Sometimes you are the catalyst that starts a chain reaction that goes out farther than you ever thought possible. On my blog I wrote about an 85-year old street performer I call Rab that many have written to at my request. His loneliness is his greatest sadness and his sadness moved me. Rab calls me often and many times he has mentioned his “spiritual son” who he misses and loves dearly. He wonders how his son is doing and if he’ll ever hear from him again.
While writing up petitions and posts for change.org a message popped up on my screen from wordpress.com then another direct email from a man who identified himself as Rab’s spiritual son. I gave him Rab’s phone number and encouraged him to please, please call as soon as possible. I called Rab and told him that yet another surprise would be coming to him over the phone. Of course, Rab asked if the person to be calling was someone he had spoken to before, I replied that he knew this person but I was not going to tell him any more than that because it would ruin the surprise.
I asked Rab later about his “surprise” and he couldn’t believe that the story I posted about him got to his spiritual son. Rab had not seen his son for over 7 years nor could he believe that his story was seen by so many. I mentioned to Rab that perhaps it would be a good idea to finally become acquainted with the internet because it is a new way to connect with other people and current events. In return, Rab mentioned to me that he preferred to be called Rabbi. “Ok Rab, from now on its Rabbi”, I replied. I asked him about his surprise phone call and this is what the Rabbi said to me: “Oh, you have no idea! I was so thrilled to hear from him! I have known this boy since he was twelve years old and now he’s in his fifties! I had no idea that it was through you that he got my number. I was so thrilled to hear from him! We exchanged information with each other to keep in touch.” It is my hope that reconnecting with the people he loves the most will help soothe the loneliness the Rabbi lives through every day.
Most of the time I write for myself and if others enjoy reading what I write then I am honored. When I decided to put the Rabbi’s story “out there”, I didn’t know how many pairs of eyes would see it or how far his story would travel but some strange coincidence, his story reached the person it needed to. I have learned that when things seem hopeless or impossible, that’s the time when all things are possible because hope doesn’t mean much if there’s no action behind it. Sometimes little ripples on the surface grow into tidal waves across oceans.
Now if only he would stop asking me to marry him….:)
I look around me and see so many people in pain. Financially we’re all hurting and it’s hard to see brighter days when you don’t know where you’ll end up. Veterans of a hard life have deeper wounds inside them than most people know about or want to know. I often wonder how they got like that and if it’s possible for those wounds to heal. It is heartbreaking to think that such individuals are forever damaged.
How often do we find ourselves driving down the road of self loathing on our way to a personalized hell we carry around inside of us? It is as though we are addicted to telling ourselves that there must be something wrong with us for not being who we think we ought to be and then projecting that thought process out onto other people.
Of course none of us are perfect and that’s the beauty of being human. If we were perfect I’d be bored out of my head! I like real life, the kind that sometimes burps or farts in public because you can’t hold it in any longer. Let me see you when you’re angry, scared, frustrated, uncertain and depressed. It grosses me out to see people with their fingers up their noses digging for gold while sitting in traffic because they think no one can see them but hey, it’s real! Watching old men in parks scratching their rear ends and not caring who sees them do it is beautiful because in their advanced years they learned that if it itches, scratch it!
Life is messy, raw and sometimes unforgiving however….it is also sexy, loving, nurturing, supportive and downright funny. It’s like that time that bird crap fell from heaven and landed on the shoulder of your brand new coat while taking a stroll downtown and in a haste to get it off you bump into that gal you’ve always wanted to talk to but didn’t think you could and now you’re apologizing and by way of apology you’re talking and then…..you’re sitting at a coffee bar having that conversation you’ve always wanted.
Then there’s those of us whose circumstances embarrass us to the point we don’t want anyone to know we exist so we shut folks out who could be the best friends we’ve ever had. Or maybe we’re afraid to let anyone get too close because getting close means dropping our guard and showing ourselves as we really are, demons and all. Fear of letting love in even though we need it the most is emotional suicide. What is the purpose of beating ourselves up?
If you choose my friendship then there are some things you need to know about me. I don’t judge and I expect nothing from you. If I can help you, I will. I accept you for who you are and will meet you “where you’re at”. You are not the person you were yesterday, and you will be different tomorrow, so will I nor will I hide who I am or what I’m about, that’s a waste of time. Ask me and I’ll tell you but be prepared to receive my questions in return. See me as I am and accept what you see or do us both a favor and walk away. It’s as simple as that!
To those of you who chose my friendship I commend you since once upon a time I used to beat myself up to the point I couldn’t recognize my own reflection but somehow, you saw through all that. It is through looking past the obvious and seeing the real me that taught me to do the same. You may be homeless, down and out but you’re not out for the count!
Thank you for the lessons in humility, acceptance and unconditional love.
The war inside wages doubt, fear and shame
Missiles on self-esteem and courage aimed
Darkness is an ally teaching
In the same hand lies declare and truce
Hearts and souls to be gained
Poisoned arrows produce
Conflicts reel imagined pallor
Innocent victim is the transgressor
Infection the belief of
Shattered images self portraits fragile
Wounded climbing trenches bleeding
Self abuse the while
Acceptance’s healing lotions
Covers damages incidental
Medicine non judgmental
Casualties expected veterans few
Finds the reluctant hero you
When I first saw him, I knew he belonged to another woman, my best friend in fact. Then it started. Whenever I went to her house to help her with dinner, he quietly watched us in the kitchen. At first he regarded me with his typical nonchalant flair but as he got to know me, his demeanor changed. I know it’s wrong but I couldn’t resist his soulful green eyes. I pretended I didn’t like his displays of affection even though I knew all the while I was falling in love with him.
With my fingertips I softly traced the features of his regal face nestled in my lap. How can something so wrong feel so good? How could I betray my best friend like this? Am I not guilty of stealing his affections from her? What kind of friend am I? When I spent nights at Caly’s house, silently he came to me when she was fast asleep. No…..no this is wrong, I would say. What if she catches us? He respected my wishes but gave a mournful look back at me as he left.
For weeks and weeks this had been going on and all the while I thought she didn’t know. Then one evening while paying her a visit, I realized she knew and surprisingly she wasn’t all that upset. “I know he’s in love with you, I have eyes you know.” Oh god, this is it, this is the moment I have dreaded for days on end! “You’re not upset?” I asked feeling a little taken aback by the fact that she wasn’t fuming. “No. See things between us haven’t really been the same. Hell, it wouldn’t matter to me if you let him live with you. I think you two really have chemistry together, more than we ever did.” I felt like crying because I should’ve come clean from the start. “I didn’t mean for this to happen!” I cried. Caly smiled at me, blue eyes twinkling over the rim of her glasses. “No, you didn’t, but it did and that’s that. Jasper has made his choice and there’s nothing I can do about that. Best thing to do is just move on from here.”
I know that I will never find such a forgiving friend such as Caly, not in a million years. And Jasper, well, he’s just Jasper.