Saturday, July 21, 2018

Morning Thoughts

I am still on vacation in Lenexa, KS. My son tried to help me fix the unworking comments. No luck. He says I need a new i pad. After all these expenses, I am not making another one. So I either have to give up the blog until I can do that or just get comments by way of my personal e mail address:

I do enjoy receiving the personal e mails more than just brief comments on the blog. So for now, maybe this is a positive rather than a negative.

I have taken lots of photos of this area but also not had the extra energy to put them on or write. Anyone not having seen their grown son or daughter for four years will probably understand the situation. Trying to play catch up on all those years is all encompassing. Thanks for any readers I still have. I deeply appreciate your patience.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Culture Shock

I wonder if there is such a thing as culture shock upon returning to a place that was once home? It doesn't matter much if it is Portland or Lenexa or any other city in the USA. They are far more alike than different; Freeways, cars, shopping centers, chain stores, suburbs, big lawns, worn out areas, etc.

 I also am not sure of all the manifestations of that phrase, culture shock. To me it means a disorientation, a feeling of loss of my inner core. I have been struggling with this feeling every since coming back. What is the basis of my sense of self? Who am I? I obviously am not Mexico, nor am I my cat or dog or my friends or acquaintances or my neighbors or my routines. I am not my family. Although in my mind I always feel that they are the center of my life. That is just one of my many illusions. How can they be the center of my life when we rarely communicate? 

No matter how much we love each other, it is impossible to know much about each other when we don't communicate often. I would love to communicate more with them but they are in the middle of their working lives. I can remember that period in my life. I barely had time to sit and rest. I rarely had time to keep in touch with my mother. And when a mother has always been alive, it is impossible to comprehend that she will die one day. And most likely, die first. 

I am sorry I couldn't see that before it was too late. She never asked much of me, just some of my time, which I felt was more than I could give to her. How could I give her what I didn't even have to give to myself, with all the demands to keep things together? Something was always falling apart that had to be fixed immediately. Constant chaos.

Adult children's lives are dense, complicated, demanding, structured and absorbing. Mine is the opposite. It is relaxed, unstructured and often so freeflowing that I can spend entire afternoons just reading in my garden or walking with my dog or petting my cat, sleeping on my lap.  I have no dishwasher to load and unload. I only have three rooms to clean. I have easily lived and been happy in just one room. 

All my housework can be done in less than one hour. And that includes my gardening.

I have had several delicious meals here with interesting strangers, friends of my family. Because I am an unknown to them and they didn't ask about my life, I felt invisible, as if I had lost myself, lost my CORE. Maybe it was because our interests were so different, or because I am older and retired, or maybe because I am generally a quiet person. At home I can spend days alone, talking to no one but my animals. I also have very little knowledge or interest in computers. Much of the conversations involved their jobs and technical computer problems. I still can't even get the comments to work on this blog. A blog which my son set up. I couldn't have done it. All I can do with computers is write and often just that is difficult for me. It takes a lot for an introvert, like me, to show myself to others. I can't fault others for not taking the time to get to know me when I don't even know myself. 

Maybe in reality there is no core. Core is just another illusion. We are not any of the things that we think make up that illusion- CORE-because we are not of this world. We are only in this world--temporarily. On our death beds, it all slips away. Everything that was so important to us means nothing. We finally realize that it was all pretense. We made it up as we went along. So now I am making up a slice of my life in Lenexa, Kansas. And if I loved myself enough, a core wouldn't be important. It wouldn't matter. To quote the Beatles, "love is all you need."  

I remember when I almost died not long ago. I could hear my friends talking about me in the next room, worried about what to do with me. While I felt myself happily floating away from them towards the window, in perfect peace. Peace that I have never felt within this life.  Their concerns were of no interest to me. What was my core then? 

It was Nothing in this world. No worries. No problems to solve.  Just a feeling of deep peace. So who was I at that point? And what really matters while I am still here? To me it is connecting with others, even though I am not much of a talker. If people take the time and have the patience to get to know me, and tell me about themselves, I feel that is a blessing. Enough of a blessing to keep on living. And holding back the chaos as much as possible.

Maybe we all suffer from culture shock the moment we are born and slapped on the butt by the doctor. (Do doctors still do that?) Maybe home is a place we all were before this life and that is why it felt so peaceful to me when I was almost there. And maybe our cores are no more and no less than that perfect peace and love. The HOME where we all began and where we will return. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

My son's concert before the tour

I wasn't supposed to take any photos. This is all I managed to get before it started. The lovely people in the next photo are also family members of one of the musicians. The Twenty five musicians will travel around Europe and perform 10 concerts in 13 days. It was really exciting for me to listen to my son play again. He played the soprano sax. The musicians weren't on the stage yet when I took this photo.

Sign in front of a church in Lenexa, Kansas

Fourth of July in Lenexa, KS

This is the first time I have seen fireworks in many years. Unfortunately, they were shot off behind a tall building. But I got a few photos. The best part was being with my family.


The girl in the above photo was doing tricks with a hula hoop. 
Please e mail me if you have a comment. I still haven't fixed it yet.