This morning, I feel inclined to move slowly—to sit, breathe, look, and listen. Watch my notebook rise and fall with each breath. Wonder how it is others can survive without this sitting in silence, without moments of reprieve. Hearing cars pass by and the birds sing as light pours through my bedroom window, blue sky visible through the slits between each step and rail outside.
I do not have time this morning to write about all the moments of mercy that have appeared, unsuspectingly, this week… though I wish I did. I’d like to engrave these moments on the page as witnesses to the beauty that comes without warning, simply because that is what it does. But, what I can do is sit here with my pen and paper, creating space for the astoundingly ordinary moments to be recognizable this day. Eyes, ears, and heart open.
Yesterday, I was witness to the frustration of a patient who could not tolerate the fact that I had another one—or three—patients to attend to simultaneously. Her irritation apparent and viscerally felt through my own anxiety as I foolishly tried to keep everyone happy. I listened to her air her grievances and said, “I understand. I understand–you are doing the best you can; we are doing the best we can.” Then, she left, along with everyone else at seemingly the same time, and I realized I had a few minutes before working with the next patient. So, I went into a room, closed the door, and allowed myself a moment to cry.
I am human, too, I assure myself. My limits perceptible in moments like these. I, too, am doing the best I can to show up, look, listen, and act. But first, first, come the moments of silence, of sitting here or there, wherever I am able to remain still for a moment, in the present, acknowledging that there is nothing I can do to earn love or favor. Simply being here observing my breath reminds me of how simple and beautiful it is to be human… and how easy it is to lose sight of the gift life is, its innumerable vulnerabilities notwithstanding.