sometimes, if you get very lucky, you can point to a specific juncture where you can see quite plainly that someone's life is better because you were there. i wish i could tell you this story, but it verges on being not my story to tell, so instead, i'm going to tell you about an unrelated thing:
on my desk is a jawbone. i don't know what kind of animal it belonged to; a carnivore, by the look of the teeth. there are four teeth still in it; aggressive, pointy-looking teeth. the large canine at the front is loose and comes out if you just tip it upside down. it is oddly satisfying to do so. it has an interesting sound and feel, taking it out and puting it back in. the bone looks rough and pitted but it is smooth and cool to the touch. it is difficult to refrain from comparison with my own jaw, of roughly the same length.
yes, well. anyway.
tonight for the first time in a long time i feel happy. i think it bears repeating. tonight for the first time in a very long time i feel happy. not the lifting of sorrow as when there is something pleasing or comforting in the midst of everything else; happiness. real and unqualified.
it has been so long and it feels so strange that for a while i could not puzzle out what it was. i could not identify it. realistically i can't expect it to last; i can't expect months of illness to evaporate in one afternoon and i don't know that i would wish for such a thing either, it's so unnatural.
but i was looking up into the sky and i noticed five birds flying, chasing and looping and dodging as only happens in the spring. and even though it was raining, a neighbor dog sat placidly motionless. he's a husky or some other such sled dog breed; what does he care for the weather? a little light rain? piffle.
in time i will heal. i know this as certainly as i know anything. yesterday was hard on me. in church there was a baptism and it was Barbara's last sunday and i was so overcome with emotion that as Barbara walked down the aisle after the service i could not hold my balance and fell right over.
of course the well-meaning folks had to call rescue. oy. this, i don't need. there is nothing so unusual about me getting all emotional and falling over. i wish i were tougher, but i'm not. once i passed out cold at the end of the bruckner motet "christus factus est", and that was back in the pre-conversion days.
so instead of going caching with me as planned, rumblestrip came over and made us a little light lunch and read to me and kept me company for a while while i had a nap. sometimes there is no better comfort.
anyway, my brother-in-law (bless his heart) came out to pick me up to bring me to dinner at pauline's. probably a bad idea for me to drive. we have never had a bad meal at pauline's, but we were a little hacked that they gave away our favorite table. i am not in the habit of eating red meat and i am no longer in the habit of drinking coffee. i don't care; i went right ahead and had both.
now it seems like weeks ago.
bob spoke to me this afternoon. i don't imagine it's like being even a minor prophet, but bob left me with a message for other someone else who just hasn't been listening well enough. the trick, apparently, is to be able to recognize that You Are Being Spoken To. bob speaks all the time. you just probably don't notice. do me a favor: don't make me have to take down messages. i have a hard enough time trying to remember my own phone number.
remember this: you are bob's own precious child.
and i'm coming up the stairs and all of a sudden i want to rededicate my life, to offer it up with love and gratitude, and i want to be worthy of it. now if you'll excuse me, i have to go light a candle and i have to wash the green goop out of my hair.