In my fantasy house I have a room all to myself that that has whitewashed walls all around.
Beyond the room intentionally free of color, the rooms will be painted a deep cobalt blue. Mexican tiles will line stairs, counter tops and sinks. The tile will be splashed golden with color, sea blue and dark red and sunflower yellow. Large, open windowsills will invite cats to sleep in the sun. Huge terracotta pots will be alive with green and white calla lilies. A tumbling water feature and a rocky fire place will warm our home on a chilly night, and we will gather, together, to listen and learn and grow, in goodness and in disturbance. Our lab will sleep lovingly by the warmth of the fire.
When I need to, I will enter my whitewashed room alone. Armed with cans of red, gold, purple and black spray paint, I will declare my intention (s) for the day. In no particular order, I shake the cans and write:
Words that welcome, energize, or soothe the mind, body or spirit will be translated on the wall.
I’ll move quickly, dispersing the color from the bottle into the air and across the wall. I will tell my paint-spattered story day by day. Unlike graffiti, my words will not be accessible to the public. My pieces will not be elaborate. I do not pretend to be able to draw anything that is not a stick figured cat.
But I can write words. Lots of them.
Today a young family member is suffering, his body trying to heal. He is surrounded by prayerful, powerful thoughts and energy from hundreds of loved ones around the country, perhaps the world. An older relative, my own 94-year-old grandfather, is also ailing. I miss his eyes, the way they sparkle and know you. I want to see him again.
Once during a visit to my grandparents my sister Liz and I went for an early morning run in the neighborhood. We walked just at the very end, approaching our grandparents’ house. On the patio my grandfather stood watching us. We were in our 20s, I think, and pretty fit.
You call that a run?! he shouted.
We started jogging toward him, laughing and protesting. He shook his head, laughed.
Good girls, he said, smiling.
As always, I talk to the only person I know who has left her physical self behind. What can we do? Why does this kind of thing happen? How can I help? Can you pull some strings to make it better?
A blessing I learned in a meditation course a few years ago came to my mind.
May you be filled with loving kindness.
May you be well.
May you be peaceful and at ease.
May you be happy.
I haven’t practiced loving kindness work (and it is work) in some time. My muscles are weak. I must work harder in this area shared across time, generations and family.
Every night the words on my wall are erased, freshly painted, ready for another day’s intention.
Tomorrow’s intention will be healing.