Monday, November 15, 2010

Stay Here Stay Now

I can't sleep. It's after midnight and my eyelids are heavy yet I'm fighting rest. If I go to sleep now, the morning will come too soon and I'll have to leave and go home again.

I've had trouble all day staying present in the moment and not letting my mind wander into the future. My mom's future is uncertain right now, and it's easy to make yourself crazy thinking about it.

Mom was feeling ok today so I drove her up to visit the local Gilda's Club. Gilda's Club was started by Gene Wilder after the death of his wife Gilda Radner. It's a place for cancer patients and their families to gather. It was a beautiful place with very friendly people. And I successfully kept my "are you good enough for my  momma" tendencies under control when I grilled the yoga and pilates teachers on their qualifications.

One of the remarkable things about this Gilda's Club is that it is in an old building that was once a part of the underground railroad. And you can go down now into the basement and walk through the tunnels that the slaves hid in on their trek north.

The woman giving us our tour offered to take us downstairs. Mom is in no condition to be going down steep steps or crawling through tunnels, yet she said she'd sit upstairs and wait because she knew how fascinated I was by the history.

I didn't go. If I can't go with my mom I'm not going. I know it means I may never get to go. I'm not going now.

After, she said she was hungry and wanted some lunch. It's the first time she's said she's hungry in weeks so I couldn't get the car fast enough to the diner she suggested. We sat and talked and had a delightful lunch. We talked about the now and about the future. As we talked my mind kept tormenting me with "what if" and "what about".

I had to force myself back to the conversation. At one point I even responded to a comment she made about her future with "look how big these carrots are in my soup." Stay present, stay focused, enjoy the now.

In yoga we call it having a drunken monkey mind. The Yoga Sutras call it chitta vritti. Always thinking ahead and even projecting fear, worry and anxiety into the future that we forget to enjoy where we're at right now. The yogic aim is the cessation of mental fragmentation. In lay terms it means enjoying the present moment.

The future is already written and no amount of drunken monkey thoughts will change it. The morning will come whether I sleep or not. I will someday have to say goodbye.

But for now I'm going to try to remember to just enjoy laying in bed next to her, watching tv, laughing about the kids and even talking about the future. Because the morning does always follow the dark.


  1. This is beautiful....I am glad you were able to spend some time with your mom....sending lots of love

  2. Our bodies fail, but who we are, the love we have in our hearts for families and friends....Never, ever goes away. I dreamed of my mom and dad this week, and for just those few moments, that was my reality....we were having a grand time! Know that you are loved, and the only reality you have is now.