Dangerous Compassions


My favorite transition I ever made was at the mess hall (for lack of a better term) of the Mission our friend lives at.  A month ago, that rainy December night.  We were visiting our friend who’s a friar.

We walked in, and all the friars were there for the Sunday dinner.  Our friend introduced us, and everyone clapped–it had to do with NDE.  We’re trying to keep the world safe from nuclear war.  I was embarrassed and happy.

Then they prayed, including a prayer for us.  Then we sat at this table and talked a while, the four of us, as Ming drank coffee and we ate this sweet made by some cloistered nuns up the street.

My good friend said, “Apparently, such and such…” which was the last sentence of their thing to say.

So then I said, “Speaking of parents…” and then I laughed, since no one had spoken of parents.  See, that’s my idea of funny.  I was the only one laughing, which is fine.

Oh, Laura-Marie.  Also, still waiting for the car to get its tire under warranty, Ming keeps calling the tire shop to see if the need is authorized.  They had the wrong VIN, so now they have the right VIN, and it’s taking forever.

“Maybe they’re getting tired of you calling them,” I said.

“Maybe they’ll get tires for me calling them,” Ming suggested.

“Oh, it’s a prepositional problem,” I said.

We bought these weird little veggie cakes, and Ming heated too many, so I said I wanted some on my lettuce for salad, and he found some shitake ginger dressing in the fridge.  Wow, what a perfect dinner.

Ming lifted the leaf out of the table we’re getting rid of.  It was an intense important moment.  Progress. It was heavy, and there was dust.

I learned how to scroll facebook sort of anesthetizingly.  But I’m so fed up with hearing about people who just died.  My “friends” seem obsessed with saying what celebrity died.  Or what friend died, or relative.

Sometimes I really care, when it’s a spouse or parent of someone I love.  But mostly, I think that people are so feeling-starved, anything that makes them feel something is strangely honored, but just for a moment.  The feeling is brief, so the honoring is brief.

I have the opposite problem–I get exhausted from over-feeling.

I’m really proud of Ming for working on the clutter and moving things thru.  “Is it ok if I’m proud of you?” I asked.  He said yes.

I was going to load laundry in the dark again.  I asked Ming if it was ok because he’s the laundrymaster around here.  When he hesitated, I asked if he was afraid cucuy would pick up the dropped laundry and run away with it.

“On his head,” Ming said.

“Yeah, on his head,” I said.  “Dirty underwear on his head.  Yuck.”

“Yuck,” Ming said.

“But he would probably like that, because he’s cucuy.  That’s probably his joy.”

When I loaded the laundry, there wasn’t wind, and I didn’t feel afraid, but there’s a new washer in there, and R installed it on the left, so what little light there is hits it differently.  I had to use my intuition about whether I’d turned the dial the right amount before pulling on it to start the washer.

We’ve gone through so many washers lately, it’s kind of ridiculous.  Like we’re going for the world record of used washers, or doing Las Vegas a favor by going through all the bad used washers so they can be eliminated from the appliance pool.

Ming’s unloading the dishwasher now.  Thanks, Ming.  Thanks, technology.  Thanks, time and God for another day. 

My pain is minimal.  I wrote my friend an email this morning and cried at the sad part and at the end when I was telling her how I love her. 

Ming came over to comfort me, and he started crying too.  I guess it’s that kind of morning.  Thank you to feelings.  Thank you to water.  Thank you to the mystery of love.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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