unabridged

August 13, 2004

hear it in the stairwell: Andy Davis

If wisdom can be obtained beyond one’s years, I have enlisted as a diligent disciple. Because with each appointment I am graced with the nostalgia-tainted rememberings of minds decades surpassing my dotage. Yesterday when I walked her out of my office after an hour of massage and lang syne memories that belong in books, her dainty hand found its way around my waist and with an ardent embrace she whispered “love you” in the voice that only 86 years of life can claim. In a simple, transient flash of life the two of us bid a silent adieu to a cycle of puerile oblivion. Because I am professionally paid to moisturize their skin and uncover the formula for a unabridged life. But I watch my hands and wonder if it’s even me. Is it even possible for hands so sophomoric and common to soothe a body and soul so savvy in the art called life? … If it is possible and if I am endowing some inadequately offered but gracefully accepted gift… then I am truly living. She says that life is the opportunities that God gives us but she pauses long enough for me to internalize that life isn’t just what God offers but what we do with it. Life isn’t about SAT scores in the 1200’s, or a diploma and solid health insurance. It’s not even about a ring on my finger. The moments where you present yourself as a candid photograph, knowing that you don’t have a thing to your name but you are willing to honestly offer even that–this is where living is. Life is my alarm clock blaring “Hungry like the wolf” and smiling before my eyes even open. It’s slipping on the bathroom floor and baring a purple and blue knee as a token. Life is when my dog adds muddy paw prints to my white linen dress as I am running late. And it is most definitely knowing that heartache is a feeling only matched by a deep cut to the body. Yesterday I grasped that I am stillborn if I don’t continually recognize that life is vivid in the subtle, simple moments when two lives intermingle in the per diem.

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