The past couple of days I have been feeling poorly again, despite having felt better at the weekend; maybe even my gentle ride on Sunday was too much for a recuperating body. I sat in the zendo on Monday and Tuesday feeling blurry and a little feverish, with a streaming nose and a headache - not enough to send me to bed for the day, but enough to notice how much I just wanted to be taking care of myself and not expending energy I didn't have on other things. Today feels like I am on the mend, which is nice.
The zendo has been packed this week with the new practice period people; we also have a full complement of guest students, so the building feels busy during the day as well. All this in contrast to my own lack of vitality, and also the underlying heaviness of the losses we have been suffering.
I am aware that I have not yet written much about Lou; there is a book in the front hall for people to add stories about him, and I realise that, more than stories, I have any numbers of snapshots of him from the years I have lived in the building...
When I first lived here, I was directly above Blanche and Lou's apartment, and sometimes I would wake in the middle of the night and hear the even then old-fashioned sound of a typewriter as Lou tapped out another story; it always sounded comforting. So too was the sight of him in the corner seat in the zendo, that people still sometimes refer to as Lou's seat. I can also think of the type-written notes that would appear in different places - particularly of one that was in the tenzo's office, commenting on the toughness of the baked potatoes that day. There was the way he took care of so many things around the building, just because that was how it ought to be done, especially all the chidening - taking care of the altars, both for ceremonies but also for their use every day - and no less in the way he put out the Sunday newspapers, with the Chronicle on one table and the Times on another so that things could be found easily (I still try this each Sunday, but it only lasts until other people get up and start reading the papers, then they just get heaped up together). Finally, how the Suzuki Roshi Memorials that we did on the third and fourth of January felt incomplete, because they were the first ones I can ever remember Lou not being present for.
I have noticed that Zen Center has started a site commemorating our recent losses, as I can see on my stats that people are coming to this site from there. If you haven't discovered that, it is here - I thought it would be nice to send some traffic in the other direction as well. We are still planning events for Jerome, Darlene and Lou, so they will continue to intertwine in our lives for the weeks to come.