But we did, somehow.
I picked up my CSA share, always the highlight of the week:
Do you like how I don’t even pretend to bring produce to my house? I know I’m going to cook it at work, and the fridge is 10 times bigger, so why not.
Aaron built a bench. I’m going to paint the concrete blue to match the blue of the building. (The finished bench has more wood planks, but you probably figured that out.)
I ate blueberries, cupcakes, chocolates, and this amazing wild-foraged pesto that my forager pal, Jason, sold to Adrienne and me. Jason only looks like a dirty hippie/typical New Paltz hooligan/gutter punk: really he’s the most insanely knowledgeable forager you’ve ever met.
This pesto was unbelievable.
Wednesday night I went to a friend’s house to sit shiva, of a sort, for his cat, who had been put to sleep earlier that day. His sweet cat had been sick for years and years, and it was good to see him calm, laid out on the bed (the vet had made a house call, a burial was planned for the morning), no longer in any pain. We stroked his sweet tuxedo paws and still-adorable ears and cheeks, and then our assembled friends sat on the screened-in porch and ate tacos and talked about life and death all night.
Sad and beautiful.
Actually, we talked about trauma, and PTSD, and I mentioned all this stuff, and two friends who do meditation taught me a good trick: when you see Sept 11 images, focus your mind on what you’re doing at that present moment, so you are constantly reminded of your life now, not that day.
I know that focusing your breath and staying in the present is the oldest trick in the book, and I’ve meditated here and there, (like any kid of parents who met at Woodstock, I guess it’s in my DNA) but for some reason this simple idea really resonated with me this night.
I had a chance to try it out two nights later, when I was at dinner with a different set of friends and the big Sept. 11 anniversary came up. Instead of panicking, I smiled, mentally zoned out of the conversation, and focused all my attention on the precise texture of the arugula and strawberry salad with balsamic dressing and cracker croutons I was eating, and of my grapefruit rosemary mojito as it sloshed around in my mouth so pleasantly. I entered a little private world of pure taste sensation, and it, well, it swept my little nation. The conversation flowed to another topic, and my heart hadn’t pounded even once.