I am this person in part
By your hand and will
To sternly forge my heart.
Your vain attempts to kill
My gratitude for breath
Convicted me to still
My own slow, sure death
With a certain waking thrill
That if my hero could face
Value in cancer's bitter pill
I can hail YOUR malignant grace.
No, you really haven't read carefully enough. But since I opened this to complete strangers, it shouldn't matter to me that you missed something vital. Just a bruise...and bruises fade.
The man I’ll never know stepped into his world
Filled with treasures I’ll never see. Castles
No longer catch his eye as he lights a cigarette.
I long to sail across the pond to tread along his street,
Where Romans ruled and Saxons stormed.
Would he ferry me to the mouth of the Mersey
Where the lighthouse shines no more?
How could I see the small things he’d point out,
While my eyes worship an ancient priory
Beyond his focus? Even in name, the man
Who smiles at a rabbit on way to the dole
Becomes a Celtic champion to me,
While he lifts one weakened hand to touch
The heart of one he’ll never know.
Some days shine, despite the weather; they just shine.
My week has been very hectic, filled with meetings and meetings about the meetings. Then I come home to care for someone who needs help just getting to the bathroom, physical therapy, wheelchair, bed linen changes and a myriad of assistance I never dreamed of. There's a hospital bed in the middle of my living room! (Family member injured in a motorcycle accident April 6...we are making progress but it's a long road.)
Caring for a very sick or injured person affords few luxuries and no illusions about the workings of the too human body. If I can live through debriding a wound, I may just be equipped for anything.
You get to a place where you feel like you've lost self. You become acutely aware of your loss of sleep. You may even begin to mentally tick off the sacrifices you have made and the costly position you are in. If you are like me, you try to do your very best without complaint. But those complaints tear at your weak seams when you walk into your bedroom or wake for work when you feel that you only just went to bed.
The truth is that you haven't lost self. You are immersed in self...that's what self-deprivation can do. Don't get me wrong, it can and does grow you. You cannot help but learn what you are made of. And if you are lucky, like I am, that person will find their own humility along with you and something beautiful can grow that's bigger than yourself.
I am a human being who needs to strip herself away. I need to be reminded that I am small and not so central to myself, really. I need to be reminded that my problems are not so big and certainly not insurmountable. I need to find joy in finding those things. Where's the irony? You find those things in serving others.
Today, I volunteered in a food distribution program designed to make good food free or incredibly affordable and accessible to needy families. We smiled, loaded boxes, and carried their food to their cars. This was the second month I have participated and several times I thought, "I'm already too busy or serving another. My job is serving others. I don't need one more thing." But that's just why I needed this so badly.
I do care about the people I already serve. I do care about the ones I volunteered to serve today. But it's ultimately about my heart. How is my heart these days? It's far better tonight than it was yesterday.
The night I pulled ribbons from my hair and ran barefoot, ahead of you to touch the tree...safe; I laughed and turned to see that only your eyes had followed.
"Just then," you said and still you stood, not teasing, not chasing, and I began to feel a thrill of fear.
"Just then," you said again, and my cheeks warmed in response, the notes of your voice a deep new timbre.
"Just then, you were the most beautiful thing I have ever seen."
When we remembered ourselves, we could not recall one another. Your chin dropped. I brushed splinters from my jeans.
Just then, a breeze stirred. Two ribbons blew past our faces, caught each other, and danced in the moonlit branches.
I cut my finger on your scorn
While pointing out your flaw.
Your tongue was sharper than your wit
So I laid down the law.
And now, alas, my dear, fare well
Your time with me is done.
I’ll spend tonight with your best friend
Who packs a bigger one!
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