Last week at a conference I was hosting, someone “borrowed” my iPod without permission. It became known to most of the folks at the meeting that it was missing. I had a few folks come to me to express their personal regret. I instantly felt terrible that it would be a burden for anyone else and I felt guilty for my own carelessness.
A couple of people also let me know they were praying about it. I’ve never been comfortable with the things most others do in the name of God and I felt equally guilty that this was seen as prayer worthy.
While I am not a believer in any religion, I do believe in a thread that connects us all…that what one does has a direct impact on others. For that I call myself a spiritual person, a moral individual. Still, sometimes the faith of others overwhelms me…warm and safe when it comes from the place of kindness and generosity and it hurts me when it comes from the place of anger or fear. It also makes me smile when it’s simple. What has always been true for me is that the power of a group of people can be awesome. I just wish it was always for good.
I left the facility thinking it was gone forever. I cused myself for not being more careful of a thing that was valuable to me. But then three days later, I got a call from the facility to tell me that they had found it. It had been left in one of the sleeping rooms and recovered by a staff member there.
Funny thing, even when I thought the iPod was gone, I was embarrassed but also thankful for those people who where concerned. I finally considered the fact that those who thought enough to pray were not really praying for my iPod but that the right thing be done and that the person who “borrowed” it be reminded of what is right. Now, I sit here and think the person who took it must have felt enormous pressure…just from that invisible thread that connected a group of people for those few days. Enough to return it. No matter what anyone believes, no matter what I believe in, what actually happened made a powerful statement.
It’s a lesson in faith that I am listening to…
While it’s fresh in my mind, I had one of my tornado dreams last night. It’s never the same tornado so I guess it qualifies more as a recurring theme than dream.
This time, I am at the largest Walmart ever. It sits in the middle of absolutely nowhere but there are so many people that we have to park in a field outside the already mile size parking lot (with 8ft chainlink fence around it). I mean literally nowhere as there is nothing but gently rolling hills, prairie and farming fields as far as the eye can see.
My friend M. from Austin makes an appearance as well as the new cat, Oliver. There is another person I never see but I know is hayseed. We go in to shop and I am my usual ‘uninterested in shopping’ self. Eventually, I say to M. that I am taking Oliver back to the car. I stop at a metal table and sit with strangers to finish a Dr Pepper. When I decide to get up a man offers to get me another to which I decline. I try to get Oliver back to carry him but he runs off each time in the field which is full of many other dogs and cats. I decide that I am never getting him. I am wonder if a cat has the skill to find his way to the car, then get pissed and decide I am going to have to hunt him down later.
I am heading for the car when I get the feeling the air has changed. I look up and see the makings of a funnel cloud behind me and the clouds above are moving in this pattern that spreads out over my head across the sky so fast that I start to panic. I walk faster. Then I run as fast as I can run. I feel it getting closer and I run faster until I see a large concrete and tin garage in front of me. It’s new but shaped in the old style dome.
Eventually, I feel like I am running in slow motion which gets worse the closer I am to the building. I see the look on a woman’s face as I approach. She is looking behind me and looks terrified. She starts to close the big garage doors and I yell wait but she was waiting already leaving one open just enough for me to scoot through before closing it behind me. I start opening small room doors until I find one with the concrete walls. I slip into it, breathless, but feeling safe.
And, like all the others, I am safe. In all the dreams, I escape harm and watch the funnel pass by and fizzle out later. I have been having these dreams for years. I am deathly afraid of tornados anyway. I wish I knew what they meant.
I’ve stopped being any good at getting by or even barely getting by. It’s just so hard to see where I belong…when I always feel like such a outsider.
But that’s why we learn to swim…so we don’t drown.
It’s a curious world and I am…lost in it’s maze.
there has been much debate in my life lately about the nature of relationships…cause and effect, reality and fantasy; wishful thinking and self-fulfilling prophesy, all have been analyzed, scrutinized and really, beaten within an inch of life.
now I am watching this movie, sarah’s smile, and slipping into a fantasy of my own where I hear those very same words, “i choose you”.
that’s my fantasy, my reality of love and my wishful thinking. if the optimists are right maybe this be my self-fulfilling prophesy, the cause and effect in a relationship of mine that will finally last.