Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Take me off your list

After my breakfast of Red River Cereal and a mango  (who could want more?) – Bonnie said,"Do you know what you look like?”

“I know, I know,” went through my mind, “specks of rye and flax seed on my cheeks and mango on my chin.” Aloud I said, “I will wash  up when I get off of of this chair. I just want to sit a little longer and if I grab a serviette, it just won't be big enough.”

“You march right into my bathroom and look in the mirror.” There was military tone to her voice.  And when I was to the mirror it was "Look at  your neck," and then “now, open up your blouse.”

... an absolute win for the no-see-ums ...
She was checking if what she was seeing on my neck were bites or a rash.

I knew it to be bug bites. But I didn't know I had that many.  I had felt them all morning on my neck and my ankles and calves, those little devil no-see-ums.

I am out in the yard so early and when I shake the foliage under where they live they can smell blood. I didn’t know if it was better to press them when they bit, or remain calm, the Buddhist way, let nature take its course and be mindful.

I choose the latter, thinking it would be good spiritual practice. I told her that I only heard myself talk to myself once. That is when I was in a precarious position on the slope of a hill, feet pointing downward, trying to reach just a little too far for a tool, and the gravel under me gave way. I could feel myself sliding down the hill and gave myself over to the trip, knowing there was no way I could stop it once the momentum started. “I am going down the hill,” I heard myself say.

I was instantly reminded of a talk I heard Blaine Hudson give in church. He said that he met a man who said that his children always obeyed him. Blaine wanted to know how the man had trained them so well. The man said, “If we are walking along, I tell them to go right. If they don’t but go left, then I tell them again, go right.  If they continue left, I say, ‘O.K. Go left’.  They always obey me”.

I think I was practising that art on myself when I slid down the hill, since my intention was originally to finish up the weeding at the top of the hill.

I am writing this because in a month, I will wonder, where did all of these boulder-like bruises come from and if I write today, I will remember in a month.

When I left my weeding to come inside for a snack, Dave Wood was here, asking if I wanted to go to town with him. He had offered to take me to the auto wreckers to find a left rear tail light for the 1992 Osmobile I am going to drive this summer.  I have never been to an auto wreckers.   Wouldn't want to miss a trip like that in my Best 100 Days.

I call the car in question my Temple Car, since it is pure white (well, maybe a few patches of grey on the roof)and Dave’s parents bought it when Vi was the Temple President.  Dave reminds me it was the Cadillac of vehicles in 1992.

The Shuswap Auto Wreckers is on 1st First Nations Street.  "I don't think I have anything to help you," said the man in charge. "Most of the vehicles here are are only 10 years old, much newer than your car, I could see that when you drove in."

"Mmm,  He is not that good with bedside manner,” I told Dave when he made his report to me.

“I like guys like that,” said Dave. “You know they are honest.  And he gave me these cutters and told me to go find what I needed.”

We tramped through the baked clay of ground underneath us, so rutted with the tracks of cars that had been dragged in there when the ground was wet, that there was no flat space to put my feet -- just the ridges of car tracks that splayed the acres of cars.  Dave found the right unit.



Bonnie has had to tell Dave not to come home teaching to her anymore. Three people on his beat have died lately. “I don’t want to be the fourth,” she told him. “Take me off your list.” He has relayed the message up the line. I hope her communication makes its way, uninterrupted all the way to heaven.



  1. i will see if those helpful words on obedience can guide my life...