Posts Tagged ‘Dan and Marcia Erdman’

Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. (Richard P. Feynman)

But I do wonder why. A friend is suffering, fighting for her life. The cause of her illness appears to be random. She is young, with two elementary-school-aged girls. Another person I care about is going through chemotherapy for stage-three breast cancer. Beauty, ugliness, life, death, intertwine. Colors bleed into one another. They rarely remain sterile. Each horizon appears slightly different even in the same location. One same-tint batch of paint may differ slightly from the next batch.

I know this. Yet, I get caught up in either tragedy or joy as if either one were the whole of life. During a water aerobics class one day another woman and I talk. She asks how my book is doing. I tell her it’s okay as far as I know. Several copies of “The Curse Under the Freckles” are available through the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Eventually, of course, my beautiful grandchildren slip into the conversation. I mention the fun trips I have had with my husband. When I stop long enough to ask about my exercise partner’s life I discover she won’t be having a fun Thanksgiving. She is having surgery, to repair a previously botched surgery. She lives in constant pain.

This time I need to listen. Both ears open, my lips sealed. I remember a phrase used for a children’s class that made me smile at the time: This is my time to talk and your time to listen. Except now the advice is reversed. I stand close, watch every movement she makes.

I place both of my hands on my pool partner’s shoulders and wish her well. For now this is all I can give. She smiles.

The songs presented by Dan Erdman in his most recent Oasis evening come back to me as I leave the water. Dan’s music focuses on the positive, on the real power of love. Sometimes I hum softly as he plays and stifle the desire to belt it out. Occasionally there are moments when all are invited to join in. Then I feel uplifted, engaged. All of it is good.

Dan’s wife, Marcia, is a dear friend. She accepts me at the core of my being, both the places that express savvy and those that need work. She is the most intuitive person I know.

Needs-work seems to be the human condition. And I love people who readily admit they fit into the imperfect category. Together we can explore the world, find the beauty in a decaying leaf, a breaking body, an unpleasant surprise, and pain. We can celebrate with love, even if we don’t recognize the experience as love at the time. Perhaps it is difficult or downright ordinary. I’m not sure that depth can be seen from inside one moment anyway. I think it needs the context of time and distance. And we can’t do that alone. I know I can’t.

Thanks to all my friends along the adventurous path called life.

life challenges PIQ


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