30 Day Challenge – Day 20
Death bed meditation. Basically, this was a guided mediation with a focus on things that you’ve done in your life that brought you joy. After the meditation, we’re to put down in incidents that stood out.
- First kiss, wife, April. We were in our apartment, we started off as roommates, on Duke street. She’d been dating this other guy, Todd. I’d been seeing a couple of ladies, post separation from my first wife, Heather. We’d been friends for a while, but not terribly close ones. She’d dated a friend of mine, Jay, for a short time and been introduced to our circle. She needed some one to pickup the lease after her previous roommate ditched on her. I’d dropped my apartment at lease end and took over. I don’t remember why, but she was sitting on the couch. I just remember leaning in and barely touching her lips with mine, like a cat might. Then the real thing. Best kiss ever. Never been topped since, doubt it ever can be.
- Birth of my son. Ex-wife, Heather, had the baby home birth while we were in our apartment at Kalamazoo College. Junior year of college. Joy’s not the right word for this. That couple of years was likely the most tumultuous of my life. Huge highs, huge lows. I made big mistakes during that time. Mistakes that changed the direction of my life, irrevocably. I lost friends, betrayed a friend, fell in love, married and eventually separated, all within the space of two years while still going to college. It took a toll, a huge toll, on all of us. But I still remember, crouching in that bathroom stall with her as she pushed. I remember the crazy heat of the place and how he arrived to the world all knobbly headed. One of a very few goods to come of that period of my life.
- My daughter Lillian, singing Tori Amos’s “Winter” for me, as a present. This broke my heart, in a good way, and does to this day. Lillian was the second happy accident of the stormy period. That’s right, two kids, just over two years, pre divorce, post separation. It was an insane time. Many years later though, my multi-talented daughter and my wife, April, conspired to rip my heart out of my chest with Lillian singing the words of one of my favorite Tori Amos songs for her recital. I can’t even think about it, without crying.
- Carving stone for the first time. The notion that I could sculpt anything really. Discovering that I could learn to shape rock, that it wasn’t magic that you just couldn’t learn without have “it” the knack, the mythic “talent.” I didn’t grow up in an artistic household. I grew up in a pragmatic household. My father’s artistic ambitions were laid by the wayside not too long after I was born. I grew up thinking that I would be a scientist. I was good at math and science, tracked into the programs. I didn’t take an art class until my sophomore year of high school, when I got a scholarship to the local Art’s Institute. Even then, it was just something I did. It didn’t occur to me until college that I might be able to make it a life pursuit. So that first discovery, that I could DO this, that’s the only achievement high I’ve ever really gotten. I don’t thrive on competition. I thrive on beating my own expectations of myself.
- Petting a cat. From the earliest age I can remember, it’s been me and the cats. Or more properly, the cats and me. They should get first billing. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as nodding off with a cat in your lap. Maybe a nice cup of spiced tea (I don’t say chai, because I’m not a hipster) and ginger cookies on the sideboard, a book or a tablet in my free hand. Simple quiet time with my cat. Or kittens. Nothing beats a cluster of kittens attacking your feet. Not relaxing, maybe, but nothing more pure fun than that.
Decided I’m only going to do five of these, as that I fleshed them out so. It’s enough time to spend on the exercise.