Face to face I find, I contemplate
Even though a man is made of clay
Everything can change that one fine
One fine day
Sometimes I have to pause to really acknowledge and understand how completely awe-inspiring my friends are. I have been surrounded by so many amazing people in my life… I have heard that the measure of a person can be taken from her friends. I can only hope so.
I listened to a friend tell me about something so incredibly brave today I was awestruck. The details of the act she described are not the point. I watched her tell me the story and saw the energy play across her face. I wish I would have tried to photograph it. It was a palpable and real energy which I have never seen before. This was not the sparkly silliness of Edward Cullen, and not some aural psychic reading. This was simply the manifestation of something so powerful that I could see it on my friend’s face. I am proud to know people who are willing to be so brave in the face of an often unwilling world.
As I watched her tell me more of her story, I realized that I was being distracted by something else. There were some other people sitting in our proximity that were drawing my attention as well. As a career eavesdropper I am used to this, but in general I can tune this sort of thing out when I want to. It was getting so on my nerves today that I finally said out loud, “Who are those people?” It was rhetorical and mildly inappropriate, but it was like a momentary lapse of reason and I couldn’t stop myself from saying it. Then they left.
Our conversation continued.
And then the primary focal point of my earlier comment returned and came over to us. He said he had to ask who we were. He was sure he knew us. It was strange for reasons far beyond the mundane, “Come here often?” kind of thing. I couldn’t place this person. But I could. No I couldn’t. Could. Couldn’t. The name game ensued. He was so sure. And then the connection was made.
Yes, we had all met. In fact, this person has been in my home. I cannot now determine if I realized this as we were speaking just then or not. Or if he even remembers that detail.
Then he left.
As we did eventually.
Then he was there again. I considered asking him if he remembered being at my house. But I did not. I am not that brave yet. After I said goodbye to my breakfast companions I considered going back… But in spite of it all, I did not. I wanted to say, “Hi.”
I understand that in many ways the elements that we see in others are often reflecting something in us. Maybe. I also am truly beginning to believe that the purpose that others serve in our lives is not random and the sequence and intensity with which people enter and leave us are supremely relevant. This is not to say that I have any real ability to articulate or even identify what these purposes may be… but I now think that it may be possible to work towards a more precise answer, something I did not used to believe, preferring to subscribe to the paradoxically existential deterministic view that it was not really up to me nor was it my responsibility to comprehend. Lately events – big and small – and observations have shown me something different. Things are what they are. But it is more than that whether we understand it or not. Sometimes you see something that is so amazing it makes you stop everything you are doing. No moving. No talking. No thinking. You just, Stop. It runs deep, as well as far and wide. Right now I am revisiting my recent trip to Bali and it is replete with beauty of many kinds. But today I saw something else.
- A sunny day in the winter.
- A friend who has found the place in her life where duality is recognized, revered and reunited.
- A little boy with new binoculars who was late for breakfast because he kept stopping to look into his future.
- A stranger brave enough to ask a simple question.
- A greeting on a path.