Like a NASCAR vehicle having tripped a wheel and now tumbling down the straightaway of the Indy 500, flames leaking out of the body panels, a piece of fender flying away at an odd angle, I feel airborne, torn apart, with impacts pending…
I wonder to myself, as these words slammed on the page, how many ways can I describe some terrible discomfort before I’ve simply had enough of entertaining such imagery?
I didn’t sleep well last night, still. I pushed my alarm to snooze, knowing that I needed to rise to meet the day. Our new friend and care partner was due in minutes for her first day of training, having completed two previous days of just getting me out of bed on the fly.
Sitting up I was greeted by her text message: childcare issues, will be working on those today, hopefully to return soon. Apparently no training this morning. The ambiguity of her message leaves me wondering still when next I will hear from her. I have reached out by text a few times today, no reply yet. If I do not hear from her I may have difficulty getting out of bed on Thursday.
A few minutes more and my regular care friend arrived, at first to lead the training, now simply to get me up and start my day. Her energy was frozen, there was little disposition to engage. Much to do today, tension or no tension in the air, it was clearly not mine to address at this time.
I drank a little water and lie back begin range of motion, loosening the joints and muscles in my legs, building the pneumatic pressure to get the lymph and other fluids flowing in the body. We work in silence. Until finally it breaks. “I was going to wait until you are up to tell you, but I just couldn’t.” She said.
“I haven’t slept well in many nights, I’m stressed out and need to disconnect.” She said, lips and hands visibly trembling. “Tomorrow needs to be my last day working here. I need to take time for myself.” Her body held the tone of trauma and upset.
“It’s okay,” I said “I understand.”
The ice in the air thawed. The atmosphere shifted not to one of levity, but at least to one of love. It had been hard, I could tell, for her to be vulnerable, to make a declaration of need, recognizing the challenge it would present me, but there was no other way. I was grateful that I could have the opportunity to practice compassion and understanding. All souls need love.
We continued rising, making our way through dressing, toothbrush and hair, and out – down the hall – to laundry and to breakfast. Smoothies it would be. Smoothies and morning organization at the desk. It was 9:30 AM, my friend would help for another hour before retiring to vote.
My ballot, already on its way to the polling place is marked with a candidate no longer in the race. Today I don’t have the bandwidth or the resource to make another choice. At least my voice will echo in the local races.
I spent the morning on hold with Social Security, scheduling an appointment to determine benefits eligibility. With luck on Monday, I’ll open up a new channel of resource with them.
Meanwhile, it’s asset liquidation mode, beginning to sell the last of the crypto and research the value and process for selling the car.
My new friend David is introducing me by email (that’s three benefactors named Dave for those of you counting 😉 to a friend of his who will help me assess whether a viable option may be to open a Board & Care here in the house going forward. An idea sparked by Elisa while we were in the hospital, and one that I would return to multiple times throughout the day, with growing affection.
Having completed the first phase of a contract project last night, I spent the evening and the morning also fielding the complexities of working for a client in a consulting capacity – new to me, but rich with opportunities. This client was quite sure that the work I had done was incorrect. It wasn’t, and it opened an interesting opportunity to add more value to the process in the turbulence between the ordinary engagements. Time will tell if I handled it well. I know I am satisfied with my own efforts and felt like I was able to overcome any tension in service of generosity as the favor.
11:30 AM arrived and I had made my way far enough through crisis management and clerical. In the process I had found my concerns for upsetting the financial applecart having been away from business for a week in the hospital, had been averted. I do deeply long to move through this process, however it may unfold, with a sincere and intentional practice of integrity intact.
From that point I would spend the day mostly engaged with completing client assessments using the STAGES metric in service to the previously mentioned client. I do really love this work, the opportunity to engage in an appreciative way with the depth of some person and their view of the world is quite priceless.
The NASCAR imagery had arisen, I’m not sure when or from where, but certainly in reflection of the pending engagement this Thursday where a number of dear friends and new acquaintances, all very high level functioning and skilled practitioners of business, entrepreneurship, health, and creativity were scheduled to come together here at the house to move forward our MettaCare project.
I felt in tatters. I couldn’t imagine that anything good would come of such meeting this week. Rising from bed and contemplating this I remembered the poetry of Leonard Cohen:
“Like a baby, stillborn; like a beast with its horn, I have torn everyone who reached out for me.”
It’s an acute sensation right now. So little holding on in this life of mine, and everyone near, presented with such catastrophe in motion. In contrast, I can’t even fall apart without the assistance of others. While I present such a terrible expression, in the same breath I must ask those I love and care for to come close. It’s an unsettling predicament.
I spoke for a while this afternoon with Elisa, and a little later with Tyler, both to help me assess whether there was value in the meeting on Thursday. Gratefully I think we decided that energy would be best left for other things, and the intention best left for another time.
All of that resolved just-in-time to turn my attention to the front door where our new care friend and her exquisite young daughter were just arriving for an evening training. The daughter just being brought along having had a late afternoon of badminton sports in the schedule. A bright and delightful young woman, treat to have around and offer food for her interest in meditation and the construction of knowledge.
Her mother is no slouch as well, a refugee from Uganda 15 years ago, filled with beautiful life, expression, and devotion to God. We sat at the table as I shared the precarious condition of our young engagement – and that I would have a job for her this month, hopefully longer, but perhaps not. I was so happy as she reminded me with full sincerity and the force of a mother and a teacher to remember to be grateful for all that I have.
“I have the ability to love and to love God.” I reminded myself, smiling.
I thanked them and left them with Cassandra to begin the evening and retired here to write these words.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…