Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Tribute to David: Connection with a Stranger

I’ve had a lot going on in my life to deal since about end August when one of my two roommates moved out (as she was getting married.) Needless to say, there have been some miraculous moments and wonderful connections as well.

For instance, there was a native man who introduced himself to me - at the end of our conversation on the skytrain - as my favourite male name, David (which means Beloved).

He spontaneously asked me if I had children. And then proceeded to tell me to never have them be drug addicts. We started conversing and I felt such compassion for this man that my troubles though seemingly daunting, in those few minutes seemed so small.

I didn’t share my problems with him as I normally would have in past. I held my tongue for it didn’t seem the time or the matter. It seemed to be important that he speak and share his pain with me.

I saw it in his face as he tightened his jaw and clenched his teeth. I felt compelled to tell him not to grind his teeth.

It looked like he was close to tears but instead he clenched his jaw. David said, "I put on a happy face but sometimes I break down, usually when I’m alone." I told him that it is okay to be sad and cry, no matter who’s around you, we’re human. And I went on to say that I cry in public. It’s better to express it than hold it in. Then a few small tears came to both my eyes.

He was concerned that he pained me in some way. I reassured him that he didn’t, though may have picked up some of his energy of pain. I think I was so moved by his sharing that I was deeply touched. Perhaps it was because this stranger revealed to me what may be considered a deep, dark, dirty secret, an intimate confidence to some.

It may also be knowing that "we all have problems" as he said, "suffer" as I would say, "we all have our crosses to bear" as my mom would say. And that with support and love and friendship that we can get through.

Though I offered to give him a number that he could call for help, I think I would have liked to have given him a hug. I wish now that perhaps I would have asked him. As I’m typing this, big tears – this time – are rolling down my cheeks. I think I’ll say a prayer instead for him and his child (son, daughter I do not know).

The skytrain stopped, seemed stuck for some time, a few minutes, and I think we both felt something from our brief exchange. It felt like a short cleansing of some sort at least for me and maybe for him, speaking our truth, sharing our pain, showing our true selves.

He departed stating something along the lines of our next potential meeting, that we could greet each other as a friend by name. Indeed, it feels like that. That I have made a new ‘friend’, an acquaintance with someone I can now greet by name in a sea of faces.

I realized again to be grateful for what I already have. There are always people with problems seemingly worse or better than our own. However, I’m sure I wouldn’t want to exchange my problems with someone else’s. I’m grateful for this chance encounter, this meeting with a stranger, now an acquaintance.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Place to Call Home

This was the posting I had originally intended on Thanksgiving Monday as I have posted every other Monday as of late. Since writing this, I have discovered that this place may not be - available - after all. However, I will still share it in the hopes that it might help someone if they find themself in a similar circumstance or help me (perhaps manifest a new or ideal home if this isn’t the one ... something as good or even better, though this was almost perfect!).

Remember in my previous posting (if you read it…go ahead and read it now before this one!), that I spoke about patterns in life?

One of the patterns that my roommate and I experienced while searching for a third where I currently live was attracting people with a mental health disability and/or people who were affiliated, for example working in the field. We were also attracting responses from really young people, from late teens to early 20’s, mostly males. And people from other countries.

Well? “What about it?” you might ask. Well, I think the universe has a sense of humour at times because it seems like this time I attracted a three-in-one package deal! Let me explain.

As my roommate recently gave notice to move as we were having difficulty finding a roommate to share this big bright house, I decided to as well as I had enough of weeds, cold, and ants. I wanted my ideal place to call ‘home.’

I discovered one place that I felt was ideal as it met most of the conditions except for one major one: the area in terms of transportation primarily to and from work, as well as choir rehearsal and community events that I attend (often as a volunteer). Otherwise it was perfect. New, clean, double-paned windows, a woman same age and single as I, and pets (including my favourite cat), near nature (trees and water).

However, I decided to repost my Craigs List ad Friday morning and keep it posted even though I had given a cheque for the damage deposit after work that same day. Was that my intuition at work? I did feel a little off about the decision though not sure 100% why. I think a possible feeling of isolation and safety (in terms of the bus routes) were the concerns I had.

The feelings persisted all during the long weekend and particularly when two people made a comment that raised a red flag for me in my mind as if in warning. One was that I didn’t seem happy about my potential move. The other was the word ‘safety’ and I’m generally a courageous person walking in the dark and through woods (well, when I was in my mid-teens anyway). However, there are no lights in these woods so it is potentially very dark at night. At a brisk pace, it is a good five-minute walk out of the woods in broad daylight.

On Thanksgiving Day, I received a call from a woman late afternoon whom I had originally met at a workshop and/or networking group a number of years ago. She happens to live in the same neighbourhood (about 10 blocks south of where I currently live) and is originally from another country. She also happens to have a child with an intellectual health disability who is male and young (early 20’s). Sound familiar? This is the pattern I was referring to earlier.

A friend who joined me to see the home said the word 'cozy' when we first saw the house from the street. I loved the look of the house from the outside immediately including the colour (blue, my favourite), and the garden and porch at front even before I walked in.

She very recently moved into this lovely home on a curve of a road slightly tucked away with a front yard with trees and bushes seemingly protective of her dwelling. Her home is beautiful, bright, cheery, ‘natural’ (lots of wood including attractive hardwood floors and wooden beams downstairs), with an oasis of a garden both at the front and the back. It has the look and feel of a sanctuary and I fell in love with it instantly.

I love everything about the home that I saw except for the single-paned windows. However, that can be remedied by plastic and/or other means to deal with it, like socks and slippers, sweaters, and blankets.

I was given a choice of a potential bedroom which I thought was pretty neat. My preference was the pretty, light-blue bedroom upstairs with south-facing French doors greeting the porch at back and a window facing west where more natural and bright light can enter. (My soul needs a lot of light.) The main common living space upstairs has windows too including one facing west that has a lovely stained glass window. This house has character and personality from the natural wood and beautiful wooden floors (which I prefer over carpeting) including the wooden beams downstairs, to the stained glass windows and built-in bookshelf, to the gas fireplace to the chalkboard wall. Now that is a pretty sweet deal!

I can actually write notes to her/her son/myself AND most fun of all poetry and/or songs if there's room while the owner writes stories as she is a storyteller! Then there’s the back garden and patio outdoors (where I can hang laundry as I notice she does too).

The home is bright and cheerful with painted walls of various hues instead of traditional – and boring – sterile (institutionalized), off-white or shell walls. The vivacious colours of the home reminds me that my potential roommate (owner of the home) and I share a desire for beauty and colour as I notice she too has colourful dishes (original mugs/cups made in Italy for example, not manufactured as clones like an assembly line).

That really appeals to my sense of beauty that my soul requires as well. The place including garden at front and back is inspiring and that is what I ideally prefer to have in my new home, a place to create and a feeling of inspiration to do so.

I prefer to create a place called 'home' that is a sanctuary and haven for both her and I that meet and match both our needs. My heart and spirit knows and feels this is an ideal place for me and my soul to be safe and feel nurtured.

I am truly grateful for her timely and synchronistic call. If it wasn’t for my friend visiting, I may not have gone out in the rain and cold down the hill and back by foot (as I misplaced my bus pass and had a bit of a sore throat).

So indeed this is a thanksgiving for me to be giving thanks...for all that I have...abundance, friendships, food, laughter, joy, a light heart, beauty, colour, a potentially bright and homey place to call ‘home.’ Ah (sigh). Relief! And joy and gladness and … GRATITUDE!

Unfortunately, since the writing of this post, this place may not be available if her daugher moves in. Apparently she wants to return to stay with her mom. I just have to trust and have faith that whatever will be, will be (que sera, sera).

There I go again, needing to relearn the lesson(s) so I don’t have to repeat them and learn the hard way.

The lesson in all this for me expressed succinctly is as follows: trust and follow my intuition as it heeds me all along! I need to pay more attention to it instead of coming from a place of fear and lack, rather than trust and abundance which the universe is.

I believe I was trying to force myself into the situation, talking myself into it, justifying and defending what I thought was meant to be. I need to remember that in order to find a place called home, I need to tune in to my ‘home’ (my heart chakra/intuition).

I will probably reconnect with you readers (thank you for being that) sometime after my move next month, not necessarily Mon. Oct. 25th or the week thereof. I shall see how things go. Hopefully I will share a magically magnificent miracle! I’m counting on one...NOW!

Till next time!