it all snaps into focus
long ago, at the start of this fog-shrouded day, i thought i was going to type a sentence about waiting for the tow truck. then, once the tow truck rolled away, and the flat-tire car rolled with it, i wandered back to my little typing hole. i started looking for a social security card that i could not find, which led me to discover that i couldn’t find a passport.
i was twisted in knots about these silly paper trails when an email came in. an email from a friend i adore. from a friend whom i’ve been accompanying to chemo on mondays. i pick her up, we drive to the big hospital downtown. i watch her IVs get started. we sit and talk about important things. sometimes we look out onto the lake, and the vast stretch of sky that you can see when you are tucked inside a high-rise hospital not far from the lake. we talk about not-so-important things sometimes. it’s what you do when you are living a life suddenly overpopulated with cancer, damn cancer. sometimes the talk is deep and clear and the words are truth-seeking missiles, boring straight into the caverns of the heart where all that matters dwells. sometimes they are everyday words, because you can’t swallow a steady diet of life-and-death.
but today my dear friend got back news that she and i and everyone who loves her had prayed she would not get. i pitted red dints into my knees yesterday, kneeling so long and hard as i unfurled my petitions heavenward, while she marched bravely, warily, into her whole-body scan.
she emailed me to tell me what the doctor said. she said she is numb. and she said she is gathering the tiny circle of ones she loves, so they can all be close today.
it’s what you do when news comes. when news is of the most awful kind.
i am trying to type carefully to keep my friend shrouded in privacy. but i’m typing to say what we all know: the lost passports and social security cards of our life, the flat tires and the tow trucks, the long to-do lists, the groceries not yet in the fridge, none of them matter.
it’s perfectly clear as i sit here this awful morning: in the end, it’s all a gift, the chance to wake up, to face another tumbledown of hours, of hearts entwined, of wings that just might set us soaring for a few short interludes of any given day. it’s all a precious, lung-filling gift. it’s ours to behold.
behold the holy hours of this day. behold the ones you love. forgive the petty tangles of the heart. do something that deeply matters today.
this holy hour is the one into which we can stitch the deepest meaning, the most expansive love. the blessing is in the now. make it matter.
in the whispers of your heart, consider how you might rearrange your day, to embroider the holiest of holies into your otherwise ordinary day.