huge store, the largest HEB I’ve seen. The amount of food in that store and the incredible variety and the price of most of it made me very guilty. What a contrast, a man probably my age in ragged clothes begging for money half a block from a store with enough food to feed a whole community for weeks full of shoppers spending hundreds of dollars for expensive wines, fancy cheeses, foreign delicacies, and so much more. There’s just no equity in this world. Life is not fair.
I am working on a re-write of my book The Lies, The Truth, The Way. When I finish that I’m going to write a short book called Buddha is not God… and other things Christians need to know. Those are top priorities. But they are yesterday’s projects. I have to decide what I am going to do next. Where shall I put my effort?
Not long after my mom died I concluded I had to write something with the title “Life After Mom.” I had to explain the before and after of my life, my beliefs, my direction. I let my mind ponder through the holidays.
Totally without any planning today I wrote what needed to be written. The following essay began as a response to an email to a new friend telling about my history and beliefs and morphed into what it is now. I re-wrote the letter to the friend and revised the rest into this work. (And I’ve revised it again having read it out loud and found some terrible writing!)
I will at some point expound further on these thoughts but for now this is what I want to say about….
Life After Mom
Monday was not only the day my mom had surgery, it was the day my wife and I celebrated our 30th anniversary. In the early evening she and I did the dress-up and went out to dinner. I put on a coat and tie for the first time in years. She was beautiful!
Marriage gets a bad rap in this country. People change mates like they change tires. Wear one out, get another. Don’t like the ride? Get another. Performance not acceptable? Get another.
We’ve had tough times, arguments, schisms. But in thirty years we’ve weathered every storm and that little string that tied us together over thirty years ago has held solid. I’ve been stupid and selfish and confusing and probably worse. She’s stuck by me. She’s infuriated me, frustrated me, made me crazy, but I have never, ever stopped adoring her. From the very first moment I saw her, I have loved her. I shall love her until I die.
A marriage will not work unless there’s an understanding that there must be giving, selflessness, and forgiveness when the partner is not giving or selfless. We are both guilty at times of doing for self. But we have learned to forgive and stick together rather than get all snuffy and run off.
Since my wife doesn’t read my blog (except when I share it with her) I can run with this….
Going to let it all hang out today. You might want to cover your eyes.
Morning. Sunshine. Clear skies. Nice.
Kids are working on math at the moment. Spelling test coming up. Oldest working on history. I’m piddling with the cowtippers site.
Fence seems to have held back the hoppitty hoards. Corn (what’s left) is intact.
The phone rang this morning. It was a bill collector. A tacky part of being poor is having to fend off bill collectors. They were calling for my wife. This is very rare. There are only two possibilities, that they’re calling from some medical billing place or Chrysler. Either way, the person got my goat! Continue reading