I spent a strange, wandery, slightly disconnected shabbos.
I read, walked, unwound in the company of the cats. (Bracha wants to BE upon whatever I am reading/writing/eating. She is not as obviously sick; but she is getting skinnier, and her coat shows that all is not well.)
I am grateful for this day of no news, no newspapers, no laptop. I fantasize that the laptop is grateful too.
When I turn my attention away from the state of our country for a bit, and when I can calm the persisting pain of missing Zalman, the question that presents itself is ¿what am I supposed to do with my life now? I am not who I was before Zalman; and I discover that I am no longer who I was with Zalman.
Another reason I am grateful for shabbos is that even this question recognizes itself as "work", and rests for a day.
But after havdalah, it pokes its head out again.
I don't think I had really realized the extent to which I had put aside so much of what I had done in my prior life, once we had settled in Boulder.
Now I am being invited to reemerge, and I am not sure where to begin, or with what.
I am reminded of a film I had seen way back in the '70's, by a scientist named Seifert, of the movement patterns of slime mold: he graphed the streaming movement of this community of one-celled beings in one direction--->, in the other direction<---, back in the first direction--->...There was a very clear rhythm and flow. Then he exposed it to a stimulant, and continued to monitor its movement and rhythm, and did the same with a depressant. He made an astonishing discovery. In both cases, the slime mold stopped moving. Once the effects of the depressant or the stimulant had worn off, it resumed streaming at the place and in the direction where it would been if it had never been stopped by the stimulant or the depressant. That is, it picked up not where it had left off, but where it would have been if it had never been interrupted.
I find this an optimistic image, although it is not clear whether my particular experience of "picking up my life" once more will follow such a pattern. I seem to be less able to "decide" or "determine" my direction, and more apt to "discover" or bumble into it.
Fortunately, I usually like surprises.