Seriously though, play this song in the background (or back browser window?) while you continue reading if you want the full experience of this moment I'm in. It's beautiful.
I've embedded it twice - shall I do it again? Yes, it's beautiful.
On the whole, this week has had so much good and so much bad that I am feeling very balanced.
The "bad" of the week includes watching loved ones suffer...more than usual. It seems that we learned of multiple friends divorcing, multiple cancer diagnoses, the pain of chemo treatments, child abuse, other abuses, and lots of poverty this week. It has my head spinning.
I tried to make a list of all that I was worried about, but instead I had to draw bubbles and write in them...and then connect the bubbles.
The "good" of the week rejoices in good health, children learning and growing, beautiful art, learning to sing new songs, a successful recipe, clean water and plenty of food, many smiling faces at the table, and good talks with dear friends.
Something so beautiful.
I don't know how to reconcile the good experiences with the bad to fit them all into my one life experience.
And tonight I'm stuck on the poor.
I'm stuck on how to define that word. Here are the three sections I'm worrying over:
In general, the majority of our current society, on a regular day - or even a bad day - can look at the poor and not care about their Story.
The majority don't realize that sometimes the difference between Us and Them is that They have never experienced Recovery. That is to say, when something terrible happens (a tree on your house, cancer, car accident you survive and are injured, car accident you don't survive - I'm referring to CRISIS) to the poor, there is no Recovering (that is, distant family with money and a place to stay, a savings account, a church family, proximity to shelter and compassion and non-judgement, a deep freeze in the basement, having a basement...).
One more thing about the majority, they never love an Addict. By addict I am including addiction to sugar, fast food, money, gambling, sex, drugs, shopping, Facebook, the Internet in general, alcohol, exercising, the illusion of control, etc.
But loving a poor addict? The mere suggestion that someone suffering has had a role in his or her current condition is a sure fire way to begin judgement, and cease compassion.
The poor have a Story. So does everyone.
We are all in some form of Recovery. All of us.
And it's possible, depending on your definition, we may all be Addicts. Of some sort.
Many times this week, the words of Evan Milligan have been ringing in my head, "We need to watch our Us-ing and Them-ing."
Evan used to also say, "Now that's BEAUT-iful" all the time. He would say it about people or the stars or someone's order choice at a restaurant - and he was always right.
While my brain is swimming with all of this, daily chores of the week continued, and Corinne and I went to the grocery store to score some BOGO deals. While there, we ran into some friends who just returned from adopting 2 children from China.
They adopted a girl who is not yet 2 years old, and a boy who is 11. The 11 year old was in 5th grade in China, but here...his English is at about a 2-3 year old's level and his math skills are far above our version of 5th grade math.
I tried to ask sensitive, open-ended questions, but the truth is, I didn't know what to say.
Then she said that the 11 year old got off the plane and asked, "When do I start school?"
The day I saw her was his first day of school so she still hadn't heard anything.
She said, "I sent him to school with the first three phrases he had picked up from my husband and me: Stay close to Mommy, Stay close to Daddy, and Amen."
In so many ways, in so many forms, THAT is something we all need to revisit and it is something so beautiful, beautiful.