Note: I’ve been taking a class on Thursdays. Every week there is time for group discussion. The contents and details of those discussions are private. I left yesterday’s group wanting to write about the impact the group had on me. I do so in figurative terms. It’s taken me a long time to really appreciate how important it is to really hear and honor the truths of other people’s stories, of other people’s lives. When others’ share honestly about their feelings, their fears, their hopes and dreams and when we allow ourselves to see the great value in such communication, all of those involved may benefit. The world becomes a gentler and kinder place. The world desperately needs our kindness.
Day ends. Atop a high plateau, I look down on the world below, on all that came into this day. I woke up closed, tired. The struggle to wake a sleepy child feels like a great labor. It’s like rolling an angry boulder uphill. Beginnings shouldn’t be this hard. It is the ending that should be or at least that’s what I tell myself.
Then, the day rolls out like a new spring carpet. Remembering the morning, I open my eyes to see what flowers may appear on this new carpet of a day. Looking for them, I discover gardens I had never seen before. Gently, I walk through the day and inhale. With this deep breath, the day cracks me open.
I do not mourn this fracturing of the self. Sadness still remains. It is not replaced with contentment but lives peacefully alongside of it. It seems a natural thing, this coexistence of opposites that are not really opposites at all. I feel tears press against the corners of my eyes while a smile plays across my face.
Before I know it the day is over. I stand atop a high plateau and look down on all that was. I open my hands, palms up, facing toward the moon. Five delicate white doves come to rest on my fingers. Their fragile beauty splits the darkness. I want to keep them with me forever to protect them from the world, from themselves. I can not.
Slowly, each in turn begins a singular song. Notes rise and fall on the arches of the night. No two songs are exactly alike. Each song echos all the others and yet, creates something fresh and new. The songs of the night doves wrap themselves around me like a warm embrace. I close my eyes.
The underside of my eyelids are warm pink chalkboards on which I write questions and equations. If the day has cracked me open, it is the night and the frail songs that help knit the shattered pieces back together. I pick up a flower and write on the chalkboard with the stem. Numbers, the arching loops and curves of fragmented sentences form a pattern that transcends the bits and pieces. The sum is greater than all the parts.
Opening my eyes, I find all five doves looking at me. We see ourselves in each other’s eyes. How can this be? Am I like these doves? Do I have a frail song to sing?
Yes, I do. I give it voice. The notes, loud and clear, float across time. When finished, silence rests on my shoulders. And, then, the five beautiful doves take flight. As suddenly as they came they are gone. I wave goodbye. I miss them and the beauty of their frail songs. I toss prayers and wishes after them. I sleep peacefully and dream of delicate things.