Giri, Karma and LA…

23 11 2009

I heard a soft gong sound in the distance, once, then again, on the third ring my sleepy brain caught on to what was happening, it was 4:30 am and time to get up. I reach out for where the clock should be, unable to see in the dark and felt for the curve of the meditation timer. Not only was it dark it was cold, yuk. I was not into this, but it had to be done, and it was on me to do it, my Giri. My Chan brother had said, you must be special to be the one to help, I guess I replied, better to be the helper than the helpee ( a madeup word).

I was glad I went to bed on the early side to prepare for the trip, it was a beautiful sunset the night before. I was able to get a full night sleep, even though it was chilly in the morning once I got out from under the warmth of the down comforter, and away from the soft warm legs of the sleeping Lady Z, I was good to go.  I had time this morning for a short meditation before gathering myself and getting on the road to LA. Most of the trip down to LA was cold. I had disconnected the heater in the truck, due to the heater core leaking and I have not had the money to repaired. So therefore no heat until the sun came up and I reach a more moderate latitude. I was glad I took my gloves with me for the trip, a couple of sweaters and my jacket and hat. It was cold and the air vent being open did not help matters. One really is grateful for the warmth of the sun, after being in the cold of darkness. I mean this on a couple of levels…

My youngest brother was back in the hospital from the nursing home. I needed to go down and find out what was going on, not only at the hospital, also at the nursing home. We wanted him transferred at some point closer to family. For now I was the closest some 6-7 hour drive. I needed to know what was involved with that process and could it be done. Also his roommate is moving out of their Apt and I need to pack his stuff, music instruments, electronics, clothes, book whatever was there. There was some issues about back rent, what to do with his stuff, etc. At this point he could not even recall who I was, so getting an inventory was out of the question as well as asking what was important. I just had to go for it and hope that if he recovers I picked the right stuff.

It was weird going through my brother’s things and having to decide what to keep and what not to keep. It is unsure if he will recover and what he will be able to do when he does. Going through personal items, gathering data, sad and weird. This is what people do when a family member passes, but in this case he is still around…

I could not help but wonder about his karma to have this happening in his life, as well as mine being the one to have to do it. Him being the youngest and me being the eldest, yet, he is the one in the hospital most of the time lost in non-reality, and having a machine, for the most part keep him alive. Without being hooked up to it, three times a week, he would be gone. While packing and sorting, I think about the many faces of karma, the ripples in the force that both of our karma touch, the other lives as well as our own. Even now maybe his purpose is being filled or both of ours. The turns life takes, I come across some of his childhood pictures and think I never ever dreamt I would be doing this or he would be in this in this space. It also think… it could have been me. Living alone , the lone musician, still trying for a break, playing from time to time, writing, hoping…getting burnt out. Life is interesting, the turns, the twist, the hills and valleys. It can also be very scary. One needs to not only be strong, but I really see the need for some kind of faith, belief in a purpose, or be cold and Jaded, which is more of my lil bother’s path. He wanted so much not to get the family involved with his problems, but in the final stages, it is his family even with great distance between us, it is his family who has his back. His friends, did what they could, but as they fade…family. Of course, and sadly , that is not always the case, sometimes friends are there when family is not. Hmmm, maybe to do with the Karma of those around us, the compassion…we give and take. Some are not so lucky, blessed to have family or friends…

I am up until 3:00 am packing his stuff, some clothes, mostly stuff, he spent more on things, than clothes. Finally I sack out. Sat, will be loading the truck and I’ll see how all this will work.

The next day after 4 hours of sleep I am up packing the truck. I’m good at this and so a couple of hours later I have every thing, stuffed in everyplace that something can fit. I only ended up leaveing two boxes of stuff I had not planned on taking anyway, but was for the most part forced on me by the roommate. It was left for charity with the rest of the stuff. There were a few expendsive things that were missing, I am hoping his friend sold them at my brother request. Anyway, I did what needed to be done there at the Apt. The next stop was at the hospital.

I had brought along my Kyudo equipment hoping to get some Kyudo in while in town. However due to waiting , packing, waiting, waiting, travel that never happened. So around three in the afternoon, I had had it, and hit the road again.

Another long ride back north with the chill of winter creeping into the truck cab as I ride higher into LA mountains. I start adding layers of clothes as the sunsets off to my left and the road dims with shades of darkness. I pop a record cassette tape of my brothers favorite tunes from the 70 & 80 into the tape deck.  I reflect…life, what a long strange trip it is…I say a prayer for the suffering.




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