After 10 days in the hospital and recovering from an infection and emergency surgery my 79 year old father was hard to recognize too. He is skirting the edges, not taking life for granted. He talked about different things, and in a different way. He talked more about people and relationships, and with more emotion than I've ever seen him show. He thanked me for coming to be with him and my mom. Missing home made me want to leave, but seeing this dramatic change demanded for me to stay and witness. I felt that one other intense time, when I had to hold on to a tiny being and then choose when to let go because it would be forever. Being a parent has forever changed the way I am a daughter.
Life does not feel solid and yet it feels so heavy at times. Words are light. There is so much in them, and in a body and mind. Books full of words are available to me. Stores full of clothing, furniture, ugly and beautiful things. Take take take then throw away. Pull in muscles with or without breathing. Travel with or without enjoying. Stay at home with or without hiding. Hide with or without caring. Care with or without voting. Leave with or without knowing you can return.
The difference appeared in the threads created in the grain of the wood between the knots in the yoga studio ceiling. Where I once saw smiles and then patience (described here), now I see channels. Some ways narrow, widen, narrow, go through. Some are closed off and become islands, gathering places where the density of growth allowed for a branch to shoot off in a new direction. We can make our patterns in the world: breathing with love, moving with acceptance, seeing with appreciation, locating with gratitude. It feels good to find this again, even though I am not beyond questioning it yet.