The incense is trapped in my hair. Every movement I make, I smell it.
I'm not going to wash my hair tonight.
It is a clear and present reminder for me. A shot of clarity.
The smoke covered my clothes today, as I stood on the altar and held the burner for the priest. He carefully spooned out the incense and as it hit the coal, the smoke wafted up, tickling my nose and triggering an almost irrestible urge to cough.
I stifled that urge. No one wants a coughing Arimathean.
The eulogy went a bit long, as they sometimes do, and the smoke that trickled out from the burner next to me was a tangible reminder that this wasn't a pleasure cruise. It helped me to focus today - my first shot at the incense - and the ghost that shadowed me today is one that needs to remain.
Yesterday, something happened to one of my kids at school that was a direct repeat of an action that occurred entirely too often last year.
Yes. Clear as mud, I know. But so so so many people from school read here and I just am not going through that again.
It angered me. It frustrated me. It saddened me.
And it left me open to questions, questions that put me on the defense, questions that made me feel stupid and uninformed and feeling as if I haven't thought things through, haven't taken the time to educate myself on the realities of the matter -
When, actually, that's all I've done. For more than three years in this particular child's case.I'm actually tired of thinking about this issue and wish, from the bottom of my core, that it would just leave already.
I could abandon it, I think. But that would be to abandon my child and that would be to abandon my soul.
I get tired of being defensive. But defense is my best offense right now.
And that SUCKS.
Funerals are good for me. They allow me to see beyond the petty, the annoying - ugh, he can't remember to do what I asked him and she's making me completely insane - and really see that I'm not in charge of anything at all.
It's that faith thing that I find simultaneously exhilarating and frustrating.
Despite the fact that I didn't tell anyone about the incident - except for the teacher who was directly affected and one parent (and putting it on my facebook, but there are very very few school people there, I'm SO not a popular person - probably you could say I'm not a team player - definitely, that's hysterical right there)
The "in charge" knew about it.
And took the time to address it. With my husband. And my child.
Which was impressive. Reassuring. Calming.
And a wee bit spooky, because I would love to know who was the informant. I'd love to have the faith that this year, there's someone on our side.
And feel the faith that all of it will work out.