Recovery. . .

“I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”

-T.S.Elliot

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

I’m walking a brighter path these days.  In ways both subtle and obvious, this is evinced to me on an almost daily basis.  This morning’s example revealed itself in the passing glance of a stranger.

As I type this, my wife is at the airport waiting for a flight to Ohio.  She’s heading out for a workshop this weekend, and leaving me behind to catsit and putter to my heart’s content.  The workshop is focused on the creation of therapeutic laughter.  It’s the kind of simple and beautiful madness I’ve come to love both in the world and the way my wife dances through it.  There’s a touch of Heyoka in her, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’ll lay low now and wrestle with the head cold and wildly swinging body temperatures keeping me home from work.  It’s blankets, hot tea, and movies for the lion’s share of the day.

When we kissed goodbye at the terminal, I noticed a woman standing by the door, smoking a cigarette in the early morning breeze. A quick smile flashed across her face as she watched us say goodbye.  It struck me a few minutes later, as I crossed the bridge on 95, that the woman’s smile was Spirit’s way of acknowledging the bond between my wife and myself – a little joy and a spark of light in what is often a very cold and lonely world.

And then, I missed her…

And here’s the interesting part.  In the past, whenever I’ve missed someone, it’s been a horrible and jagged-edged experience.  Now, however, it’s a healthy thing; a realization of how much I’ve been blessed.  The more I miss my wife, the more grateful I am for having her in my life…and for finally having come to a place where I can easily recognize and accept this.

The Lazarus comparison, it seems, is apropos.

“First you heal yourself,” the old shamans tell us, “…and then you heal the world.”

I think the first step is finally underway. . .

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2 Responses to “Recovery. . .”

  1. First you heal yourself, and then you heal the world…. got goose bumps reading that. And my first thought after the goose bumps went is – most folk have that the wrong way round- they try and heal everything but themselves, but as they are not well – how can they truly help??

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  2. Thank you, Katie. It’s a very simple thing, really, but our culture often stresses how selfish it is to focus on ourselves. Yet, when we realize how many of us have others that depend upon us, it’s clear that when we heal ourselves, we’re really doing it for the greater good of all.

    When Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” he wasn’t telling us to sacrifice our last ounce of strength and fall dead in a heap at our neighbor’s feet. He was telling us that what we feel about ourselves will manifest in our actions toward others.

    Even if we look to the Medicine Wheel, we find that the journey begins in the East, the place where we pray for ourselves. We’re not being greedy by doing so; we’re simply asking for the strength and wellbeing of our own selves that we may carry the sacred vision with which we have been blessed into the world that All Our Relations might live…

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