August 13, 2017 (Sunday)

by Yule Heibel on August 12, 2018

How appropriate that I should start a new meditation pack today called “Regret.” First, I do have regrets which pull me into the past and deflect my future, and second, they’re a big part of feeling stuck. I want to get unstuck – to vroom, as the cartoons would have it. I want to accelerate into the future, not idle in the past.

It’s also an appropriate pack insofar as politically and in terms of current events, there is so much regret floating around today. Yesterday, five hundred Nazis or neo-Nazis or whatever you want to call them rallied in Charlottesville Virginia. Predictably, counter-protesters arrived, probably in greater number than the neo-Nazis. I don’t know for a fact, but just visually their crowd seemed greater. Then, a right-wing sympathizer drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring about twenty. Then, Trump – in subsequent statements – failed to name the right-wingers specifically when he spoke against the act of violence perpetuated specifically by this right-winger who killed and injured left-wing counter-protesters. So, now Trump is again a Nazi himself, “literally Hitler” (my Twitter feed is full of this). I wonder how many levels of regret are free-floating around these last 36 or so hours, around this event and everything that led up to it as well as transpired from it in its wake? As a country, we are stuck, it seems to me.

[My sister in England] called to let me know that [my sister in Japan] fell off her bike and broke her leg. This is horrible because she had broken a femur a couple of years ago in a fall – and what if it’s the same leg? The doctors “reinforced” it at the time with a steel rod – I don’t want to think about the possible complications if it’s the same leg, nor the implications if it’s the other, good, leg that’s now broken. Plus, she’s 80-1/2 years old. Not the easiest thing to bounce back from that kind of injury, especially at that age. Of course W. was appalled that she still rides a bike everywhere; I was immensely proud and impressed that she does.

I read a NYT story to both W. and A., about Gertrude Mokotoff, age 98, marrying Alvin Mann, age 94. And how Gertrude’s older brother, age 103 and living in California, had to miss the wedding (in New York state) because, alas, the journey would have been a bit much for him. Gert and her sweetheart (now husband) regularly drive from the Catskills to New York City to take in the opera. Wow.

So, regrets. Andy says to write a list. 1) Not having a career to sustain me financially and intellectually. 2) Going into academia instead of flourishing in the Design field. 3) Never living in a city I felt really committed to (e.g., New York, or, back in the day, San Francisco). 4) Having my kids live so far away. 5) Not having a community here, being “tribeless.” 6) Living in the suburbs (sort of: B. is its own city, but fewer than twenty miles away sits Boston, the elephant). 7) Feeling like a chickenshit who can’t get anything off the ground anymore – as though the curse of my mother is upon me (her mantras: “Don’t try too hard, you’ll only be disappointed” and “Don’t bother, you’ll only lose interest / drop it anyway”). Yikes!

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