Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dignity


Some things I live are pretty sad. They come in waves that leave irresolution in my soul like soap scum- hard to remove. Today I did several sad things, but found that the line between sad and hysterically funny is rather thin and colorless. Maybe that line is called awkward. Like peeing in a cup twice in one day at TWO different doctor's offices because, "Ma'am your urine just seems off." Well... Thanks. Put it like that and suddenly I feel like I need to apologize. 

So I did. 

One of these times I was told to carry my urine in a plastic bag from the clinic to the public restroom at the other end of the store. The act of carrying my pee in a translucent jar in a public place was so mortifying to me that I contracted a small fever as I half-galloped, half-walked in order to maintain a calm but quick sample. Next thing I knew, my fever and my funny pee had me on the way to urgent care.

Now I know it was urgent, but I visited McDonalds in between doctor's visits so that my stomach didn't make an ugly, hungry, gurgling sound when the doctor pressed on it during examination. Of course I was sure this was going to happen, and though I don't normally like McDonald's I pulled up to the window and ordered the item that was least likely to kill me. When the woman tried to hand it over, I off course was shaking violently from carrying my pee in public and immediately dropped the entire thing on the ground. No exaggeration, it literally exploded on the pavement and I was faced with that awkward moment of trying to shove one leg out of my barely open-able car door as she apologized profusely. "It's me," I finally said, as I was bent over scraping mayonnaise soaked lettuce off the concrete, "I'm sick." After that I just got in, put the car in drive and drove away.

Don't get me wrong, I like doctors, but I'm not crazy about them. Today, after I was questioned by two people about my mysterious illness which included several elderly-like symptoms I won't mention, the doctor moved in. He kept his voice low, as if we were sitting next to each other during communion and I ought to be whispering. Then of all the crazy things to do, he positioned himself six inches from my face and asked me to re-state my symptoms. I'd had it. I'm not 76, there are actually rules about how many times I can talk about pee in one day. And this is not the hallmark channel, I can't do it with a morose face and puppy-dog eyes. Now that we were really getting personal my face was flushing all shades of pink and every single one of my teeth were gleaming in his face, which was by the way, deadpan. Try smiling as big as you can six inches from your computer screen while describing your urine. Yes. It was like that exactly, and just as quiet on the other side. When his long list of possible solutions suddenly included the words "pelvic exam," I got myself right off that crinkle table and put my arms through the sleeves of my coat. "I'll take the pills,"  I told him as I tied the belt around my waste in three tight knots... "I probably just have weird pee."

After that I went to my car and sat there for a long time. My heart was pounding and I felt like I needed to regain some trace of dignity. I tilted the rearview mirror and applied some lipstick. With a red mouth I looked right into my own eyes and said, "You're smart. You have great pee, and you're very, very dignified." That was that. Insta-confidence. Of course as I backed out of the parking lot I saw that the Toyota next to me, packed full of elderly gentleman, had witnessed the entire thing. I should have cried. Instead I turned on rap.

I hope they read my lips.

Breathe


Lord, Thank you for your gifts today. 

Please curb the loneliness in my heart and fill all of the places that ache for no reason at all.

I pray that you bless my uncertainties and insecurities. See into all of the unknown in me and heal. Help me to be awake and alive to all the ways you touch my heart. To patches of light on the hardwood floor, and to the beauty of a spoken word, the ability to touch and comfort and light up a soul. Bring me back to a place of vivid truth. Help me to see You in the paths I take, and fill me with the fire of a mind enlightened and renewed by your love. I need your love to live. I need your love to be awake and alive.

From a darkened mind I have known death. I have been overshadowed by tired motions...Hope rubbed dry by clouded daytime. Until the gift of light returns and I see the shifting sun of day on the worn threads of an over-trodden area rug. Beautiful broken and useless house that is my heart. Someone whispers, "Come alive. Come alive."

Arms outstretched on either side, I brush a wooden fence with my fingertips, or part the mist that settles through the rushes on the lake, held still in the sudden burst of wind throughout the hills. Looking all around, I welcome the lonely sigh of these vacant woods and hope I never see another traveler until breathless, I turn and make my way down the trail. Goodbye wind. Goodbye silence and still waters. Goodbye rushes and mist and goodbye myself, I leave you here to breathe free and open. To be wild as the day you came.

For now, the wind picks up, and in the unexpected thrill of a thousand roaring leaves I lift my hands and know, there's been an invitation to dance.

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