Ode To My Husband

Mike giving love to the cat before taking off for the airport

Written at 5:37am, Friday January 25th, 2019:

Given the expedient fashion with which we managed to both get to and through the airport – checking bags and all – I’m already back at home.

We even lingered in the airport gift shop for a spell, wrinkling our noses at the horrid smell of perfumed, decorative soaps and delighting in the array of stuffed animals, in order to further delay parting ways at the security line.

It was me who made the call. “Okay,” I said, “it’s probably time.”

After a proper embrace, we headed in opposite directions. As I headed out, I glanced back 2-3 times and met his gaze doing the same each time.

And that was that.

I was outside, surrounded by the dark chill of early morning in Missoula – and he was inside, surrounded by bright artificial lighting, soon to take off sky high and land in short order in southern California, where I hope he will be cradled well for the next 3-months.


Over the past week, multiple times a day, I took inventory of the things I would miss about him while he was gone and also the things I would look forward to having a break from. But in the last day or two, the line between these categories grew increasingly blurry and I came to see that I would miss all of it. Even the stuff I really don’t like, such as cleaning up wads of chewing tobacco on the windowsill that serves as his nightstand.

I take solace in the truth of our situation, of the little thing that has happened in our being together for almost 20-years: because we resound in the graces of our interbeing nature, we are strong and strengthened both when we’re together and when we’re apart.


I reckon from here on out, until he returns in 3-months, the ol homestead will be in the same state of affairs when I come home each day as to when I left.

It was only 8-months ago I was preparing dinner each night for 3-4 people. In June, our household reduced to a steady 3. In November, we were whittled down to 2. And now, starting today, I am paired down to 1.

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Deer Park Journal, Arrival Day

2018 Deer Park Daily Musings
Written during a retreat I attended from January 5th-26th, 2018

Background Info & Terminology: Deer Park Monastery is rooted in the mindfulness tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and is situated in Escondido, CA, north of San Diego.

Laypeople: Also called lay friends or laymen and laywomen; those of us who practice in this tradition but are not monks or nuns.
Monastics: The collective group of both monks and nuns.
Clarity Hamlet: Where the nuns, also called Sisters, reside. Laywomen stay here as well.
Solidity Hamlet: Where the monks, also called Brothers, reside. Laymen and couples/families stay here as well.
Thay: Refers to Thich Nhat Hanh, meaning “teacher” in Vietnamese


Friday, January 5th 2018

Arrival Day


I awoke at 3:00am. Our lovely friend & airport ride, Linds, picked us up at 4:30am. Our flight left Missoula at 6:00am and by 10:00am, Pacific Time, I could smell the salt water on the sun soaked breeze. We had traded 16 degrees and snow for 70 degrees and blue skies. It felt…strange – as though things weren’t quite right in the universe, to have winter equate to such warmthitude.

I wrote this in my journal on the first leg of our flight:

A string stitched to my heart, anchors down below in town as we fly off. I feel the tension of it pulling taught, as though I were a kite being held in nimble fingers, grasped firm so as not to flitter off.

 And some of us are already fast asleep. Some are reading and some, like the two in front of me, are becoming friends. We’re all going somewhere: home or on a temporary stay. We’re all in this together, too, strapped on this wild ride.

My silhouette – framed in the darkened porthole window – keeps me company in flight. Row 20, seat A, the last stop in the back of this metal bird.

Sky cracking open with pale blues and streaks of fire reds. And then, things change quickly! Blackness returns. A sea of unknowing fills my view and I am plunged back into myself. We are forever made or broken by the presence of absence of the light – and sometimes, both happen at the same time.

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