Category Archives: Pie

Day of Rest

*sigh*

This picture is the last one I took at Lee Martinez Park, the place we walk almost every day, sometimes twice. On that morning, that walk, I had no idea that the next day would be the day Dexter died. I knew it was coming, we’d known for a year it was on its way, but on that particular morning it still felt unknown, uncertain, undetermined.

We haven’t been back to Lee Martinez since Thursday morning, the last time we walked there with Dexter, the walk we took knowing it would be our last. We’ve been to City Park, Big South Trail, and this morning we walked at Colorado State University, but we haven’t been back to “our park.” It still feels too hard, too sad.

We’ve managed other grief hurdles. Eric cleaned the living room floor yesterday. The raw wood in that room was covered with tiny spots where Dexter’s nose had dripped, (because of his cancer, he basically had a constant runny nose). I washed some of the blankets from his bed, along with his Little D baby, (I’d originally planned to have him cremated with Big D but in the end I couldn’t stand to lose them both). Eric brought home his ashes, and I put those on top of his mostly empty crate, along with his collar and a clay paw print.

memorialWhen I’m able to, I’ll open the ashes and put some in the urns I have that contain Obi’s ashes (one is on my writing desk and another on my meditation shrine) — I left room for Dexter so they’d be together again, they loved each other so much.

pawprints

I still haven’t been able to put clean sheets on our bed (the ones that are there were slept on by Dexter) and his toothbrush is still on the counter, and I’m still putting a tiny offering of food in his bowl every time I feed Sam. I know it’s silly, but I was devastated yesterday when I went out to do poop patrol in the backyard and couldn’t find any of Dexter’s. I was so sad that I’d never get to pick up anymore of his poop — that’s a crazy kind of love.

Eric has been dealing with his grief, in part, by cooking. Yesterday, he made three pies. We did a pie drive by to our friends’ house last night because even as much as I love pie, we couldn’t eat it all ourselves.

griefpie

Jamie Ridler’s mom, who also had cancer, passed the day after Dexter. Jamie invited me a few weeks ago to do a guest post in honor of her mom, the prompt being something her mom had recently said, “It’s not about being tough, it’s about being tender.” I have so much to say about that, will be finishing up my post and sending it to sweet Jamie later today. These losses (something we all face as we live and love), this prompt, has me thinking about how important it is that we have confidence in our basic goodness, the essential wisdom and compassion and power that rests in each of us, that we practice self-compassion and keep our hearts open, knowing that life is beautiful and brutal, tender and terrible.

In this audio recording, Pema Chödrön talks about basic goodness. She tells a story about burnt cookies and a fox that is such a great metaphor for how we can approach difficulty — we can allow ourselves to become hard, closed off, or we can stay open to reality, to be present for whatever might arise. Yes this means we will be vulnerable, we’ll get hurt, but we will also be amazed, healed.

My heart is broken right now. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last. But there is so much worth showing up for. Such as:

A chance to get away. We hadn’t wanted to do this when Dexter was still here, were worried about being too far away from a vet if something happened. But now, sometime soon, the three of us are going to rent a cabin in the mountains and spend some time together in the green and the quiet.

Pie. Especially the ones made by my person, who is as sad as me, who knows just how I feel, just what I’m missing, who will talk all day about what we’ve lost and never get tired of it, who wants to do whatever he can to make me feel better.

peachpie

Friends, near and far, sending us love and light. So many have reached out to me, offering such kindness, making this heavy thing so much easier to hold.

The sweet animal bodies that are still here, that long for love and need care. It’s Sam’s turn to become my favorite, and when we are all ready, there will be another dog.

sam

Laughter. Last night, on the way to our friends’ house to deliver the pie, Eric suggested that they expected this happy gift of pie, so it would be funny if when they opened the door, we gave them a pie in the face instead. It was such a ridiculous and awful idea we laughed the rest of the way to their house. It felt good.

Brilliant nature — blooms and fruit and animals and trees and landscapes and sky and deep water and weather.

Practice. Yoga, meditation, writing, and dog — this regular attention, showing up and being open to whatever arises, moving in ways old and new, creativity and discovery, is medicine.

Music. I heard this song for the first time yesterday, and am totally in love.

because nothing lasts forever
some things aren’t meant to be
but you’ll never find the answers
until you set your old heart free

I’m so sad, kind and gentle reader, but at the same time I am so in love with my little life, my heart so full of every last wonderful thing that sometimes it feels like it will explode.

Gratitude Friday

luminositypeony05small

1. Peonies.

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly
~Mary Oliver, Peonies

2. My office space. Clearing it out, cleaning and decluttering, the opportunity to get clear about what I’m doing here and how best to support and inspire that.

tinyaltar

3. Books. Oh how I love them. Susannah Conway is doing the most amazing giveaway.

bigbookgiveaway

4. Pie. Someone on Facebook this week asked me if I needed an intervention.

pie

5. Eric, the one who makes me pie.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter. His nose is bleeding this morning and I cancelled another trip I had planned because I don’t want to leave him, but he was at my feet playing with his baby ram and oh so happy to go on a walk. Tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal.

dandbabyram

Gratitude Friday

lilacs

1. Spring. The green of it, the bird song, baby foxes, blooms, gardening, cool weather and rain, warm weather and sun, sitting in the backyard with the dogs and a book, the rush of the river full and fast with melting snow, the long summer stretching out ahead of me.

This is best picture I could get of the three fox kits — they were playing with some small bodied animal they’d caught, running and pouncing, wrestling and chasing each other so that almost every picture came out a blur, and I could only ever capture two of them at a time.

2. Pie. Yesterday I bought a blackberry and raspberry pie at our local market made by My Mom’s Pies, and it was delicious. Oh my. Pie. *sigh*

3. Beaver’s Market. The local market I referred to above. It totally reminds me of the store where/when I grew up, Ditter’s Store, a small neighborhood market. They are about the same size, and both well known for their meat counter and local products. I don’t buy all my groceries there because they are too small to have a very good produce section, but I go as often as I’m able.

4. Love bombing. Writing a post or a letter that offers support and comfort, buying someone a cup of coffee, having a conversation, really listening, following my first thought, my instinct, my gut, the call of Big Love, being able to spread love, ease suffering. And it goes both ways — I got love bombed this week too, a surprise package in the mail and a “voice mail” that included a ninja poetry reading and a lovely soundtrack.

embodymentmail

5. New tires on my car. To be able to buy them without having to worry about how to pay or how we are going to afford it. To have a husband willing to go take care of the purchase for me, who takes care of me in a million other ways.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter. He’s still happy to be here, loves to eat and take walks and bark at stuff and play and roll around or just lounge in the backyard, all the things that make Dexter who he is. However, his nose is bleeding more frequently and there’s been lots of sneezing and general stuffiness, causing me enough concern that I postponed my trip to Oregon to visit family. Dexter is welcome to stick around as long as he wants (when diagnosed, he was given 2-3 months and it’s been almost 11), I’m even putting a cherry tomato in the back garden so he’ll have his own plant if he’s still around, but we won’t keep him if his suffering gets to be too great. Until then, I am enjoying every minute, filled with love and gratitude for our life together.

Something Good

1. We saved the Lyric! I absolutely love the design for the t-shirts they made for those who contributed. “Let There Be Light”? Perfect.

We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives in which we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others. Nor is it so remarkable that our greatest joy should come when we are motivated by concern for others. But that is not all. We find that not only do altruistic actions bring about happiness, but they also lessen our experience of suffering. Here I am not suggesting that the individual whose actions are motivated by the wish to bring others happiness necessarily meets with less misfortune than the one who does not. Sickness, old age, mishaps of one sort or another are the same for us all. But the sufferings which undermine our internal peace—anxiety, doubt, disappointment—these are definitely less. ~Dalai Lama

To celebrate, I am going to see a movie there this Thursday with some friends. From the trailer and a few reviews I’ve heard from people I trust, it is going to break my heart.

2. Oh, Mr. Brilliant by Patti Digh. I think I mentioned last week that I was super sad that Patti had just found out her husband had cancer. This post tells a little bit more of their story, ending with a way you can help them. This is further proof of how strange life is, beautiful and brutal.

3. A Weekend of Pies on Soule Mama. You don’t even have to read this post, just look at the pictures and be prepared to drool, (and yes, this list just moved directly from a post about cancer to one about pie, life is like that).

4. Aimee Mann is coming to Colorado! Okay, so maybe Eric is the only reader that really cares about that. We love her, (I have ever since her Til Tuesday days), see her every time she comes to Colorado, so I was really excited when she announced tour dates this morning and I was able to get tickets. Her new album is releasing September 18th, but you can preorder it now.

5. How to Turn Every Email Into a Mini Meditation from Jonathan Fields. I really like this idea, might try it.

6. Fear + Happiness, or Eight Ways to Let Go of Fear from Katie Swanberg. This is a goooood list.

7. And in related news, Go Small, Be Happy from Tammy Strobel.

8. A reminder to let go, from Lao Tzu:

By letting go it all gets done.
The world is won by those who let go.
But when you try and try,
the world is beyond winning.

9. From Austin Kleon, Show Your Work! Episode 1: Vampires.

10. 12 Amazingly Achievable Things To Do Today from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

12. From the utterly brilliant Justine Musk, are you a cup of tea…or a shot of tequila? in which she says:

You want to be a focused, highly skilled, freak version of yourself.

You want to dig down deep to find that unique part, that weird and maybe slightly psychotic part, that beautiful raw fucked-up part, that you spent a lifetime learning to hide in the first place.

13. Piecing Together Connie’s Sky from Judy Clement Wall on her blog A Human Thing. Yes, I am slightly biased here: Judy talks about a post I wrote, and I adore her…but that doesn’t change the fact that this is real and true and important.

14. And to close, a picture of Blue, a most adorable puppy that’s up for adoption at Animal House. That face! *sigh* And I am a sucker for a dog named Blue.