Hello everyone! First, I would like to apologize for how long it has taken me to share this blog post with you. I wrote it out long hand in my journal while sitting in The Corner Beet enjoying some tea. That was over a week ago. I have been meaning to type this out and get it published for days now. It seems today was the first time I could actually sit and accomplish this task. Thank you all for your patience and also for your understanding. Though the material is a bit dated, in a way I am glad it is being published now as opposed to closer to the holidays. Too often the goodwill we have within us during the holiday season diminishes as the new year progresses. It is so important we attempt to maintain those feelings all year. The need is always there, every day of the year.
As always, I want to thank everyone for being here and offer a tremendous welcome to my new subscribers. To each and every soul taking the time to read my words, I humbly thank you!
Holiday Ceremonies Have Ended
The mystery has ended. What you got for Christmas has been revealed. For me, the ceremony commenced with usual fare. A rush to the tree, a sorting of sorts and then carnage. The beautiful wrappings were torn from their hosts and tossed aside without any further regard. (Well, that’s not entirely true, I ensured all paper was put into a box destined for recycling). “What did you get?” “Do you like it?” Sometimes the mouth would say yes but the rest of the face would say no.
All these weeks of planning, shopping and wrapping culminated into that moment. As in all other years, after the last gift was relieved of its skin, I sat, surveyed and assessed. For all intents and purposes Christmas was over.
This season was difficult for me and there is no particular reason why. Perhaps the best way for me to explain how I felt is to take you back to where I left off in my last post. As I mentioned, I made my way to the Tattered Cover but before I talk about that, I would like to share something with you.
As I had mentioned in my previous post, I happily and blissfully walked to the Tattered Cover. Along the way, there was a woman typing poems. I stopped and presented my topic – Kindness. Here is that poem (typed exactly the way she typed it):
Just a quick note, please take the time to check out Abigail’s website. She has such tremendous talent. Take a moment to read her words and if so inclined, order a poem. 🙂
by Abigail Mott
Come thru my chest
that is not much different
from yours ~~
but it takes
more to care ~~
without words ~~
Give a man a coat, but
then an ear.
How was I to know I would be met with a blessed opportunity that day to give an ear.
This was his name. I wasn’t going to use the restroom while in the Tattered Cover because it is always cramped but I fancied a relatively comfortable train ride home so thought it best on this occasion. Upon entering, a man greeted me and then carried on cleaning himself in the sink attempting to wash as much of himself as he possibly could.
I finished relieving myself and slid in to the sink next to him. He apologized to me because he thought he was in my way. Emphasizing he was fine he quietly said thank you and we both proceeded with our respective sanitation rituals.
He was trying to wash with the flimsy, brown paper towels but they quickly shred in protest of the effort. I always carry a clean wash cloth in my tote bag in case I ever spill something on me. I offered it to the man.
To Lend an Ear
Q quietly thanked me, and we began a conversation. Despite the confined space of the rest room, we talked for at least twenty minutes.
I learned how he fell on challenging times but was determined to turn things around. He repeated over and over that he just needed even the smallest break.
His voice was soft, his eyes so sincere and his entire being emanated kindness – a very peaceful, genuine kindness that penetrated the very core of my being.
We didn’t talk about specifics of his own situation, but he vividly described moments that affected him personally while living on the streets. I learned how difficult it was just to find a place to sleep. The police are more vigilant during the holidays when it comes to moving the homeless out of popular tourist and shopping areas. Finding a decent doorway is a very daunting task as a result.
With no change in facial expression or tone, he shared that people he knew would die from exposure. Drunk, they would urinate themselves and the urine would freeze. Couple that with not being able to cover up properly – well, their suffering came to an end. A degrading, insufferable end.
Our conversation concluded. I hugged Q and wished for him the new life he so desperately needed. Head hung low, I left the store and was on my way – home. The very idea of even having a home resonated within me.
Scenes from a Shopping Mall
During my entire train ride, I thought of Q. We spoke about my photography and he noted the name of my photo web site on his phone. He had a phone! Why didn’t I give him my number?! If I had, we could keep in touch and I could help him in any way I could when I was in Denver.
Before my life changing moment with Q, I already had it in my head that I would go to the mall and pick up a few Christmas related items. I was not in the mood at all but I still went.
The atypical “hustle and bustle” of the season greeted me. I quickly navigated the crowds and procured what I went in for. Before leaving, I had to stop and take a moment.
Christmas brought the majority of these people here. They meandered along seemingly without any real cares apart from what gift they were going to get for whomever. I almost started crying as I looked at my bags of stuff – luxuries. I then looked at all the bags dangling from the hands of those walking by.
It was so difficult to reconcile. Here I was basking in luxury with the means to go shopping. It was dark now. Where was Q?