On kindness and coastal healing

So now it’s done. I’ve had the surgeries on both hands, and I’m tired. I go back and forth with the focus and energy it takes to heal. I’ve ranted and raved like Job: “What’s the lesson here? You say there’s a reason for all things. Can I have a clue?”

When I moved back to the East and to the Philadelphia area specifically, I felt I was doing the right thing. After all, New York is the publishing capital of the world, and my mother was ill. In 2001, all the right reasons seemed to be in place. I spent two years in an ashram in upstate New York surrounded by love.  But when I moved to the Philadelphia area in 2003, love was replaced by another four letter word — the worst of all four letter words — hate. I hated it here.

All of the reasons and memories of why I had fled the East Coast and anything remotely connected to it (including the southeast) came flooding back. I only saw the busyness and inflexibility of the culture. I did not feel the warmth in human spirit that seemed to flourish in the rains of the Northwest and the sun of California. Oh. And did I mention the cold and snow? I do not like cold and snow and could not imagine ever finding friends here.

I pegged everyone (especially you former manager from Hades), as a scavenger for money, sex, and devious ways to perpetuate racism, sexism, class prejudice and all the other prejudices one could think of.  I called a monk (priest) and cried. This place was a new low.

It takes time to heal. The severity of my carpal tunnel and the energy to deal with insurance and other issues threatens to take my full attention.  One of the most frustrating experiences has been the delay in posting to my blog as often as I would like. And I had other expectations: I’d be slicing carrots a couple of days after surgery, driving to Trader Joe’s, boiling pots of water for tea or veggies, and back at rehearsal. (I’m coming guys.) But the body has its own ideas.

It also takes time to heal old wounds, and I have plenty of emotional baggage when it comes to the eastern seaboard. But all these considerations have been offset in recent days by the old four letter word — love.

Love brought me home from surgery and stayed for four days cooking meals, washing dishes and sharing hours of conversation. Love referred me to resources that I need.

Love came by to chop the carrots, make the tea, drive me to appointments, and keep my apartment clean. Love stood next to me as I vomited pain medication and recovered from anesthesia. Love went shopping for me, and called me (with different voices) about 10 times a day. Love pulled me out of the apartment to go watch a school football game and sit in the sun rather than stay inside and feel sorry for myself. Love warmed my heart and healed a place that was becoming as chilly as the Pennsylvania winters.

Love, in the form of so many folks, surprised me and talked me through my fear. I didn’t have to do it alone, and that was one of the biggest fears I had when I moved to this place.

Great souls; great hearts. Grace has a way of reminding me that the kindness of others can melt a frozen heart, even here, where I thought no hearts remained. Perhaps that’s the lesson after all.


4 responses to “On kindness and coastal healing

  1. Oh my gosh, I teared up. I’m so moved. Plus I”ve had hardware, software, stolen wallet and wrist issues. The few I’ve told have also been sweet…

  2. JustOneBoomer (Suzanne)

    Good friends breed good friends—-even in a place with “attytude”, like Philly and environs. Good luck with your recovery. Remember that recovery isn’t linear so that your expectations are in line with reality. Understanding reality can make it less depressing—-or not. 😉

    • Suzanne,

      Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been trying to make things go quicker than what it’s meant to be. I needed to hear your advice. My carpal tunnel has been diagnosed as severe, so slowing down is a bit, shall we say, challenging for me. But I’m learning to do it. Thanks for responding. I’m on my way to Boomeresque now. I love your blog.

  3. Get well soon Sala, love Sarah XOXO

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