Friday, August 24, 2012
“Today is a good day,” you once said, because the nausea had subsided and the trips to the bathroom had decreased to a single digit. Today is a good day, for me, as I get to see you, sitting in bed, smaller than the last time but certainly not diminished.
You sit there, head covered by a bright purple cap you chose from the hospital’s cap bin, eating tiny bits of meat loaf and mashed potatoes, careful not to block your compromised airway; and you are glowing.
I wanted to tell you that purple is the color of royalty, expanded awareness and high spiritual attainment. It is the color of the highest chakra, which connects us to the universe, to enlightenment. It is said if you surround yourself with purple you will have peace of mind. This is how you looked today. But I didn’t tell you.
Only a few days earlier you struggled for the precious air that escapes you now. But today you are glowing. I sit next to you as you listen to the plans being made to take you home for the last time.
I am honored to have been at your side for very difficult news from your team, and I am again honored to sit with you and add my meager voice to your most precious hospice plans. I find myself annoyed by what feels like tiny flies nipping at my arms as I try to listen, and I swat at them, trying to brush them away only to find that there are no flies or any insects for that matter in this intensive care room. Of course there aren’t! And no one else seems bothered by these pests either.
And then it becomes apparent to me. Angels. They are announcing themselves. Of course. They are gathering. A few of them colored you in peace today and cleared your throat so you could feed your failing body and speak the many words you still have to say.
Today is a good day. I am meeting your angels. They have let me know that they know that I know.
Do you hear them too, my brave friend? You must. Your fear is gone, you tell me; and the pain has left your face. You want to play cards, not talk of death. You want to cram in as many stories from friends as your ears will allow. You told me once that you knew that God is taking care of you. Can you hear him now between the angels’ banter and laughing?
I want to hear you. I want to hear the truths that are coming to you now. I know you are tired but this student is eager to hear the wisdom that this journey has taught you.
I’ve been seeing dragonflies everywhere lately: symbols of transformation and life's ever-constant process of change, of leaving the old body to become a new, lighter creature inhabiting a different realm. To some they are fairies. To others, they are the souls of those who have gone before us. Angels!
The lessons you’ve learned, the gifts of yourself you so wanted to share with those you love have come in the form of angelic beings. No gift has ever been lovelier.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
I went to a poetry reading today. Again. You see, I live with a poet who publishes a literary magazine and he goes to readings all the time. This one included him as one of the presenters. So I went.
I admit it. I hate going to these things. I always have. Don’t get me wrong. I love the arts. I love theatre. I love musical performance. I absolutely love the stage. I love being ON the stage. I do not like poetry readings. There. I said it. I like his and I go to the important readings or at least those that he is reading at. And I try to sit in the back because I usually don’t pay much attention. I can’t. There. More honesty.
He will be the first to admit that there are some really lousy poets out there and even more lousy readers of their own poetry. I will get all glassy eyed, kind of trance like and then I don’t hear the poet and forget to clap. So I sit in the back. I will bring along something to read which I know is bad manners. I am told that it’s okay to jot something down on paper if you feel inspired. So I will bring pad and pen and write my own stuff; and pretend to listen. In the back of the room of course.
Today’s reading was put together by a cartoon character. I kid you not. I will say the poetry was very good; by some of the best poets out there. But I couldn’t get past this host. He was a drawing and I had to figure out what cartoon he came from. THAT was my focus this afternoon. I was convinced I was not the only one to think this.
I wracked my brain the entire reading, trying to figure out who he actually was. Vito was his name; perfect for a cartoon, right? He even acted like a cartoon. He read poetry while he spun around. He read poetry off of Styrofoam plates, throwing each into the audience as he read through fifteen or so plates. Who does this if not a Looney Tunes character! His voice sounded like Sylvester’s sufferin’ succotash.
And then it hit me. He was a cross between Uncle Fester and Gru, from Despicable Me. He even had a tuft of hair on the side of his shaved head. Kind of a soul patch but diagonal on the side of the back of his head. Was this missed in shaving this morning? Or is this his signature? Didn’t he have enough signatures to him? Chet Baker tee shirt tucked into black shorts that were hiked high on his beach ball belly; kind of a mom jean look. Uncle Fester in shorts.
I wonder if he would have melted if dunked into a vat of paint thinner. These are the thoughts that went through my head. Okay, okay, this essay came out of the reading. Yes, I do get inspired at times at these events. More truths. Poetry can be very dignified and well done. I do admit that. But please, please, choose your host carefully if you don’t want a review like this one.
And now I must go watch Despicable Me. Have a good evening….