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Alone I Sit

Alone I Sit

Alone I sit…

      amidst the twittering chatter,

                   wondering where you are

  or how you fair,

            as you make your way across the pond.

Alone I sit…

            and miss you

                  with a singular pain,

  the moaning ache

          of a mature love still enflamed.

Alone I sit…

          but not for long,

                 the day will wane

   your business done,

          and across the pond you will come again.

And I will wait as… alone I sit.

          

Victrinia

There is something so beautiful to be found in language, it is the means by which we convey our thoughts, and our feelings, to others. Especially in this place… the internet. What we write, and how it is written is all someone will have to gain a glimpse of who we really are. We define ourselves by the expression of the language we use. How you craft a phrase, and the thought you put into it, is that action which speaks louder than the words themselves in this medium.

I have always enjoyed using language like an artist uses a paint brush. I paint with words the intentions of my heart. I was once told that my “use of five dollar words” made others feel inferior. This idea actually distressed me, because in fact the words I use, and the manner in which they are organized, are always intended to honor the hearer/reader. I was told, for all intrinsic purposes, to dumb down my verbiage. I never managed it… it would have been tantamount to taking away from me my ability to speak.

But it showed me how deeply the use of elegant language has fallen from wide acceptance. It is seen as an attempt to “show off” to put it simply, or “self aggrandize” to put it not so simply. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least for my self. There are those who would abuse language. Because the pen is mightier than the sword, and with such power the hearts of men can be swayed, even held captive. A sword can always take a life, but it never changes convictions.

Elocution is the art of expression. It is something to be enjoyed, even explored. It is not accomplished without effort. I would challenge you… the next time you are writing/speaking about something that is significant to you… think it though… let the words you use, be the indicator of your passion… even if it means grabbing a thesaurus. Honor the person whom you are communicating with, by making your expression a feast for the mind. You will be amazed at how deeply you can touch another’s life by the way you take an ordinary thought, and make it beautiful by the use of words that convey complex and subtle meanings.

Many people spend hours grooming their person… building or decorating beautiful homes… fixing up their cars… choosing the exact outfit to wear. All of these things, and many others, are done in an effort to show who they perceive themselves to be… how they want to be seen… what circles they want to be accepted into. The total absence of all effort to these or other areas, still establishes the same exact parameters. But once you have established your self image, and been accepted into the circles you wish, how you will be placed within that group will be determined not only by what you do, but what you say… and how you say it.

Because in the end…. “Out of the abundance of the heart… the mouth speaks.”

 

The Heart of Stone

The Heart of Stone

 

 

In my days as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT, I confess I have seen a wealth of human compassion and greatness. But also, I have seen humanities dark and cruel side, those things that are left to shadows and secrets. Whatever we are confronted with as emergency responders, we meet those challenges, and do what we can to alleviate suffering. Some are harder than others. Some tear our hearts out, and leave us different than before the call came.

 

I’ll tell you in the beginning… this isn’t a sad story. And maybe the only point it will have, is to give you the courage to love beyond yourself, even when it makes no sense at the time.

 

——————————————————————————-

 

Many times in EMS you get repeat calls to different places, you have the lonely old widow who hits her call button, because she loves having a room full of people come fuss over her. You have the little child whose life hangs with every breath, and who needs often to be rushed to the hospital. And then you have the domestics… this is one of those stories.

 

I can’t tell you her name. I wouldn’t even if I could remember it. But a woman lived in my district seemingly trapped in an abusive relationship. Inevitably he would beat her, and inevitably she would stay. The cycle of abuse was something a lot of the guys had watched her go through several different times. They all knew who she was, and in truth there was a certain jaded regard for what she was allowing herself to stay in. But I had not met her yet.

 

And then one day… he beat her badly…. very badly.  And this is the day I met her for the first time.

 

I can’t tell you if I could have figured out her natural appearance, had I seen her on another day. But what I was faced with now, was a terrified and broken woman. Bloodied and swollen, my heart broke to see what had been done to her. She was put on a back board, and secured for transport. She had taken enough hits to the head for there to be a need to keep her head and neck still, as a precaution.

 

Beyond distressed, she couldn’t tolerate the thought of a man riding in the back with her to the hospital. As I was the only woman to respond to the call, that made the job of attending her mine. She cried, and spoke about her life, the abuse she had suffered. I let her talk. I murmured encouragements to let her speak her feelings. I didn’t direct the conversation, and I didn’t advise her. I just let her pour it out. But what happened in hearing about her sad life, was that my own heart was pricked with a love for this woman who was so helpless. She felt unloved. She felt worthless. I was deeply moved.

 

I listened to her declare that she was never going back to the man that beat her again.

 

We arrived at the ER, unloaded her from the rig, and handed her over to the care of nursing staff. But I kept thinking about her, as I was cleaning the rig. I kept thinking how much in that moment, because of her need, that there was no one in the world I cared about more. I wanted to be able to tell her that someone cared, that she was cherished. But I didn’t know how. How do you express something unexpected that like? Pure compassion born of sorrow?  In this world we live it, it’s often thought of as strange, or bizarre to express an altruistic feeling.

 

As I was putting away the gurney, I looked down and saw on the pavement a little stone shaped like a heart. I picked it up, and suddenly wanted very much for her to have it. As a sign, and a token, that someone cared. I wrote a note on a piece of paper to her. I wish I could tell you what thing I said. I do not know. Maybe it’s better that way. But I know it told her that she was loved.  I wrapped the stone with the note, and went inside. I found myself thinking that I was about to look like an idiot. I couldn’t understand what possessed me to do this. I understood why, but it seemed so strange even to me, that I should feel the drive to do this. I am sure my face was red, and I can remember the nervous pounding in my heart when I walked back into the ER. I milled around the nurse’s desk, watching my Assistant Chief speak with the ER staff. I kept vacillating about what to do. Obey the urge, and risk being taken a fool? Or walk out, and be safe? The Assistant Chief indicated it was time to go, and headed out the door. I followed. I almost got to the ambulance when I told him I would be right back. I could not bare the weight of deciding to be a coward. Even if no one else knew, if she never knew, I would know.

 

I couldn’t see the patient since they were busy working with her at the moment. So I gave the note to a nurse at the desk. I asked her to give it to the patient when they had a chance, and I left.

 

 

 

A long distance of time would pass. I can’t even tell you how long. But there came a day, when at a community event, that I heard an ecstatic voice call my name. I turned to see a beautiful woman pushing through the crowd to where I was at. She was radiantly beautiful, with a smile to light a room. When she reached me, she kept smiling and talking, and nothing was making sense. This woman was telling me about her life. And I did not know who she was.

 

The woman stopped talking, and started to laugh. She smiled and said, “You don’t remember me do you???”

 

I apologized, and told her no, I did not.

 

She opened her purse in that moment, and took out the heart of stone…. and the note.

 

I was speechless.

 

She started to tell me the story of what happened to her after I left. That she was given the note with the stone inside. How it made her cry when she received it, and how it gave her the courage to change her life. She also told me that there was never a moment, since she received it, that the stone was not with her.

 

Then she started telling me about the life she had now. How full it was. How happy she was. That she had, after a while, found the love of her life. That it would not have happened if I had not done this one small act for her. I had given her hope.

 

We hugged after a time, and then she went her way.

 

I am not sure who was more changed, or who was more blessed in that moment. It is said that the kindness we give, will be revisited upon us. I knew in that moment it was true. I thanked God for the courage I had mustered to give her that token. I know it was Him, not anything in me that brought this all to pass. But I was rewarded for my part. And in a way… given courage also.

 

Love is the simplest gift. It changes everything in its wake. It can be found and shown in so many ways, if only we will dare.

 

Even in a heart of stone.

 

 

 

 

I went on a trip to Tulsa OK. Part of that trip was to see the Price Tower and Art Center. This building holds the unique distinction of being the only skyscraper designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. He never lived to see it completed, and only in small ways did it ever achieve his architectural vision. In that it served not only as a place to house businesses, living quarters, but in general a community of people.

The building is beautiful in its play in perspective. Its patina copper panels and beautiful angles are still as unique in the world of architecture today as they were then.

Here

 are some shots I took of it. I shoot with a Canon S2IS.

 

Price Tower 7Price Tower 6Price Tower 5Price Tower 4Price Tower 1Price Tower 2

Amused…

 

I unpack my bag, after what I can only imagine calling a smooth trip. Nothing was late… lost… or stressed… my bags or myself…

 

However, when I opened my bag, I found it had been rifled through by our friends at the TSA. I thought that was curious… until Eric peered into the bag and noticed all the things which were in it.

 

Clothes

Personal Items

Large matted Photographs

A Meat Cleaver

20 in. Tongs

A Coffee Grinder

Three Large Stainless Steel Bowls (in different sizes)

A Rice Cooker

A Wine Opener

A Meat Thermometer

And God only knows what else….

 

Eric’s bemused remark at my exclamation of… “Honey… they went through my bag!?” was….. “Ummmm baby…. Look what’s in it…. They probably couldn’t tell what the heck it was! I’ve had them search my bag for less.”

 

So maybe I should explain the various oddities in my bag. I was cooking a BBQ at my baby’s work. So I needed some things to accomplish that with ease. The coffee grinder was just so I could have coffee the way I like it… I am an addict.

 

When I told this lil story to my friends at work… they all were completely stumped by the contents of my bag… and all decided to say in chorus “A RICE COOKER!??!?!!?”

 

(huge amused smile)

 

To be continued…

The Journey Home Had a sweet conversation with Dad on the way to the air porter. Talked about Eric’s epilepsy and where he lives. I promised to call when I land in Houston 

Woke Eric up this morning. I missed him and wanted to hear the sound of his voice. His kisses came into my remembrance this morning, and made me miss him more. Thank God I am going home. Told Eric I would call when I get to Houston to get my directions from the airport to Silvertree. 

Funny things I noticed…. 

Sat on the airport drive and had a smoke or six… Had a man come up to me and ask me for a smoke… I gave him two. He was holding on to his hair, which he had gathered into a small ponytail at the top of his head. He asked me if I had any money to spare for him to have food. I told him no. Which was the truth; I brought almost no money with me in cash. But I told him I wished I had a hair pretty for him since he was smoking and still holding onto his topknot. He looked at me with a little bit of interest and said “I have one! Would you help me put it in???” I said sure!” I proceeded to help him fix his hair, my own smoke hanging out my mouth, while he handed me the hair pretty. I thought about what a strange situation it was, to be touching someone else’s hair. How such an intimate thing as fixing someone’s hair could be asked of a stranger. But I try to be a good sport about things, plus I have a terrible time with the word no. I have no doubt that someone else would have told him no. But I think he could tell I was a good sport…. After all… I gave him two smokes. (smile) 

The entrance to the TSA checkpoint… It occurred to me that it looks like a labyrinth. And like the labyrinths I have traveled before with others, there is a quiet passing of each others presence, as we passed back and fourth as we wound our way through the journey. 

In the TSA labyrinth… There is a woman who surveys the travelers in the winding labyrinth. Over and over she journeys the path. In amusement, I remarked to another traveler that if they thought they hated the TSA Labyrinth; imagine being the woman to be stuck in the perpetual loop of walking it day in and day out. 

Babbling water fountains… Honestly, I thought it was broken…. I saw a water fountain. It was unbelievably noisy. Then I realized it was simply a water fountain that made noises like a babbling brook. It made me think of how foreign to the city a sound so natural to my ear must be. How sad it was that in the city an artificial noise was how they met the need for that sound; and how out of harmony it must be to live in a place where such things are canned. 

I am in the air now… There’s a beautiful baby in front of me. And as we were gaining altitude, I saw a gorgeous view of the moon in a bright sunlit sky. 

To be continued…