Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blessed to be a Witness

Last night we had callbacks for Peter Pan, and there were three of us trying out for the roles of Gabby (pirate cook) and Liza (the Darling's maid). The other two women are dear friends of mine who've been in plays with me before, so afterwards the three of us went across the street to San Carlos to share a drink and catch up on what's been going on in our lives.

As we were leaving the bar, the man --whom I did not know -- who sat at the end of the bar greeted each of my friends, but when I passed by he grabbed my wrist and pulled me back to speak with me. I looked at him more closely, to see if I might actually know him, but he still looked unfamiliar to me, so I assumed he was drunk and waited patiently to see what he might have to say.

What he said -- "If you have any more children, bring them in" -- made no sense to me, but I obligingly said, "Sure thing," and he released me and I left. When I got outside I told the other two women what he'd said, and learned that he was the owner of the place (whom I know to be a dear friend of several friends of mine, though obviously I'd never met him). And it was at that point that I realized he was actually complimenting my daughters. San Carlos is a favorite place of ours to eat, so we had taken the girls to dinner while they were both home last weekend. Apparently he had observed -- and obviously approved of -- the girls as they were eating with us. (They have several friends on the wait staff, so there was a lot of camaraderie over dinner).

So it turns out that none of this is quite as creepy-stalky as it seemed initially, and, thinking about it this morning, I felt my heart swell a bit with pride in my girls, who are indeed both growing into lovely gracious souls. But then I pondered what I'd been reading in Eckhart Tolle this morning -- I am still slogging through the stuff on egoic consciousness, Me, and Mine -- and wondered if this was misplaced or inappropriate pride; if this was a purely egoic response.

How, I wondered, did all of that tie in with this image, which I shot on my way home last night as I was pulling into the sandspit? I mean, I was driving, saw this, and literally stopped in my tracks and backed up because it was so gorgeous. And then it hit me, because a Ben Harper song popped into my head:

Some have flown away
And can't be with us here today
Like the hills of my home
Some have crumbled and now are gone
Gather around for today won't come again
Won't come again

I am blessed
I am blessed
I am blessed
I am blessed
I am blessed
I am blessed
I am blessed to be a witness

I felt truly blessed to have seen the sky reflected in the still lagoon, with my neighbor's sailboat in the foreground. And I thought -- probably in self-defense, but whatever -- that's it! The swell of love I felt about my children was, yes, egoic, but also a swell of gratitude: I feel incredibly blessed by their presence in my life, and love watching them grow, even though growing now means growing away. The truth is that, with the girls as with this sunset, I feel blessed to be a witness.

Which seems, somehow, to work with the concluding lines of the song:

So much sorrow and pain
Still I will not live in vain
Like good questions never asked
Is wisdom wasted on the past
Only by the grace of God go I
Go I

I am blessed
I am blessed
I am blessed
I am blessed
I am blessed
I am blessed
I am blessed to be a witness

2 comments:

karengberger said...

Thanking God for eyes to see and ears to hear. Thanking God for your lovely heart.

kimquiltz said...

Very touching and the timing is perfect for me. Reminds me to remember that while I am saying goodbye (for now) that I am very blessed to get to see what I do...