Friday, February 24, 2012

my real appointment today.....thank you

Today there was a moment
that surprised me
unexpected encounter
be aware
be awake
give thanks

I was in a new doctor's office
and waiting for my name to be called
an elderly woman sat two chairs over
and started to talk

elderly woman:  have you been here before? this is my first time
me: (I don't feel like chatting....)  yes, my first time

elderly woman:  I think it feels nice in here
me: mmmm ( remember I don't feel like chatting)

elderly woman:  I think the staff here are very pleasant
me:  hmmm hmmm

elderly woman: I'm learning to live alone
I soak in her words.....'I'm learning to live alone'

I have a moment inside of me where I transition from....'please stop talking to me' to - 'Cathy, wake awake, be aware'..... and I feel a shiver go through my body -

I turn and gaze into this face beside me......

me:  what happened?
elderly woman:  my husband died 2 years ago.  We were married 52 years.  I'm alone now.

me:  Did you have any children?
elderly woman - pain shooting across her face: yes, I had five sons.  They all died.
me: gasp
elderly woman:  yes, 2 died in car accidents, one died in a boating accident and 2 died of muscular dystrophy.

elderly woman - with a loving look in her face:  are you married?
me:  I'm alone too.  I'm learning to live alone for the first time. My marriage has ended.
elderly woman:  sometimes things need to end.  sometimes it is better.
me:  silence.....deeply listening

elderly woman:  you know, I could give up on life.  I know a woman, she gave up.  She couldn't face being alone and so she just sat in her rocking chair every day.  Now she is in the psyche ward.  I get afraid too, afraid of being old by myself.  But I choose to get involved.  I'm going to Uganda next week to volunteer! And I volunteer in the community. I've started having 'girls nights' with my friends!  Even though I don't understand all of life, I believe in eternity and everything will be OK.  I know that God is with me, even when I don't understand all the loss.

As she tells me this, I am gazing into her face.  Her eyes become sparkly and bright and she speaks with a 'knowing'.  She is radiant with beauty through her wrinkles and white hair.

I reach into my purse.
I take out a 'Love Shines' CD.

me:  I'm a musician - I want to share this with you.  Thank you for talking to me.

I take her hand.

me: I'm Cathy
elderly woman:  I'm Erna

Reception desk:  Cathy, time for your appointment.

me:  I believe I just had my appointment.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

what is love?

Today I met with someone and they asked me this question, 'what is love'?
It is one of those questions where the answer seems so obvious but also so intangible.
What is Love?
I have no earthly idea!
But after some mulling - these are some of the ideas I expressed .......

'if you want to know how I have known love
all I can speak of is my human experience,
which is limited
by my own shortcomings.
I have longings and desires around love
but I have an inability to know
what the word
I think I might love someone,
but it is warped by my faults and my imperfections.
I think someone might love me,
but it is marred by my needs and desires.
Is this love?
It feels like more of an attempt at the
pureness of what love
at it's essence truly is......
perhaps I can say
that there are moments where I have tapped
into tasting of a
Divine Love.
This Love is
pure energy;
it is radiant,
without limits,
and is full of joy.
This Love is vibrant,
exuberant and
This Love holds no shame
nor does it condemn.
This Love is freeing,
life-giving and liberating.
This Love calls out one's true essence
and celebrates all life.
If I could live out of this energy,
I would be on fire!
But I forget sometimes
the beauty
of what I have tasted here
and fall back to my human tendencies.
I long to live more fully
out of this Love
to tap into the
Source of Life
which is deeper
than my humanity
so that I can express
in a small way
the wonder
the magnificence
that pure joy
of this Presence of Love'