Saturday, September 02, 2006

Castaways, we are

Last night I found myself in a fit of boredom, again, not being able to discover any one distraction that I could easily settle into. I flipped through our DVD's and announced to Owen and Harry that we were going to watch Castaway this evening. I knew this would be a movie that Owen would like - merely because most of the storyline can be followed merely by watching and not having to negotiate through a complex overlay of dialogue and innuendo. He liked Quest for Fire for that very reason. My intuitions, rarely being off the mark, satisfied my twitchy boredom as well. in Harry fell asleep somewhere right before Chuck created fire, Owen was rivited. He was very concerned that the little boy was not going to recieve the Wilson volleyball, but later grew forgiving as he became attached to the character. He sat at the edge of his seat as Chuck built his raft and negotiated it over the surf and drifted out to sea. And then there was that moment when Wilson drifts out to sea and Chuck desperately swims out to save him. Owen was devistated too. For Owen, this was the end of the movie. The dramatic rescue and re-entry story line was far too anti-climatic.

The brothers Willy and Paddy dozed with us on the couch. Owen looked at me and said "Their mom is gone". Tears whelled and streamed down his cheek. I tried explaining that the Sera, the mother lived with our friend and she was okay. But the point was, their mother was not with them anymore, and that compounded his sadness, on top of Wilson's gentle departure. He sobbed for a bit, and when the movie ended, we collected the Brothers and took them up to Owen's room. He has fashioned little kittie beds for them, so we tucked them in (and they stayed - they are the amazing brothers after all). I went back up to check on him a few minutes later, and he was still silently crying, being with this moment of utter loss. I tried explaining to him that the kitties were really happy, and they loved being here with us, but I decided not to explain it away and just sat with him. I held his hand and soon discovered tears streaming down my cheek as well. At that moment, there was no need to take any of the sadness away. We just sat there, leaning into it. I breathed in that vast space, while some deep and wise part of myself reminded me that it does not need to be filled or occupied with anything.

We're a dramatic bunch huh? This morning I sat thinking about this, and wondered about boddhichitta. We had our little moment of awakened heart. Normally, Owen pushes me away in these moment, fueled by an eight year old boys embarassment, from I don't know where it comes from. By not offering to fix or fill or soothe, he widened his space. He did not push me away, we just held each others hands. And then he asked me if we could go to Toys 'R Us. Yes, the world still works, just as I have left it.

I'll leave with a snippet from Pema Chodron:
An analogy for bodhichitta is the rawness of a broken heart. Sometimes this broken heart gives birth to anxiety and panic; sometimes to anger, resentment and blame. But under the hardness of that armor there is the tenderness of genuine sadness. This is our link with all those who have ever loved. This genuine heart of sadness can teach us great compassion. It can humble us when we're arrogant and soften us when we are unkind. It awakens us when we prefer to sleep and pierces through our indifference. This continual ache of the heart is a blessing that when accepted fully can be shared with all.


TrudyJ said...

I love this concept of just being with sorrow, accepting it, rather than having to "fix" it. It's something I'm so bad at ... especially with my children ... but I am learning.

hotboy said...

Made me feel emotionally... well, not very emotional. An ice warrior. And I wished I could. Something great in this post! Hotboy

kate said...

so beautiful . . . thank you for writing it . . . lovely . . . :)