This is the latest I’ve ever blogged: after midnight in New York but earlier where the blog posts so I get in officially for Friday. I’m writing this now because, late as it is and with everything else going on, it is the next thing indicated.
This concept of doing whatever life presents, gratefully and gracefully, comes out of the 12 Step programs. I don’t know who started it or where, but it’s a lovely way to live at any time, and the only way to live when things are more uncertain than usual.
This morning I got up and meditated. That was the first thing indicated. Then I straightened the apartment. And went to the drugstore for batteries and sponges and cat litter. I ate pineapple.
My assistant came at 10 and we worked in tandem like a well-oiled machine. We got a lot done and lunched on luxurious smoothies with bananas and almonds and nutrient powder and cocoa. The late afternoon was planned: I’d go to the gym, shower and dress, and head downtown to teach a class at the New York Open Center. But my plans and life’s plans aren’t always the same. My daughter, Adair, called. Aspen, our dog who has been fighting cancer, had taken a turn for the worse. I said I’d come now, so I threw clothes and makeup and class notes into a canvas grocery bag and headed to her place.
Aspen was stable when I got there — still wagging and still enjoying food treats — but it was obvious that her joy/discomfort balance was rapidly heading toward tipping on the discomfort side. We called five vets about in-home euthanasia. Two could come on Monday. That’s a long time off.
So Adair and I talked and we both petted Aspen (and we petted Oliver, her other dog, who needs love even though he is young and able-bodied). I showered and got ready to teach my class. It was about crafting a spiritual life. They called it “Living with Heart and Soul.” I wished I could have stayed with Adair and the dogs, but I had to keep this commitment. It was the next indicated thing.
I arrived to a larger audience than I’d expected; there had been a lot of last-minute sign-ups. I told them I would have to keep my phone on during the class in case the vet called. She did, about 10 minutes into my remarks. I said “Excuse me” and talked to the doctor. Everyone was patient. “That was another vet who doesn’t work weekends,” I told the students after the call. “I know one who does,” said a woman named Lynda in the first row. I gave his number to Adair during the break and we’re counting on him to come through.
Doing the class got me out of myself and into the energy of the participants and the wonder of the topic: life’s great mysteries and how we can align ourselves with them. I had a fabulous time. I could tell I wasn’t fully present every minute — there was the tug of what’s going on with Aspen and Adair — but for two-and-a-half hours I gave them the best I had. It was the next indicated thing.
Afterwards, I went to dinner with two of the attendees, texting Adair a few times in the midst of it. (Yes, I detest seeing phones and Blackberries come out during dinner, too, but this was different. Life and death trump even courtesy.) Aspen is the same, came the report, and we know it’s time for her to be free. We still don’t have a housecall vet, and if one doesn’t surface in the morning, we’ll phone a car service, take her to the doggy hospital she’s familiar with, and let her go on. When that time comes, hard as it is, it will be the next indicated thing.