I took an extra day off this weekend because Dave was going away for the weekend to attend a concert in Reno. I figured I'd finally do the spiritual retreat I have wanted to do for some time now. I would do ritual, meditation, study, listen to lectures, music, sing, chant, and otherwise turn my focus to communion with my Goddess. Dave was leaving Thursday from work so that was my first evening, to prepare things at home, tidy up, and be ready to dive in.
Well, work was so busy Thursday, the last day of the month, with accounts closing before they'd get charged again, that I actually worked until nearly midnight. I got home, unwound for a bit, and went to sleep.
Woke up Friday a bit late, had to go the the DMV where I practiced the virtue of patience without an appointment, trying to get my new handicapped placard that was not sent by mail. I was #48, and they were in the low twenties...so I read the book I brought and chilled. Ok, got my zen vibe down.
After the DMV I went over to a health food store in the area and strolled through my favorite shop beside it where I often find beautiful altar cloths or Deities. Sure enough, I look up and there is Kuan Yin, complete with self contained altar/shrine and two deities on either side of Her. This was just stunning and I figured the price would equal the impact. I carefully picked up Her shrine and looked underneath for a price...17.95! OK, my retreat was not about spending money on the Goddess, but I have been looking for some kind of portable shrine for hospital stays and here I had found it. It's meant to be, right?
So I've got this serene sense that all is right with the world, so far, and I get some groceries and go have lunch, figuring I'll run the rest of my mundane errands out in the world, pay a bill, go by the bank to deposit a check, go by the library for some spiritual literature I wanted to pick up, and done, home for my retreat.
I was eating at my favorite Mexican restaurant and realized part way through my meal that I wasn't feeling well, in an everything's-rushing-through kinda way. Uh oh. I guess purging was suddenly added to the agenda for this weekend of purification.
I had my food bagged up and headed home, paid the bill on the way, figured I'd try to get out the next day if I could. I spend the rest of the day rushing to the bathroom or in bed, sick as a dog. Ok, I was getting valuable practice keeping a spiritual focus despite the trials of the flesh, or so I figured. I was still clinging to the notion that I could pull off a retreat at some point.
After a long nap I woke up, tried to eat something and keep it down, and read for awhile, then went back to bed. Day 1 was through.
Saturday I woke up feeling pretty much the same and reached for the Pepto Bismol to save me from another day of purification by elimination. I tried to do some of the tidying up that I was not home to do Thursday night so I could have a nice ritual/mehndi session after reading some of the literature I brought. I was doing pretty good, had done some nice reading, mixed the henna paste and it was sitting the required amount of time, I had a spiritual cd on while I took a ritual bath, and I hear the sound of a key in the lock. Alarmed I called out, hoping it was my husband and not some person with a key that I don't know: "Dave?!"
He opens the door and didn't hear me. I say again, "Dave?! Is that you?"
"Hi, yes it's me." He replies and comes into the hall. He explains that after the concert and some gambling, driving around, he got bored and decided to beat the traffic and come home after a long nap. Well, he has been there many times so I could understand his boredom, though I always bring books when I travel. He reassures me that I can just ignore him and he'll stay in his room, out of my way, go on with what I'm doing. I get out of the bath finally and dry off, talk to him for a bit, and go back to my planned mehndi-fest, but it was hard to get back into it at that point and I realized I was very tired. I did the mehndi since the paste was out, and it turned out well, but I didn't do the ritual I had in mind to accompany it. I may still revamp and complete it at some point.
Today I did some writing and hung out, not feeling like I could really just ignore my husband and pretend he's not here. I wasn't going to ask him to stay in his room. I really depended on the solitude as part of the process. I think I'll have to arrange something where I'm completely out of my environment so I can really just focus on the things I want to do, not on housework I ought to have done or errands or whatever. I want to finish the things I had set aside to do this weekend. I want the time completely alone, not as in ignoring my husband while he's actually here. That just feels weird. I need to figure out somewhere I can stay where I can arrange for food easily with minimal interaction with others.
Tonight we went to the drive-in after having excellent take out from our favorite Chinese place, all courtesy of Dave. We saw the new Batman flick and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I enjoyed the second movie more than the first. There were elements of Batman that I enjoyed, certainly, but I was often bored during the movie and I'm sure that was not what they had hoped. The ninja training thing has been done to death and it wasn't hard to figure out who was behind the main plot, though I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it yet. The best parts for me were the secondary characters played by Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, frankly. I was underwhelmed by Katie Holmes and Christian Bales who had 0 chemistry. Rutger Hauer had a sad part...it's a shame to see him in these kinds of roles after enjoying him at his peak.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith was simply good fun and really delivered, although improbable in many respects. Still it was easy to suspend my disbelief. Angelina Jolie deserves a much better film and someday I hope she gets something equal to her talent.
Dave and I had to chuckle at the marital problems and their sessions in therapy, as not communicating was cited as the main problem. That was our problem too, as we were tiptoeing around the scary issues of heart disease and death, but their reason for not communicating was hilarious.
This weekend my daughter also needed to move some stuff into our garage, as they are between apartments briefly through no fault of their own. The new place put them through some long, involved process before approving them, including a background check of all things. That took a long time, I guess because they wanted to verify Juan's right to be in America and check out his record in Mexico. On the bright side, I got to see my grandsons today.
Well, one day left of this long weekend and I have laundry to do and a bit more housework, so I'll have to simply focus on finding spirit in mundane chores--something I firmly believe is possible by being present in the moment and bringing spiritual vision to the task. I'll wrap up when Dave is in bed with some concluding ritual, and perhaps a healing candle--my blood count is headed down again and I need to discuss more iron infusions with my doctor. We also need to figure out why--it usually doesn't do this so soon. Maybe the aspirin is chewing up my stomach? Intermittent bleeding? We'll see.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend--