Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Day Maya Angelou Died

It’s a day that has a headache and two ibuprofen, a day with a face aflame with allergies. And a day of silence because all the children have gone off to school/Grandpa’s house and the husband is at work and I’ve been waiting for this, this silence. And I’m waiting for a text message from a friend who’s at the hospital. She’s waiting, too, to begin labor.  And when she sends me that text, I’ll jump in the car with my cell phone and charger and wallet and spend a few hours in her hospital room, “advocating” for her and her baby and making sure her husband doesn’t hit the floor when he gets light-headed.

The neighbors behind us have been working madly—three trees, two garden boxes planted. And now they’ve dug holes for a climbing structure. The yard sits in disarray, a stray lawn chair here, a rototiller there. The sunlight cascades through our sunroom windows. I’m waiting, wondering if I should do a load of laundry or if it will sour if I’m called out of the house in the next few minutes. I answer church emails. I answer church phone calls. I plan for a meeting. I read an article, am told that we can’t give away love if we don’t have it.

I sit to pray and my heart is cold/busy/bothered/stiff, like my neck and shoulders. Sometimes it just takes noticing the silence for a while before your heart begins to soften. I stretch. I listen to music from my phone. I sit in the sun with a book. I read three lines. I read the book of Jude. I read Philemon. I think it’s Paul’s greatest advocacy against slavery but why did so many people not pay attention for so long? The music plays. Tears that mean nothing or everything or things I don’t have words for. All of this charged life around me. All of this history behind me. New life ahead. 

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