perfect impermanence

432344A0-42BB-428A-9AE6-065C84CA861D“The deeper that sorrow curves into your being‚ the more joy you can contain.” ~Khalil Gibran (Also, Sr. Francis said something like this to me when I sought her counsel after my first “true love” broke up with me. I have been taught the same lessons over and over.)

Writing around the photos from last week when I should be making phone calls. I almost posted pictures without words, thinking that energy should be put to the practical and useful.  I let that thought pass.

We made it to a beach on Friday.  Unfortunately, the beach itself was not all that hospitable. Revere Beach, which to tell the truth I had been warned might disappoint. It was low tide and the waves were smaller that Lake Michigan’s waves on a sunny day. The damp and wet sand was covered with a bit of sea weed and a lot of brown oozy stuff. I googled around trying to figure out what it was but the best I could find was a newspaper description of “yucky brown stuff that smells.”  Is it bacteria? Have I been away from oceans for too long to know what is normal?

Julia refused to walk on or near it and I agreed she had a point.  And anyway, we came to see the sand sculptures.  

It was the beginning of festival weekend. The Revere Beach International Sand Sculpture Festival is important in the world of sand sculpture. This year there were 15 artist from around the world, only two from our corner of the world—one from Massachusetts and another from Canada. Judging was on Saturday after 2 and we were there about 24 hours before.  I really enjoyed seeing the work in progress and the artists at work although I did not take pictures of a few entries because when we were there, the pieces was in no way recognizable. 

Sculpting with and in sand reminds me of the sand mandalas made by Buddhists monks at the art museum in Indianapolis years and years ago. Such perfect impermanence. For the monks, it felt like a religious ritual. A demonstration of impermanence. For these sand artist . . . ? Who would chose to sculpt in something that would dissolve with the wind, the sun, the rain, perhaps even a single high tide? How quickly the artists had to work. How achingly beautiful the pieces. How impermanent. How glorious the process. The visual of perfect impermanence remains in my mind’s eye.

We visited Newton North High School and Julia registered for classes.  She was anxious and distracted. I worried about her inability to be present during the official meeting but the registrar and the Sped representative were helpful and upbeat. I am pleased with the offerings. We will see what fits into a schedule.

This was the second time we were inside the school. Newton North was the first school we toured last fall when we visited. This time, Julia was able to be present enough to notice the paintings, all done by students, on the cinderblock walls. I loved them last October.  It was not an easy visit but I saw smiles and Julia carried the registration material when we left.  I have hope.

As the week closed, I got the news that the last of the Sarvetnick siblings (David’s mother, sister and two brothers) died.  He was almost 90. A long, good, rich and diverse life for a curious, creative, loving man. From what I heard it was a death with family and loved ones around him. Still, the loss saddened me so. Uncle Harold was part of the cadre of aunts and uncles who welcomed me into the family when we decided to marry after David’s mother’s death. Warm, welcoming, and never long enough visits filled with good conversations. I miss his spirit in the world. How very fortunate his family and friend that we had this spirit for so long a time.


And finally, Muta is claiming his own. The two dogs who live upstairs have not been home all week allowing exploration of the back yard. There are also two small black cats from across the street who assume some dominance over our front bushes. On Friday, Muta found a few moments to stretch out in front of the front steps. He is finding his place even if only for fleeting moments right now. I too looking for fleeting moments. A third church visit and a difficult coffee hour—no one approached me and I could not insinuate myself into a small cluster. It was just one day and we will be back next week. Perhaps my powers of insinuation will be stronger.  I remember that persistence is one of my superpowers.

I am lonely. And this too is impermanent.  

2 thoughts on “perfect impermanence

  1. It’s summer. Very small congregation. I found folks to talk to the other two weeks we visited. Julia hangs out with 2 high school girls who would do childcare if any children were there. So, it is not all bad. Not at all. Sermon/lecture was good. Usually, I don’t care that much but last Sunday . . . Hugs back.

  2. Incredible sand sculptures!!
    I am kind of surprised about no one coming up to you after church during coffee. I think it’s kind of obvious and there usually seems to be an “announcement” of sorts so people do know you’re there. On the other hand I remember we often-still sometimes- stand around and then just decide to leave. We don’t have kids in the school, we’re not super involved, but sometimes it would be nice to “hang” with at least one person. Give it time and when you join the one that feels right, you’ll be surprised and pleased. Hugs.

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