Okay - so most of our peers might have a similar story to post - but with very different circumstances at play. Here is the CRAZY night that John and I just had... and the irony we discussed as it relates to being practitioners:
John shows up at 4:30 AM. I am not at home... somehow the dogs are loose and I am not in bed or in the townhouse anywhere -- he is suddenly sure I must be pulling an all nighter - and he knows EXACTLY where to find me. Having been trying to reach me all night - he knows I forgot to charge my phone again, so calling is futile and he resigns himself to drive over to the one place that he would find me this time of night.
He arrives there in haste and rings the bell to gain entrance - knowing any one of 50 or more people who frequent the joint might answer the door - he is anxious to gain entry. Barb swings the door wide and wonders why he is looking for me HERE when she has seen no trace of me and she arrived almost an hour ago. Now John knows where he must look. He goes quietly creeping up the back stairs... only to find the door at the top flight locked. Pressing an ear to the door he hears my snoring on the other side. "I knew it!" he thinks to himself, both relieved and a bit frustrated.
He taps on the door - trying to selectively wake me up without disturbing the two ladies on either side of the hall. But it is no use - he cannot get my attention.
He heads down the stairs and outside. He gently tosses pebbles at the second story window. No luck. No movement from within, and he cannot dare throw any harder on the chance that a pane might crack or chip.
Finally, in a last measure of desperation - he returns to the locked door and he slides his cell phone under the door with his alarm proclaiming loudly into the silent room beyond - He assumes that the sudden extinction of my snoring means I have finally awoken. But moments later - the raspy nasal noise returns and crescendos back to full volume. He came here at this hour to bring me home - all to no avail... he could not will me to rise.
Hours pass and I wake up on the floor at about 10:00 AM. I am a little disoriented, but I recognize immediately that I am not HOME. Looking at the open contents of the package beside me - I cannot believe that I finished off all 8 in one evening. No wonder I am just waking up.
I grab my phone - despite the knowledge that my battery had died long ago - I press the power button to see if I can at least fire off one explanation (via text) to John. No luck - the icon isn't even through it's warm up cycle when the cell shuts down and flashes a brief "no battery" prompt. CRAP.
I slide into the chair of the desk nearby where I slept - and I boot up the PC. Maybe if I get creative - I can let him know where I am.
I access "Log Me In" which brings my home computer to life. I figure if I can at least get his attention then we can communicate by e-mail. I remotely remove the mute feature so that the HP in our living room becomes my virtual megaphone - I open a Word Document and type in HUGE PRINT on the screen - "Trying to Reach John - Please E-mail me!" Just in case our house mates are sitting nearby when the cacophony begins.
Then I open up any noise making application I can think of - I open Media Player and fire up a song - I google Youtube and find what I figure are noisy videos and set them playing in open tabs, then I toggle the Word Document front and center so he will understand why the computer just came to life.
I wait... no response. He MUST be home. Where else could he be? I decide to try to excite the dogs because John might be sleeping upstairs and unable to hear my remote noise from the PC. I cue up a Youtube video of a dog howling. THAT will get Sarah and Joy stirred up and they will wake him for sure!
Then I realize that even though my cell is dead - his phone should be working- and I send an e-mail to his text feature.
I get a reply after a while: "I am up - be there soon". I have no idea he has already been here once waiting on me - no wonder he was so difficult to awaken!
When he returns to pick me up - we have quite a chuckle at the "perfect storm" that had arisen to strand me over night at the temple behind a locked door.
Let me flesh it out for you now:
SETTING THE SCENE:
Wednesday approximately 1:00 pm - John needs to go to work at 2:00 and since he knows my car is not running - what with her battery being all PMS (Post Move Stressed) and since she missed her last period (insurance renewal period that is) he knew I'd be interested in a ride to temple!
WE both shower and he drops me off at KPC so I can prepare the finance report and be on campus for the 7:00 pm Web Demo (our new site will be Buddha-licious! Check out BLUE MANDALA to see their current stuff - and our sneak preview was awesome! Yay Cameron et al.)
Then I have a finance meeting on the heels of web group and I figured I would hang around until my midnight to 2AM prayer vigil commitment and that would align me time-wise with John coming home from Tyson's corner - he'd pick me up and we'd be home and dry...
So much for ~~BeSt ~ LaId ~ pLanS ~~
I arrive at KPC and thrust my Book on CD into the disc tray - it is an 8 disk set - so I figure I will just listen to what I can - not intending that I would listen to all eight! I figure I might hear a couple over the course of the night.
It was like a drug though - the book was The Girl Who Stopped Swimming - read by author Joshilyn Jackson, you should visit her blog over there on my side bar "Faster than Kudzu" - she ROCKS some fiction ya'll!
By the time the web meeting rolls around I am feeling SUPER fine. I have my reports done - I am enjoying this wonderful audio book (already up to like #4) and besides I can finally breathe today after b!tch slapping a cold right out of my body with fluids, vitamins and LOTS of sleep. I am consumed with theories about the story I am listening to. Joshilyn - (pronounced Joss-i-lynn) - has a theatre background - so her embodiment of characters that she has created is superb! I have been tippy-typing away on the finances, updating spreadsheets, pulling data from our various locations and just LOVING life this evening.
About 7:05 I head down to our main shrine room (we call it the dharma room) just in time to see the "tech pros" wrestling with a projector screen and a MAC that refused to communicate quickly or nicely with our presenters on the line from Canada. I glance from them to the three or 4 people idly waiting the start of the meeting, to Ani NBC in the corner giggling herself at the number of times she must have witnessed such a techno struggle over her years in sound and TV (and especially around here). We had many a chuckle and sarcastic exchange en masse as we struggled to reel ourselves into a ready position to peek at a demo of the back office features on the new KPC website. (Keep posted - I'll tell you when it goes live. It is gonna be very slick!)
So frustration ran a little high once it finally got going - but all remained of good cheer and we did get through the presentation which was peppered with that peculiar brand of Vajrayana humor we so enjoy. Our hosts and our participants enjoyed a few jabs back and forth, especially at the expense of our dear Holly who was at the console "driving" on our end of things, with 10 back seat drivers hovering over her shoulders to "help"!
Cut to finance meeting. It is increasingly more stressful with each passing week to sit at or near the helm of a nonprofit ship as it navigates this period of economic turmoil. As you might imagine - when things get tight for people - things get even tighter for places that run on the generosity of those people. I am the voice on the line when calling vendors who see us strictly as a "business" get my heartfelt explanation that in tough times - an almost all volunteer organization -- which relies ~~nearly~~ exclusively on fundraising and tithing -- is a tightrope act (at best) in this economy.
They are kind and understanding - but it all boils down to that one man show my mom taught me as a kid
(Folded Napkin held like a Mustache): You MUST pay the rent!
(Folded Napkin held like hair bow): But I CAN'T pay the rent!
(You know the bit... right? No? Okay let me find it...)
Here is the same skit with a comb... and a fresh new face to the part:
But anyway - the finance meeting is a real tummy tightener - at a period where the "we owe" pile grows astronomically quicker than the "we got" pile. So I decided to go back up to the office afterwards (following a lively chat with Holly and K.T. about the phenomena of emptiness as it relates to finances... ahem.) I settled in at about 9:30 and plowed through some small projects while listening through disk 6 and 7 of Jackson's novel.
Come midnight - I skip on down to the prayer room and hold my 2 hour portion of the vigil.
Afte which I trolley-lolley back up to the office - unable to reach John but happy to indulge myself in the rest of my CDs and find out how the story ends. Happy with my distraction... I curl up after the last disk - and doze off.... having locked the door to keep me "safe".
So when John arrives to awaken me - I have locked him out - and in my distraction with the stories I was enjoying - I am unable to shake off my exhaustion when he who came to wake me arrives. In my "defense" to keep myself safe (inside a temple full of sleeping nuns no less) I locked myself in the office and snored through his visit.
John shared with me his experience of last night too - before he left for work today. He explained a smilar metaphor of being just beyond the door - only 2 physical inches - from all that he wanted - but not having the key to unlock it. That which was his sole purpose for being in that place at that moment at this wierd hour when he had finally put the puzzle together and arrived - and he had to drive home without me because he did not know any other way to wake me up.
Imagine all that as a metaphor for our relationship with the divine - and it makes a pretty pensive morning out of the idea of someone falling asleep in the place where your treasury works to uphold your temple.
US who have eyes - let us read! : )