Sunday, September 7, 2008

The rush of life and the fruitlessness of spiritual expectations

I have not been writing in a long time. As so often happens, life has spun me round. In the midst of my melancholy musings and ruminations, we decided to have a bit of a vacation. Actually, it was the first true vacation we've ever taken in twelve years of marriage. We have journeyed to exciting places like Montpelier, Vermont and Cincinnati, Ohio but that was when I had to be there for my graduate work. I tend not to count "vacations" as trips in which I spend eight hours a day in a conference. And of course we've had many day trips. We're big on day trips but that also doesn't count. So this was our first real, honest to God vacation.

We went to Buffalo. Woohoo. Ahem. I mean Woohoo!!!

You may ask yourself, what is in Buffalo? And I say to you, well, what isn't in Buffalo? We went anyway.

The first day of our vacation, we went to Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester(which you will note is not in Buffalo) where my son broke two bones in his left hand. We then came home to spend part of the day in the ER which actually was very nice. There is a lovely garden outside the hospital with a stream, swans and ducks and a labyrinth. While waiting for my husband and son, my other children and I walked around the beautiful campus. I tried to uncover the mystery of my life to no avail. As it turns out, a labyrinth has limited meditative function when explored with a three year old.

On the next day of our trip, we made it all the way to Buffalo where we ate with my sister at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant where I ordered the mushroom burger. It was not cooked and had a large clod of dirt on it. I hated to bother them about this but you know?

We then went to our hotel room which was fantastic because it was so very close to the railroad tracks AND the school bus garage! (Actually, our kids thought this was phenomenally good luck.)

The next day we went to Lily Dale, (also not in Buffalo) a Spiritualist community. I shall have to write about it later because it warrants its own entry. My husband received a reading during one of the Spiritualist services out in the woods by Inspiration Stump but I did not. I did not receive illumination on the Fairy Trail, by the lake, in the Forest Temple, or in their labyrinth. I put a penny on Inspiration Stump and thought spiritual thoughts real hard until I was good and shaky and emotional but no dice.

The following day we went to the Shrine of the Our Lady of Fatima (also not in Buffalo) where again I received no spiritual illumination although I did buy a very disturbing rubber embryo to keep in my purse. We then went to the zoo where I also received no illumination but then I didn't expect it there so that was OK. I did learn that it is not a good idea to put sticky sunscreen on your sweaty kids then send them into the dirt to dig for dinosaurs. You can imagine.

On the way home, I had a stomach ache which turned out to be an appendicitis so the next night, I went to the ER again and then the following day I had surgery. As I was going into the operation room, I thought perhaps I would discover something profound while under anesthesia. When I awoke, I realized that I experienced nothing at all when under anesthesia which led to a crisis of belief. This was to be expected since I had already commented to them that I feared that I was keeping my soul in my appendix. I think it might have been true.

I came home where I had no profound dreams while I recovered. Then two days later I had a faculty meeting and now I'm teaching four classes. Four completely different courses.

And today is my baby's fourth birthday. I'd like to have another baby since this one is frankly getting too big to call a baby anymore. Time for a new model. If I had a spiritual guide, I'd ask for assistance in making this decision but since they removed my soul with my appendix, I'll have to rely on a rational thought process. Damn.