Friday, May 22, 2009

Approaching life as an experiment

Yesterday, in the midst of a day of challenges, I read this Pema Chodron quote from "No Time To Lose:"

"My teacher Trungpa Rinpoche encouraged us to lead our lives as an experiment, a suggestion that has been very important to me. When we approach life as an experiment we are willing to approach it this way and that way because, either way, we have nothing to lose.

This immense flexibility is something I learned from watching Trungpa Rinpoche. His enthusiasm enabled him to accomplish an amazing amount in his life. When some things didn't work out, Rinpoche's attitude was 'no big deal.' If it's time for something to flourish, it will; if it's not time, it won't.

The trick is not getting caught in hope and fear. We can put our whole heart into whatever we do; but if we freeze our attitude for or against, we're setting ourselves up for stress. Instead, we could just go forward with curiosity, wondering where this experiment will lead."

We are waiting for results of the biopsy of the mass they found in my mother's stomach. She is also supposed to have surgery tomorrow on her leg. (We've been waiting all week.) She is not in great shape. Yesterday, they put a screen in her inferior vena cava to prevent blood clots to her lungs after the surgery to repair the leg, which we've been waiting for for a week. Normally they would give her blood thinners, but because of the mass in her stomach, which is bleeding, they can't.

It's hard to sit in the hospital room for too many hours, seeing my mother in so much discomfort. A friend of mine called me yesterday morning and said take time every day to do something for yourself, and I have been doing that. Wednesday afternoon I met a friend in the newly restored Washington Square Park (the fountain works again!) and we sat on the grass and ate a falafel. It was a gorgeous spring day and it was wonderful to be there with her.

And then yesterday, I took a long walk in Central Park. I find so much pleasure in nature and living around the block from Fort Greene Park is also a great gift for me and especially for my dogs.

If I just take all of this a day at a time, one moment at a time, I seem to be able to handle it. And to my readers (all two of you) thanks for the words of encouragement and support.

Today I am going to a production meeting for the Midtown International Theater Festival. The dates of my three performances are at the end of July and beginning of August. I'm not sure anyone will be in town, but hopefully someone will be able to attend.

I'm going to drag myself into the shower and try to make the best of this glorious day.


anniemcq said...

Living life as an experiment is a brilliant thing to do. I feel like that a lot about my work, but I'll have to try it with my life. Especially with parenting!

I love you, Robin. Thinking hopeful thoughts for you and your mom today.

Mia said...

You are so good and courageous, Robin. Do tell me what I can do to be helpful. I am here this weekend and eager to be of use to you in whatever way would be, well, useful.