August 6th, 2010


Our destination was a wide spot in old US Highway 93 on the northern Nevada border with five casinos with accessories, appropriately named Jackpot, 220 miles from our garage to the motel parking lot.  A portion of our route was the Oregon Trail, a reminder of what a two hundred mile trip can be like under less than ideal circumstances..  In our case, the circumstances consisted mainly of Dianne's health and the provisions that must be made for it: oxygen, wheelchair, accessories.  Our purpose was to gamble and to sit around in places other than those we usually sit around in.

My expectations included poor sleep and gambling loses; my fears included call to 911.  None of the fears materialized and even the expectations were met somewhere on the upside of the enjoyment scale.  Dianne's sleep was poor and painful, but less so than i feared.  I actually slept pretty comfortably every night.  There were moments of intimacy and laughter.  Dianne, as usual, won a little bit of money--nothing to write about; and i, as usual, lost some money, but not nearly as much nor as quickly as usual.    My autism kicked in, so i did not play any games where interaction with people was involved; but the slots let me play for four days on very little money,

I was encouraged that there were very few people in the casinos.  I guess i had better explain that statement.  The "sin" industry is pretty stable, in bad times as well as good, Hookers hook, gamblers gamble, drinkers drink, etc.  I'm old fashioned enough to think that when money is tight, people ought to spend less on luxuries and non-essentials.  I am realist enough to know that what is non-essential to one person may seem very essential to someone else.  I would have expected that the casinos would be doing business as usual or that the compulsive gamblers (like myself) would stick out like sore "we're number one" styrofoam fingers   There were very few people in the casinos and most of them looked pretty normal (Nevada normal, anyway).  Oh, yeah, i got a speeding ticket on the way home.

We returned intact and in reasonably good spirits (allowing for pain) to our newly carpeted home.  The linoleum and carpet layers did a good job, though they left our furniture and possessions in chaos which i will spend the next week or so sorting out,  Dianne and i connected a couple of times in lovely ways that made the less comfortable parts of the trip seem trivial, at least to me.

"Sermon" Meditation XII: Worry and Fear

"Don't be afraid of those who can kill the body, but can't kill the soul.

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The part of me that can't be destroyed is the part i share with others, with nature, with God, with light (which includes darkness) and life (which includes death).  What i acquire, unless it is wisdom, is worthless (this includes not only possessions, but also muscle tone and longevity)., what i give may not be worthless, because it is in the act of giving without conditions or thought of repayment that i imitate the Tao, that i fulfill my Buddha nature, that i find that light, or whatever or whoever is the source of light, is the only true giver.

Trained responders to crises are so busy doing their job that there is no room or time for fear.  I must learn what my true "job" is; why i am here, why i have this mind, these responsibilities, this autism.  I can't personally accept the idea of reincarnation, but the idea does not disturb me.  I may have to keep doing "it" until i get "it" right, and that might take more than one lifetime.  But there is less and less question in my mind what "it" is: compassion, selflessness, non-judgment

My fear means i still serve my ego,
Higher Power, grant me freedom from fear.