Confinement has its moments. I was able to finish Jesus Land (Julia Scheres). Was this good? Let's just say on page 349 you will read a sentence requiring you to gasp and struggle for breath. This pain, and not yesterday's intestinal revolt, will be your first waking memory. And confinement helped me remember that I live surrounded by great, simple beauty. The vase is a thrift store find and the carved box comes from Poland.
I also poured through The Abstinence Teacher (thanks Mrs G!). The section I'm currently starting is called: "Hot Christian Sex." !! Yum.
My friend Shannon won a Guggenheim that took her to New York to do art. She went through a major post-Catholic phase, during which she did a lot of saint-like stuff, as in the photograph below. This is in our bedroom. She also went through a dead Victorian era (who in Art doesn't mess with those hysteric Victorian girls?!) and I was one of her models, limp and folded. We have a few of those around the house.
I can also tell that I feel better because acid wit, as opposed to acid reflux, as returned. But before unleashing said acid, one must grapple with Self: if the matron has four sisters-in-law yet is only on genuinely comfortable, good terms with one, does the problem lie with the other three or the matron herself? This is not uncomplicated. Here's what I see when I reach for a pencil. Lucky girl!
We got the very dark news that one of my sisters-in-law has breast cancer. Important side note: my family does not know about this blog. Of course, everyone is just a click away from exposure, hmmm? And I remain bound to my own blethic, or blog ethic, that prohibits snarky from escalating to downright mean or from snaring someone else's story as my own. But I have one ethical question regarding the sister-in-law with breast cancer: is it possible to make Jesus jokes and be empathetic? Funny how this question emerged on the brink of reading "Hot Christian Sex."
Here is Scarlett's first art work, preserved and on my desk.
Now, I am not anti-Christian. I was raised Catholic. We are now practicing Buddhists, but those Ten Commandments and all the other Christian ethos are infused in my bloodstream. I have profound respect for Rick and Kay Warren who seem to embody the selflessness that was Jesus. But I find it hard to navigate our family landscape, in which we are notified about the cancer by email and the language runs along these lines: "I live in the body of Christ already for Jesus has entered me. His Glory will hold the surgeon's hands and the Holy Spirit will perform the surgery."
I'm just not sure how to answer that. "Yup!" or "Go Jesus" come to mind. Can I say I hope He has a steady hand that day?
I had plenty of time to consider this yesterday while recovering. Plenty of time to give my snarky shoulders a little shake and remember what my own religion tells me: my sister-in-law and I are one. Separateness is an illusion.
So I will set aside the Jesus jokes and stick to "Hot Christian Sex" for wit and verve. Set aside judgment (isn't that what all religions ultimately ask us to do?) and just be one, part of her, part of the whole.
After all, my sister-in-law and I are on the same journey. We all suffer and die. Buddhism can be very stark. It's very clear about that suffering stuff.
And about living in the moment. The view from the window. Lucky. Now.