Tuesday, June 20, 2006

This is for you...

Here’s the thing…

Sometimes, when I I need people the most, I call and get voice mail and if the phone rings at my end, it’s a call center and the script doesn’t take a polite “no” for an answer. I’ve been stranded in rural Missouri and Southeast Jesus, on ice floes, at airports, and in my own home, my own head, my own crowded heart…with no one in sight and the tide coming in. It’s the sort of time Jehovah Witnesses come around too.

And that, I told myself, is how life is. I got on with learning to accept it. “Dome of silence” I called it. A forced lesson in getting stronger. Stop whimpering. You don’t live in Darfur. Get over yourself.

But other times, when the dishpan is floating grimy dishes from two days ago, which was the last time I really ate, when I’ve had a shot of gin for dinner and the walls are dissolving and listening to the radio is as soothing as chewing ground glass and I haven’t slept through a night without drugging myself and even my best fake smile is falling apart at the edges, people come through. And not only my close friends, bless them, but people I’ve never met in person. It’s a stone left on the doorstep, or recognition of having had the same sink of dishes and the same lunch, or a wish to be here and walk with me a bit. And in the midst of feeling like the best part of my life just burst into flames, all of a sudden I’m grateful.

Thank you for that. All of you.

I hope to return you to regular programming soon.


Spring thaw. Northern Ontario. It is a long time ago and it is sunrise. I have been sitting up all night. I hear wind chimes. Thousands of wind chimes tinkling. I turn to my friend in astonishment.
“What is that sound?”
“It’s the ice breaking up on the lake. Haven’t you ever heard that before?”

I hear that sound now. At first it’s faint and far away. I listen and it gets louder. And it’s the sound of the world changing and changing again. Day, night, the rise and fall of suns and moons, the turning wheel of seasons. I am small and safe. I am here always. I am passing through.

I would forgive you but there is nothing to forgive. You took safety below the ice. You thought the light streaming in through the cracks was fire and the chimes were sounding the end of the world. And you were there, without protection. You thought I broke the ice. How could you not be afraid?

So I wait, hoping that you will see the light won’t burn and you don’t need that kind of protection.

And all that I wish you or ever have
is kindness

I want to thank everyone who commented recently. I am more grateful and touched than you can ever imagine.