Published: Wednesday November 11, 2015.

Bardo

It’s Wednesday.

Wednesday is Craven Players amateur dramatics evening, and there’s a three-show run in two-and-a-bit weeks with a lot of work to do before then.

My replacement trackball arrived today, I realised exactly how gummy and useless the old one was. Two years of hard use hasn’t been kind.

The St Gennys calendar is all done and on sale. It’s late, thanks to me. It’s also the last one I’ll be involved with.

My housemate is laid up in bed with a smashed knee thanks to a skateboarding incident on Monday.

According to my business account finances, I’m owed about 3000GBP in unpaid invoices.

My to-do list is steadily growing, despite stuff being done and ticked off on daily basis.

My pal from down the road is having a really hard time of things lately.

I did some laundry this morning and everything’s covered in dog hair.

My desk workspace is an absolute disaster.

I’m going on holiday next month.

It’s my birthday in a few days.

And y’know, I smiling about all of it.

I’ve been having a email to-and-fro with a long-time friend and client. Although I’m no longer actively involved with their company website stuff, I contacted this friend about a website fix that needed doing. The guy who is involved in the company website stuff was mobilised and all was well. In the email exchange, we got the job done and then did the pleasantries thing. This is normal for me, and I’ve seen this friend adapt to this approach over the many years we’ve known one another. I have come to loathe sending and receiving long-form email.

I was asked how I was doing. It’s an innocuous enough question and one that invariably has a textbook smalltalk answer for most people, but this exchange was different. My response:

Doing OK here, thank you. Dealing with demons, as is my way, […]. About to start work on a Magento with 14,000 SKUs in it. Hellfire.

Dealing with demons. Oh, the drama. The response to my response:

Hope the demons are just digital.

They weren’t/aren’t. My reply:

Demons not all digital, sadly, but the important part is they’re being worked through. Slowly, but surely.

This is a measured response, of course. I’m not the kind of person that blurts out silliness. Their reply:

World is very complex and we are quite simple beings in reality so there is always a dissonance.

Keep working on the demons – there will be respite.

This email was a really nice one to receive. I made sure they knew I was appreciative:

I do love having smart, compassionate people in my little circle.

Thank you.

I wrongly thought that would be the end of it. This arrived just before 3pm yesterday:

The other thing about demons is that we all have to face them eventually – there is no avoiding them – and facing the darkness and chaos of the shadow is part of our evolutionary steps as human beings on a spiritual path (I mean spiritual in the most non-specific way).

Once you have gone through this you will be able to help others who are suffering the same.

But you will never escape from this process as it is part of our work to be done.

Make sure you do have intelligent support from those that have been through this. It makes it much easier to navigate ‘Bardo’ to use a Tibetan term if you can.

Bardo is not something I’ve encountered, but it puts a lot of what’s happening to my right now in a suitable perspective. I spent a lot of yesterday at the hospital with Jen as she was being diagnosed, and her week of moaning about being bored respite period is now underway. I’m juggling a few more things than usual and not getting enough sleep as a result, but I’m surviving.

My pal down the road — let’s call her Dorothy — is going through some challenging mental stuff. We’ve only properly known one another for a handful of months, but there’s a friendship bond there I’ve only ever experienced with a handful of people in my life and it’s like we’ve been pals for years. We keep an eye on each other when the days are tough, and have occasional fun when they’re a bit more straightforward.

There’s no deep and meaningful message to this blog post, but have a read of the last email again if you have time and inclination.