Archive for September, 2010

The Ken Jones Honorary Yard Sale, Taxes, and Apache Lore

No less than 100 boxes of Kenny’s treasures were hauled out of the space under the house in preparation for the yard sale of the century (in my world anyway). A man collects a lot of things in a lifetime, especially if his interests translate to passions–passion about the Apaches, about survival in the wilderness, about survival in the city should a disaster befall us, about making books and making bows and arrows, making buckskin clothing, making camping gear like tents and quilts, gloves, hats, and moccasins, making lots of other kinds of things. Tools for the house, tools for the car, tools for all the things he made. Protective gear in case of chemical contamination, woolen overalls, waxed canvas pants, jacket, and hat. Rations in case of a prolonged disaster. Too many pairs of dress pants, outdoor pants that wore like iron, outdoor shirts that protect against the sun, suit coats, gloves, belts, hats. Books–books on birding, ducks, deer, moose, guns and all the paraphernalia that goes with guns, Ralph Waldo Emerson biographies, nature, wilderness, tracking four-footed animals, tracking people, tracking birds and tracking just about anything that breathes. Making movies, writing screen plays, writing poetry, children’s narratives, flintknapping, and did I say guns? Art history, history of firearms, American history, history of Native Americans, Lewis and Clarke history. Chief Joseph and his retreat to Canada. Jones geneology, the many books by Marshall Mcluhan and Tom Brown. Ansel Adams and other hotographers, Ken’s own experiments as a graduate student majoring in photography and his professional work. The list is endless.

At one point as we were setting up, Bill saw me tearing up over something–it almost didn’t matter what it was–I can’t remember now anyway. He came to hold me while I cried. It was very comforting. Since Kenny’s death, I have become two people, one goes to work and concentrates on work matters while the other comes home and takes care of the business of wrapping up my husband’s life here on earth. I’m either preparing for the yard sale or doing the endless task of preparing for taxes, or looking at pictures and listening to his favorite music, or talking about him with my friends. I have many friends who in their infinite love and patience would listen until I can’t talk anymore. They are very good to me.

So I purposely arranged a pre-sale day for friends of Kenny’s who love all the things he loved. Four of them came all due to Rob’s persistent invitations. It was a very tender day for me as they marveled at Kenny’s collection. I gave Rob some bows and arrows, a bow-stringing jig and a bow-string thrust guide that Kenny carved by hand out of rosewood. It was indeed an exquisite piece of art and I would have kept it myself except I have the beautiful bow he made out of Osage orange, which is equally as artful, and I can only keep so many things. My bedroom surrounds me in photographs and things that remind me I no longer share this sweet and intimate space with my life partner. Little did I know his life with me would be so short. Little was I willing to look at in the fourteen years we were together, but that’s another story. I have a good 20 or 30 years left here on this earth. I would have liked to spend most of it if not all of it with Kenny. But instead I now attend grief recovery groups and listen to how so many people loved so many people the same as I loved my husband. What a plan this experience on earth! All for the good I’m sure, though not so evident on a daily basis. It takes strength and willingness to pull out of the loss to experience the good when a spouse or any loved one dies. I can still shock myself when I come around to realizing after the umpteenth time that he really is no longer here with me in this physical life.

I can make up stuff about how I sense his presence or know we will meet again or have faith that everything is perfect, even his leaving with unresolved karmic patterns both his and mine. But the truth is I’m not that aware of the spiritual realms right now. Meditation is fraught with images and sounds of his illness and what his magnificent body went through. And my mind wants to decide I could have made a difference if I only had more courage.

All that said, I know I just need to be reminded of my spiritual heritage, and that consciously raising my own vibration honors all he is/was both when he was alive in his body and now as his soul does its work on other realms.

See that thing about his soul–I’m going on faith here because if I must make up something, it’d be great to win in my own fantasies.

Enough for now. More later about the brilliant army of spiritual warriors that surrounded us and continue to give of their extraordinary generosity. I do know from my own precious experience that adopting gratitude opens my heart and becomes the gateway for goodness to flood through.

Bless us all.

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