This was how Paul looked when his old friend Trina came into his room and surprised him with a hug and a hello. Paul was just thrilled to see her. He remembers his old dear friends very well and even chimed in on some of the stories she told. Seeing his loved ones really makes a difference to him. I wish we lived in a place where a lot more friends could more easily drop in. Like in the Bay Area. Paul's brain injury happened only a year after he moved down here to San Diego, to be with me, and that injury made it that much harder for him to get out and meet new friends.
the joy is pure in this pic. we grab hold of precious bits of happiness, that's the wonder of life, and part of the muse..ReplyDelete
Cindy, my offer stands. I would love to come and see him. I could bring news of the PKD fest and a copy of my book -- one that meant a lot to him a few years ago. Just say the word. I'll have to recoup from festival expenses, but this fall? October perhaps? I know everyone here at the PKD Festival is doing everything possible to raise some funds. Donating objects and cash. Everyone here truly CARES!!! -- ejReplyDelete
Dear EJ, Yes come visit Paul in the fall. The number of folks visiting has gone down and he's not as overwhelmed by them. So yes please do. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
What book is it you're referring to, maybe it's on his bookshelf..
Paul still attends the meditation group he helped found years ago. After 20 minutes of silent meditation we each read a paragraph in turn from our current choice of books by Thich Nhat Hanh. For the three years I have been in the group Paul has had trouble stopping after one paragraph when it's his turn. I don't know if he couldn't remember to stop or he was enjoying the moment too much to want to stop.ReplyDelete
Until last year, Paul seemed to understand what he was reading. He read in a clear, strong voice, pausing between sentences to make eye contact with each person in the group. In the past year his voice often has had little inflection and his words aren't always clear.
Last week a new member who was due to read next tried to gently but firmly take the book from him when he finished his paragraph. He yelled in anger, shook his fist at her and then slammed it on the armrest of the sofa. We knew it was time to finally address this problem. Another member took me aside afterward and suggested that we have Paul read something meaningful at a different point in our meditation and that we not have him read form the book. I liked that idea. Someone suggested a verse (gatha)about the bell we ring at the beginning and end of meditation.
This week a gifted graphic artist in the group created a beautiful card with an image of the Buddha and the gatha "Listen, listen, this wonderful sound brings me back to my true home". I handed the card to Paul and asked him to read it. He looked at it and his eyes lit up. He read clearly and strongly then calmly handed the card back to me when I reached out my hand.
We all listened to the wonderful sound of the bell and it brought each of us back to our true home; this very moment with everything in it that we need for our happiness. Thank you Paul.
Oops. "Paul said" comment above is from me, not from my son Paul who I accidentally signed in as.ReplyDelete