I woke early this morning, and I woke gently. I felt good, and simply wasn’t going to back to sleep. It was 3:02 am. Too early, even for coffee. Not too early for meditation. Not too early for yoga. Eventually, it was no longer too early for coffee, either. So far a lovely morning in every sense; it contrasts the strangely emotional weekend, full of powerful lessons, opportunities for growth (some of them passed up, frankly, in favor of less worthy actions), and although it began in difficulty and drama, it finished gently and in love. There’s nothing simple about the life of a human primate in the 21st century; I had a rough weekend, emotionally, and woke this morning realizing I made choices that made it much worse. (Good one, Awareness, way to stay on top of things. lol)

Perspective still matters, even when I'm not looking.

Perspective still matters, even when I’m not looking.

A couple of deeply connected moments yesterday really shifted my perspective on the weekend, and in light of my challenges in the moment, on life and love as well.  It’s pretty awesome when life throws me a freebie in the way of a living metaphor, a teachable moment, or a lifeline…this one wasn’t that, but totally worth it, anyway.

One such moment, I admit I was openly weeping at a train station. Between the PTSD and the vagaries of getting through menopause, I’ve learned to find a certain acceptance of tears, even public ones, though I am not truly comfortable with weeping. I stood there in the sunshine, tears slowly making their way down my face one by one largely unnoticed. A small girl watched me intently, and for one moment we made eye contact, I tried to smile or mold my face into something less scary for a small girl than an older woman crying – that can’t present a very desirable outlook on adulthood, and I don’t want to blow the fun of it for some child. She frowned, more puzzled than distressed, and walked away. Moments later, there was a tug on the hem of my shirt, and I heard an adult woman nearby exclaim “Chelsea! Don’t bother that woman!”. I looked down into Chelsea’s face, her wide open unfrightened gaze met mine and she extended her small hand, in which she had a fairly large flower, drooping from a long stem, no doubt snatched eagerly from some nearby border or bit of landscaping. The bright orange of it pulled a smile through the tears and I accepted her gift and returned her smile. She said to me in a fairly grown up practical tone “It won’t live very long; I picked it for you. You should enjoy it right now, before it’s gone.” She was quite serious, and spoke to me with a tone she probably picked up from her mother, or a teacher, firm and no-nonsense, she was earnest with me and determined that I hear her. I looked at the flower as I held it, and courteously thanked her. “I will enjoy this very much right now, thank you, Chelsea. This is very kind; I needed a moment with a flower to brighten my day.” She beamed at me and affirmed confidently “They’re growing right there” she points to the border along the edge of the parking lot, where there were indeed a number of bright flowers swaying and bobbing in the summer breeze. “I won’t be here next time, you’ll have to do it yourself” she said, almost sternly, but with honest affection for another human being. A lovely moment. A lesson. Thank you, Chelsea, I hope you show the world a thing or two along your journey.

Enjoy now; too soon the moment will be gone.

Enjoy now; too soon the moment will be gone.

A contrasting moment, later the same morning, occurred when I chanced to have a conversation in passing with a woman running an adult foster home. She cares mostly for brain injured adults; injuries so severe that a lifetime of full-time care is what remains of an injured human. We chatted briefly, curbside, about her operation, the community, the neighborhood… I asked her what kind of people she provides support to, what sorts of injuries and conditions. She told me she works primarily with folks with severe TBIs who have limited mobility, impaired life skills – in short, people who need full-time care because their TBI was just that devastating, and their prognosis for recovery is that grim. Wow. Then she said something that took my breath away… “…except frontal lobe injuries. I’m just not equipped to deal with that.” She went on a few words more that I half-heard through the sudden ringing in my ears and the pounding of my heart. What I heard in my heart was ‘not your kind’. I found a quick polite end to the conversation and departed. I found a quiet shady parking lot and broke down in heart-felt sobbing; real crying, no bullshit. I wept without reservations. I’m not sure, now, quite why.

It was a turning point on the day. I spent the rest of it trying to ‘get things right in my head’ on a number of things I suddenly felt pretty sure I didn’t actually understand well at all. It was a good afternoon to stare into the face of my fears about my injury and realize how much worse it really could be. Perspective. I contemplated how practical life can force us to be, however kindly and well-intentioned we are when we begin. Perspective. I wondered if the woman running the adult foster care home understood, when I admitted I, myself, have a frontal lobe injury, how incredibly patronizing her forced attempt to make it right actually sounded (“Well, and look at you! How good you are doing!”). I wondered why it really mattered, any of it, in a world where small girls are savvy enough to hand out flowers to people who need them.  Perspective.

I wondered, too, why my day was so…difficult. As I stood again at the train station, preparing to head home, I recalled something said to me quite some time ago about the physical side of emotional wellness. Something about the necessity of addressing physical things with physical remedies. I recalled the morning, the first moment of the day… and realized I’d put myself at a profound disadvantage; I failed to recognize the physical outcome of being startled awake, and had been living all morning with my PTSD just raging in the background, and wandering around loose in the world wondering why I felt so disordered and shitty. lol. No. Way. Seriously? Oh yeah, still human. I went home, took care of calories, connected with a partner, took medication to address symptoms, meditated, enjoyed a long soak in Epsom salts, did some yoga, and spent the afternoon reading. When evening came, my partners and I enjoyed it; it was lovely.

Like a lighthouse on a rocky shore.

Like a lighthouse on a rocky shore.

Perspective matters. There’s no overdoing that one, and no ‘down side’ I’ve yet found. Today is a good day for perspective. Actually…today is generally a good day, so far, with amazing potential. Today is a day someone will change the world.