I was listening to my Pema Chodron audiobook about meditation in Tibetan Buddhism, which is her practice, and hit a "soft spot" as she calls them about a familial relationship that needed to be much better but never was. I was feeling pretty down, but didn't push away from it or get angry about it, but just noticed it and thought about it. On top of that, yesterday was the anniversary of my father's sudden death, and though it's been 13 years, it still hurts. I meant to visit the cemetery yesterday but overlooked it, so I cut a bouquet of Black-eyed Susans, blue asters, and blue catmint today and took it out this morning to put on Dad's grave.
At school I was prepping for the upcoming term, and I was still feeling down, and some lines from the past came back to me: "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here." The lines are from Desiderata, a poem that was popular in my youth (written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann, not the 1600's as was widely believed -- the language in the poem is definitely 20th century, not 17th). There was a recording that played on the radio where someone read the poem with music in the background and a female chorus sang those particular words many times over. I thought about the poem and felt a need to read it again, so I looked it up online. It feels as powerful now as it did back in my youth. I decided to make a copy in my word processor, then print a copy to keep in my office and another one to pin up outside my door, thinking that if there are students walking by who feel bleak, knowing that they, too, are children of the universe with a right to be here might give them a lift.
I stopped on the way home from school to buy a few things at the grocery store, and pulled change out of my wallet to put in the donation box for whatever they were collecting for. The USO, It think.