“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
The Coasters Revelation
There they were unpacking remnants of memories; posters, paintings, cd’s, vinyl records, books and more books and loads of glass and cup coasters. There were so many coasters from so many places and so many events and so many remembrances. Some were square, some round, some stone, some wood and even a few leather ones.There were probably as many coasters as there were glasses, mugs and cups to be unpacked!
Another dilemma, ”which coasters to save and which one’s to discard?” There is limited space in the new safe harbor home. ”Too many coasters”, she proclaimed. “ It is time to sort through this abundance of stuff”, she added. Self-righteously he retorted,“ You can’t just get rid of memories. These are treasures. ”
The two concurred to retreat to the beach as a getaway and for some sort of sacred discernment about sorting and unloading . The sand, surf and sun sometimes provide relief if not answers. Usually there is just a lot of sun and sand and nothing more on these retreats. But, at this point in their move to the next chapter they believed, “what have we got to lose?!”
Mysteriously without warning or anticipation a friendly storm worn face appeared near the shores of salvation . It was friend from another lifetime when he and his companion had first set out on their odyssey together. Just seeing this face of a woman and hearing her voice fueled the furious flames of memories . Hugs and kisses were followed by her sober stories woven with tragedy and redemption. That sandy storm of the century had completely demolished everything that this friend and her family possessed on their piece of paradise on their island in the stream. A distant voice confirmed to the pilgrim that if there was to be a survivor it would be this good friend. Her things were washed forever but not her love, her faith or her memories.
This meandering pilgrim was one known for never lacking in words and yet he was speechless. He wanted to say how sorry he was for his old friend’s troubles. He wanted to say something about how if there was anything she needed that he would do what he could for her and her family. But, by her demeanor and soul-filled inner strength he knew that she needed nothing of what he could provide save a silent prayer. He wanted to tell her how grateful he was that she and her family was safe and well and how he was grateful to see her again.
But there was only a sweet simple silence.
A brief exchange of semi-genuine promises to stay connected concluded the encounter and just as mysteriously the old friend was gone from sight. He wondered “Was she real? What just happened?” as he and his companion retired from the sands of time to their new chapter home.
The sun went down and rose again as it does consistently. The new day brought a summoned local plumber to repair this and that at the new place as the two continued their bickering about what needed disposal and what really needed to remain. As the plumber wrenched the problem away he echoed a journey similar to the one the two had heard the day before. It wasn’t déjà vu but it was a close second. The man recalled how his home had been washed away by that great storm that had devastated the home of the couple’s friend. No photo albums, no family heirlooms, no furniture or rooms where his wife, children and even grandchildren had lived and celebrated a multiple of fond occasions had survived the great storm.
“All I had left was my truck and my job” the plumber said with a prideful bitterness “but it didn’t destroy my memories or my hopes and dreams. It will cost everything I have and more to start over again. But it’s only money and it is only things, right? ” He continued and shared how a 1,000 homes on the mystic island had been lost. A 1,000 homes of 1,000 families with a million memories. “I am one of the lucky ones.” With a heartfelt wish to the two for “good luck and good health” this fixer’s spirit disappeared off somewhere into the unknown horizon.
The pilgrim’s contemplation “Was this fixer and old friend angels or coincidences?”
Sitting somberly the eyes welled up as the pilgrim reflected on his concern for things and attachments. The debate about salvaging coasters and memories seemed supercilious as he humbly grabbed for an empty box.
“Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.”
“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
“Don't you know what's wrong with me?
I'm seeing things I don't want to see.
Sniffing things that ain't no good for me.
I'm going down fast, won't you say a prayer for me?”
- E. Clapton
Got to get better – Clapton ( smart phones click on link)
City of Ruins Bruce – (smart phones click on link)