Friday, May 24, 2002

My grandma Hazel's funeral was today. I met tons of relatives I've never seen before, and caught up with those I haven't seen in ages. Let me say that I am entirely delighted with my mom's side of the family. They are all great people. Happy and crazy and funny all at once. My mom's cousins Nancy and Carl are my favorites--they live in Chippewa Falls and are good chums with Sarah and her family. I saw my cousin Todd!!!! I haven't seen him since I was six. He's thirtyish now, and he and his wife are expecting their first child. It was great to see him. In my memory he was always a hep cat...and he remains so after seeing him again. Cousin Tom (my mom's cousin, relation to me? I guess great-cousin or something) joked a lot about talking my parents into getting me a car. Twas good times. My dad's parents, my grandparents Ed and Sarah, are getting old too. Sarah is senile, and talks to herself and makes nonsense noises to me as if I were twelve. It was very sobering to spend time with them...grandpa turned 82 yesterday. They are the opposite in health: Ed has all his faculties but his body is disentegrating, and Sarah has lost her mind but is the perfection of health. It was a bit trying to see them. It caused me to write a lot of poetry, which I will post sometime when I get back to Madison.

This is my first funeral. I think I have been very lucky so far, but now it starts. My grandparents are old. It was strange, to sit and see my grandma Hazel laid out and thinking, as I held my mom's hand, that someday I have to go through this with her and my dad. And I have no brothers or sisters to help me out. It will be very lonely I think, even with other people there. I never knew my grandpa Gilbert, he died when my mom was a teenager. But I was glad to feel like part of a clan, today, like generations of love and hope and experience extend back from me into the past, that I am not just one girl in the world but that I have people to back me up. I have never felt that before. Even when we lived in the midwest my parents and I seldom saw more than immediate family. I never realized how much I missed it until today. I hope that from now on I will never be apart or be separated from them for too long. I hope it won't be another twelve years until I see Todd again. I hope that Nancy will have that Gatzke (yes, we are very polish on that side) family reunion in July. And my kids will always know their family, no matter how far apart. I hope that the next time we meet will not be another funeral but a celebration of togetherness and life. I miss my grandma, but she is better this many health problems and unhappiness and memory loss she had for the last seven years, and I struggle to remember her as she was when I was younger and she had health and mind on her side. But nevertheless I know she raised three good kids and if she hadn't, I wouldn't be here in the same form as I am now. I thank her for that, and I hope that she is happy and that she gets some pretty wings to fly down and visit us on sometime soon. Or, should the Buddhist perception of things be true, I hope her soul is reborn someplace close to me, and that I will know her again.


Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Well, a brief week spent at was to be longer but my grandma passed away and my parents and i are flying to wisconsin tomorrow for the funeral, and then I will just go back to Madison a week early. I saw Natalie and Dan, Katie, and Adam, I got a fierce sunburn (oh cursed wisconsin sun, thou hast weakened me), I went to the beach, I saw three movies (and fell in love with Peter Parker/Tobey Maguire),I read tons of books, including three rereads that I remember shaped a lot of my fancy childhood notions about who I was and who I wanted to be: The Emily books by L.M. Montgomery. I cried about missing Jerry a couple times, I cried about having to leave early, before Katie's party and before Jessie comes back, and I cried for lots of silly things too. It seems like I do that a lot lately, like my emotions have been laid bare...but then again it's always been awfully hard for me not to cry and I shouldn't suppose that this is any particular time in my life. Jerry is playing the song that he is playing at the wedding we are going to in June. It's really lame. If I ever get married there will be no such thing. Maybe I will arrange Bernstein's Pas de deux theme from Fancy Free for brass quintet. I've always thought that was the most thrilling piece of music ever written. It evokes in me the feeling I get when a romance is just starting..there is a lot of thrill and sexual tension, and so much expectation.

I will miss San Diego this time. There's a way the sky looks that I have never seen in Wisconsin or anywhere. And the air just home. I guess that it. Integral parts of me belong here and I can never deny them. There is too much ocean in my soul. Colors are more vibrant, little things delight me more. I can feel at home in my body like I never can anywhere else. It's comfortable. I suppose it comes of growing up someplace, and learning so many things...tis the atmosphere that loves us and shapes us, that makes us and helps us be.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Everything is done. I've finished all my finals, turned in my paper, and packed my suitcase. One more school year has completed. It's weird. Not being one to get all sentimental about the endless passage of time, I'm just floating around in wonderment. Summer is here, and I've been desperately waiting for it. It doesn't promise all the fun that last summer was, but it will be good, relaxing. It's funny---I go into summer with such a Buddhist perspective on things (well, having just taken a class on it helps i suppose) and it all seems so calm and clear. Lots of changes have taken place, and not all of them seem good or constructive, but in some way, everything will be alright. As I was walking to turn in my paper today, a man was on library mall preaching about coming to Christ and worshipping the Lord. And I thought, "Out of great compassion for the sake of all sentient beings I undertake the path to Fully Enlightened Buddhahood." It was almost subconscious the way it popped into my head. I felt sorry for the man, whose level of understanding of ultimate reality is focused in samsara. More and more of me is bracing the ideals of Buddhism and, while I don't take so much to the actual practices, the rituals and the meditations, it seems that I can make my own religion based upon the good traits of all human thought.
Maybe someday when I am totally disillusioned with relationships and my failing musical career I will give it all up and become a bhikkuni. What the hell, right? But first I'll figure out if I can be happy in my own self.

Monday, May 06, 2002

softball game today! we lost again, but put in a good showing. Got in my mandatory exercise for the year---well, that's not entirely true but it feels so good to run around and feel healthy. I think I will try to do some of that every day this summer, besides swimming and bike riding. Lots of frisbee playing is in order. It looks like it might finally be spring (knock on wood)!!! And I am looking forward to coming home too and spending some quality beach time. I am saving my brain for finals and papers and such so maybe I will come up with some gems of wisdom after i get all that done. :) I LOVE SPRING!!

Friday, May 03, 2002

aargh. I wish i had something exciting to say, but i don't really. it's all just blah blah blah. I am taking jerry out for a birthday dinner tonight, and then this is a party! the first in many a long month. excitement. :)
i am always tired. grr. and i wish it would be warm. it was sunny today, but cold. boo.