Hey there Mister Sunshine!

So changes are upon me once again. Technically they always are, but you know what I mean.

I have started packing for a shared winter adventure on a big hunk of a boat, safely tied to a harbor in another part of the country.Starting a yoga studio and will do bodywork on this amazingly beautiful floating reality.

Packing is another story. Let’s just say that I don’t like it. But today I lugged five big bags of cloths to the second hand store, swearing a bit over my own over consumption. I gave the bags to a guy working in the store and heard myself saying:

-Yeah, I did some sorting and though there may be some people who are cold and need them more than me.

The sincerity in the thank you from this guy was the best energy I have received in a very long time so hey there mister Sunshine. And thank you for making me feel good about myself. And helping somebody else along the way.

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Weeds of the mind

I had a two dimensional yoga experience the other day, Through the computer screen with Baron Baptiste where he confidently but kindly guiding me and his class thorough series of yoga postures. He mentioned an old saying.

Either you are here or you are nowhere.

Lost in a diffuse past or an imagined future.

And I have been thinking about that. Today. In my house. When the storm was raging outside, taking down a pole or two. Reminding me of my dependence and addiction to electricity.

I watched The Mentalist until the battery went. I decided to sleep for a while, trying to ignore my wet hair full of conditioner because of course the water pump to the well quit to.

Trying to ignore the fear that the latrine would start to smell really badly if the electricity did not come back within soon.

But it didn’t. My computer went dead. I slept but woke up and was bored. I lite a huge fire in the living room. I invited my friend and landlord over for cauliflower soup and I went back to the book 438 days, written by the Swedish journalists Johan Persson and and Martin Schibbye whom I have mentioned before. When they were still in Kality prision in Ethiopia being accused of terrorism. They were then sentenced to 11 years and released after 18 moths.

It is some read. I enjoy it. It is well written. They know their craft. Sometimes it is funny in that absurd kind of way that you only really experience in an absurd situation. I learn about the situation in the Ogaden province. About the Swedish oil company and the consequences of greed. It reminds me a little of another book I read, where angels fear to thread. Same continent, another story. But the description of fear and uncertainty is the same.

I am deeply impressed and inspired by them as well as other journalists that take upon themselves to take the road less traveled in order for the rest of us to learn about injustice and the world in general.

They sure learn about staying present. And about what the weeds of the mind can do to us.

One of my favorite writers, Ryszard Kapuscinski wrote about the dilemma of the limbo state. And if I crossbreed that thought, the uncomfortable state of mind where you are neither nor, when you don’t know the outcome of things with the dilemma of not being able to be anywehere else in time except for this present moment. I realize why it is difficult and why I, for one, have a tendency to not want to sit in the dark. Or be in prison.

I also realize I have no other choice. I don’t want to be nowhere.

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And then he wasn’t

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The passing.

A grand lesson in impermanence. If you meet buddha on the road and all that. The broken buddha from my garden reminded me again this morning.

My mother woke me up 20 minutes after my step dad died.

I had never seen a dead person before. It felt a little unreal. The speed of it all to. Going from not getting up from the couch to not being able to eat. To not being able to swallow the last two days. My mother in his room every thirty minutes. Talking to him. Reassuring him. Explaining to me the process of dying. Me trying my very best to be natural. The difficulties and inexperience felt every day. Boiling down to asking if he wanted more ice cream or if he was bored.

-No. But I am sure I will be.

My mother thought that was funny but we agreed we didn’t really understand what he had meant.

Was dying boring? Or being dead? Or something else?

And then he wasn’t.

Not in the shape or bag of flesh that I have gotten use to. The caring, friendly, respectful staff came and washed him. Combed his hair. We joked softly(or not so softly probably. That would be me. Nervous and all)about him being particular bordering on obsessive about his hair. Rather cold head than messy hair. Even in his 80s.

I saw myself being present. Having opinions about socks. And color of his shirt(purple, a favorite. From Spain. He looked good going out). Watching myself, the package that held so many memories and emotions being handled and talked about.

They brought the blue coffin into our living room. How strange was that…

Place him there. He looked comfortable but I kept thinking; you can’t close the lid. He needs to breath and he wont be able to get out when he needs to.

But they closed it. They looked it and gave the key to his sons wife. The symbolism of it all.

And then he was gone.

Experiencing impermanence

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Many many hours of meditation later.

Many teachers later. Visits to monasteries. Discussions about the fundamentals of buddhism. And still. And still.

Now when I know that my step dad no longer can keep even water down. When I know that time of death is close. Now I realize I know nothing.

Impermanence is ever present. Everything changes form. Always. Always . Always.

So.

My friend.

Happy travels into wherever you are going. You have been a good father to me.

Watching death up close

I knew it didn’t matter how much I though I had prepared myself to see my dying step dad.

I knew he couldn’t get up, but it didn’t occur to me that it meant that he will never get up again. Ever. He will most likely remain on his back in his bed until he dies.

It is a very strange experience.

He talks when he has the strength and he is not in too much pain it seems. But there is a visible struggle. Or it could be just me. Seeing what I think is right. The morphine helps with the growing tumor in his liver. Stage 1/5 of the offered band aid pain killers.

It didn’t occur to me that helpnessness would ride me to such an extent. And wake me in the middle of the night. Knowing that in the best of worlds, there is  a loved person in the other room. Not eating. Not really needing his diapers too much since there are no nutrients going in. Prepping for what is to come.

My mother is always close by. There are two medical teams coming now. New people every time. Twice a day. Turning, twisting, having opinions, washing, brushing teeth, asking questions. Good quality medical care. Since this is Sweden.

Cancer care up close.

Choosing you level of October Pinkness

Being sick is something that most likely will happen to everyone. This we know. Some of us even knows that we will eventually die. Yeah, I know this may come as a surprise but there you have it.

Travelling with the C unit makes life different. For the moment I personally am at, what I call, the Burning Stage. I burnt all my cancer information pamphlets yesterday. All my doctors info things and things. Literally. In the fireplace. Burn baby burn. Those are not my feet by the way. In case you are wondering how male I really am.

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Most days I manage to all but ignore the scar and quite happily delve deeper into the experience of making Raw food, sailin and teaching yoga.

Fear and raw emotions hover under the surface though. I read about women struggling. I was deeply touched by the photographer Angelo Merendino’s exhibition The Battle We didn’t Choose Link

A graphic journey with his wife Jennifer through Cancer land. He also started a fund for women(families)struggling financially. Info on the homepage. Every little bit help, Spirit knows this is a costly affair. Keeping us alive that is.

And October is just about over. One part of me is relieved. The level of pinkness is getting to me. Not allowing me to forget. Forcing me to miss my friends who passed over. Making me remember that only in a few short weeks will I again be looked into the breast eating machine and ultrasounded. Knowing full well that is far from a certain estimation they will come up with. A bit like the weather report really, a possible projection that there is a storm coming. Or not.

So I am not superexcited about Pink Month. I am not everly convinced that the money collected is going to the right place. Looking in disbelief at some of the products being sold, so to speak, under the pink banner. Or, should I say, the pink sheet. There allegedly is a pink vibrator from S.Komen. I didn’t think I could top that but how about this ladies(and men):

During October, Pornhub.com, the leading destination for online adult entertainment, will donate 1c for every 30 views of its ‘Small Tits’ and ‘Big Tits’ videos, meaning the more boobs that are viewed, the more money that will be showered upon the Susan G. Komen Foundation. And with the site attracting millions of clicks per month, the amount raised over the next 31 days will be considerable.

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As if, as was pointed out, breastcancer is such a big turn on.

Strange economic bracket this.