Thursday, February 19, 2009

Which of these is diminished?

I am never upset for the reason I think. Lesson 5, A Course In Miracles
Yesterday, I gave a talk at a conference on homelessness. My talk was about the art program I started and how it has become a place of beauty and possibility.

As part of the conference, the artists have been invited to display their works. Yesterday morning I drove one of the artists up to the University where the conference is being held. He is also involved in a play that is being performed this evening and was anxious about an incident that happened with the director.

"I don't know if I want to read my reflections on my role in the play. We're supposed to do it at the end of our piece but I'm so upset," he told me.

"What was your purpose in writing your reflections?" I asked him.

"I wanted to reach people's hearts with what is true for me in homelessness," he replied.

"And has that changed?"

"No. But..."

I interrupted him. "What would you do without that thought?" I asked.

"I'd read my piece."

"So, it's not what happened that's keeping you from speaking up. It's your thoughts."

As I dropped him off at the University he said, "Thanks. It helped talking it out."

Later, as I was walking to the room where I was giving my presentation, I stopped to chat with him in the foyer of the room where the art show is being held.

"Do you want to read what I wrote for the play?" he asked me.

"I'd be honoured."

I read his words and felt tears rise. Heart-driven. Heart-felt. Heart-breaking.

"The world would lose an opportunity to awaken if you choose not to read these words," I told him as I handed him back his journal.

And for one moment, I felt like the world stopped spinning. The sun fell down and a hero rose up.

Tears formed in his eyes.

Quickly, he stuffed the journal back into his bag. Pushed his emotions down, choked back his tears. He shrugged his shoulders. Straightened his spine. "I'm okay," he quickly responded when I touched his shoulder.

I am never upset for the reason I think.

"Can I read what you wrote at the end as part of my presentation?" I asked him.

"Of course," he replied, without hesitation. And in that moment I saw a vulnerable spirit spreading his wings. He was not upset because of what happened, he was upset because he was afraid of sharing his vulnerable soul with those who might see him as he fears they see him, as he feared the director saw him in the moment of their upset, as he fears he is.

I share his words with you.

"I am a father, a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend. I am an artist, a musician, a wood worker.

I laugh. I cry. I hurt.

Which of these is diminished because I am homeless?

I don't know if he'll read his reflections this evening. I do know that in embracing his words, I am richer. I am wiser.

The question is: Ask yourself, who am I? -- I am a mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend. A writer. An artist. A human being. I laugh. I cry. I hurt. -- Which of these is diminished because I am not homeless?

1 comment:

i am storm. said...

thank you for sharing his words.

they are thought provoking.

i am woman, an aunt, a daughter, a sister, a friend. i am a landlord. i am independent. i am mother to a furkid. i am a human being. i am a unique person.

which of these is diminished because i am not homeless?