I had 80 people in a room for 2 hours, learning about the New Day Campaign.
It’s an ambitious thing: 7 different exhibition themes in 12 different spaces is just the beginning: collecting, soliciting, and generating multiple works of art, each with a personal story related to behavioral health behind it; teams putting together not just the shows but also accompanying healing experiences, a film series, podcasts, symposia, community conversations, performances, and goodness knows what else; $150,000 to be raised.
A good meeting.
A friend called today; she’s visiting her brother in jail tomorrow and wanted my opinion on what she planned to say.
She wanted to remind him how strong he is… how he’d managed to get off meth… and, yes, the eruption of a stale charge from a drug-addled shoplifting trip months before felt derailing… but he was strong and could hold on…
I listened. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging words, but I said maybe there was a better way. “Maybe you can ask him questions – help him think about what he really wants for himself… give space for him to find his own motivation, and be mindful of your own fears.” And so on.
She liked what I said. She breathed a sigh of relief. She even texted me hours later, saying, “thanks.”
“I. Adore. You.”
That’s what the email said, after I had expressed a dose of compassion to a friend, mourning the loss of a loved one too soon.
(I know a little something about that.)
When you miss whom you love… when touch, smile, voice, smell is only what you can recall… when the hole is bottomless… adoration makes no difference.
Almost a year since the phone call, I still have to remember to breath. Feelings, granted permission to circulate, they hurt: temporary release with nearly daily tears.
“Fire in my belly.”
I know why I am here, and that’s a gift. I have become wiser… less scared… more loved and loving. So much to be grateful for, so much to marvel at, so many who care, who breath and feel with me.
(But not my Elisif.)
Will I ever find the heart to accept this raw deal?