Sunday, December 13, 2009

#9 of Fleur's 10 Best

Maybe you, like me, have tried countless different ways of handling the challenges that occur within the ordinary course of life. Maybe you, like me, find a lot of the methods we have -counseling, church, meds, positive thinking, visualization, exercise, vitamins, massage, meditation, etc...-- work for a little while as long as I'm in the mood, but then begin to seem contrived and take too much effort. I think the most healing thing for me --what I really love to do-- is to connect with another person and talk, eat, laugh. That intimate connection may not fix my problems, but it nevertheless heals all. How does it work? I think what happens is that just by sharing time with someone else, my very particular personal perspective grows a little to include the other person. When I truly pay attention to another human being, my pain of the moment softens. And when the other person truly pays attention to me, sometimes my pain is completely forgotten. #9 on Fleur's 10 Best list is about loneliness, one of the most all-pervasive pains, especially around holiday season. If you are lonely, please tell me about it. How do _you_ feel better? And if someone you know is lonely, what do _you_ do?

Question: I hate to admit this -we all know how terrible it is- but once in a great while I like to stand on the balcony in the dark and smoke a lean little cigarette! What to do?!

Fleur says: Who breathes enough these days? It seems what you may be craving is a lungful of privacy. Or just a moment to notice the glint of the moon in your neighbor's kiddy pool. Certainly you don't cling to some outdated motive of glamour, proletariat allegiance, and/or intellectual cliche! Secret cigarette aside, I too adore lounging on the balcony on late summer nights, watching the goings on at the highrise retirement home next door. Some of those elders smoke a lot, by the way- with wild abandon, and in the broad light of day! They smoke as if absolutely nothing's stopping them and, as if in memory, with packs of cigarettes lying naked on the patio benches next to their polyester thighs. A few of them sit up late in the flourescence of the courtyard night lights, murmuring to themselves over long drags, thoughtfully tapping ashes into a silky pile, while above them the televisions flutter in the windows of the residents. Up on my balcony, I wonder what they are thinking. I hope they've had lives plump with love! I hope their worries have done someone some good! Across the courtyard around the skirts of the tall trees, their feathery, blue-handed smoke touches mine.

No comments: