In bed…….. surrounded by mounds and tunnels of flannel sheets and down filled pillows.  To the right of the foot of the bed a pale, ghostly white morning peeks through window panes…………… washes gauzy the room…….

Try to sink as far as I can, push myself deep into mountains and hillsides of bed…… My body feels like dust……… like it could blow away…… feels porous and cold…… a ragged breath needs coaxing….. needs pacing from pacer, more confident mind…..

And my mother calls…..

When I was perhaps 23, I entered into a community  called L’Arche founded by a man named Jean Vanier.  I lived there, worked there, upheld traditions there, attended retreats with community members, held prayer, cooked meals, celebrated birthdays…………. It was always encouraged but never forced to read some of Vanier’s writings…… if you wanted the opportunity the books were there on the shelves………..

My friends in the beginning felt this ‘community’ that I lived in and worked in was ‘cultish’ but really it wasn’t…….. it could have been…………. But Vanier’s approach to everything was always so gentle so light….. so affirming.  In his book “Community and Growth” he speaks about all of the many different chances we as humans have to celebrate others…… to affirm them.  How important it is for other’s survival to do so…….

And how essential it is to remind others in small ways that we are happy that they are around……….. In doing so we share a communion with them…. the communion of their own existence…… we keep them out of loneliness….. which we begin to realize is at the root of all things painful………….. and while we all may feel it once and awhile, only a sustained period of loneliness will lead to sustained states of anger, frustration, guilt…………..

So, as I lay hiding in my bed, feeling porous and cold, worn out and ragged from the never ending hour I hear my phone buzzing….. I see opened envelopes addressed to me…….. and hear in my mind pleading voices of people who’ve wished I’d just show up somewhere…… and my pacer brain reminds me that I am wanted around…………………………………………..

And my mother calls………………

“This time 33 years ago…..”

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