Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Meditution

Two Fridays ago, I took a lovely bike ride to the beach and found the ocean gorgeous in the wind. For the millionth time, I neared the rose garden in Golden Gate Park and thought, “I should stop and visit one of these days,” which resolve is always forgotten immediately, so this time I paused to make a note in my little notebook, and on the way back from the ocean, I stopped to lie in the radiant sun in a field of grass with little yellow flowers in it.

Then I went by The Freewheel on Hayes St. and saw Travis, who adjusted my brakes. A fellow rode his bike into a display of something or other and it all went crashing to the ground, and another fellow came in with a giant snake he said could kill you if it managed to get around your neck. He cautioned Travis not to let the snake wrap itself around any bike frame, or it would be impossible to remove. Larry C. was also in there, which didn’t strike me as remarkable until I found out he’d moved away from San Francisco years ago. Travis said it was freaking him out that he’d not seen either of us for years, and then we both turned up on the very same day.

That evening, C. and I had dinner at the Ethiopian place on Valencia St. near 20th.

The following day I went to the San Francisco Zen Center to hear Paul Haller’s talk on relationships and the amygdala. I stayed for the question and answer session, and then lunch, and walked over to see my hospice visitee.

Last Monday, a week ago, I rode my bike to the beach again and this time I stopped at the rose garden. While I was locking my bike up, a cyclist whizzed through the nearby stop sign, narrowly missing two pedestrians, one of whom yelled, “Asshole!” “I agree,” I said and then realized one of the pedestrians was an acquaintance of mine.

On Tuesday I walked to a medical appointment, on to 24th St. to see my mental health professional, and then home. It was a beautiful day. In the evening, C. and I went to Howie’s. Howie wasn’t there, but Yvonne Ginsberg was. Her talk was about using discernment to decide what thoughts to entertain and which to let go of, such as unkind judgments of ourselves and others.

Last Wednesday I went for my six-month cancer checkup with my radiation oncologist. I didn’t think it would be upsetting, but I did start to feel upset after I pushed the down elevator button, heading for the basement, where the only department is radiation oncology. I started to cry in the waiting room and left in tears after my appointment, too, even though as far as I know, my health is fine. The bike ride over there and back was great, however, and I saw this bumper sticker:

BUSINESS IS GREAT
PEOPLE ARE TERRIFIC
LIFE IS WONDERFUL

Are you not supposed to say you think your health is fine until five years have passed? Most recurrences are within five years, but that can happen at any time, including decades later, so until someone tells me I have cancer again, my belief is that my health is fine. Which may indeed be so.

C. and I had dinner at El Majahual in the evening.

On Thursday I consulted with Dwightly on the phone about my resume. In the evening, C. and I walked to Mission Pie for dinner, but I discovered there was nothing there that I would eat (the only vegan thing was a tofu-coconut curry—ick), went to Herbivore, changed our minds, and ended up at Cha-Ya, a vegan Japanese place. I commented that the tofu-coconut curry had sounded terrible and C. said, “That could be, but I don’t know what’s behind it,” which I thought was funny. (He also said lately, “You’re quite the one I hadn’t met—you’re out of a space suit,” and, “You’re a veteran meditutor.”)

On Friday I had lunch with an ex-colleague of mine who looked really fantastic. He told me that he’d gotten a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, so he’d quit eating sugar, packaged food and junk food, and he said the weight had dropped off.

On Saturday, I drove by myself in a City CarShare car to Sacramento to visit Ann and Tom. Tom has been there for a few weeks helping out after various medical travails. It turns out it’s a particularly bad idea to fracture one’s sternum, because it takes forever—weeks and weeks—before the pain goes away, and it hurts every time you take a breath, let alone sneeze or cough.

It was as hot as 111 degrees that day, if you can believe a car thermometer. I was able to capture this action shot of the thermometer showing an outdoor temperature of 110. Of course, one likes to experience the extremes when possible, so I drove all the way there with my window down, and then was so exhausted, I had to lie on the floor at Ann’s place while the three of us talked.


Yesterday evening C. and I went to Glide Memorial Church, to a little meditation group that practices zazen. There were just eight of us in all. The regular teacher is Jana Drakka, whom everyone was raving about, but she was not there yesterday. I’ll have to go back one week when she’s there.
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