Friday, August 28, 2009
michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 40)
i sure do need your smile right now...
i read the transcript to one of the speeches i had heard from you so long ago; the one where you spoke at oxford about the need for children to be loved, and for families to become units again. reading it gave me so much joy, because this is the person i love, and learn from... this is the person who has lived through much pain, but is looking for ways to find a place for healing. this is the person who constantly looked to the truth in love.
i love this speech, because i saw you working through so much in your own life. you used your work with children as a vehicle to deal with and make amends with the 'disappointments and confusions' in your life. despite this, there still seemed to be such a fog you could not see through.
and even with all the joy i have gotten from reading the transcript, i still feel this ultimate sadness, not just about you, but for myself... every time i feel like i am getting better emotionally, there is a fog witch returns.
so i need to feel your smile right now, dear teacher.
i have been feeling so overwhelmed working on this radio show for you, i got extremely nervous/anxious about it. i just kept thinking of the worst scenarios to occur, before and during the show... all day i had butterflies. i have not been this nervous about a show since i first started doing the show... i felt a mixture of wanting to throw up, and losing my appetite.
so now, the show is done... it has aired. i have no idea really who listened to it. i suppose i can say that i feel a sense of accomplishment now, after working on it for almost a month, but i don't. i still have anxiety over the show, i still have worry; even though it's already aired. i just need to hear one response, to know if i have done you any justice.
it's like every other week i get responses... and now this time it's not the same.
on my way to the station i stopped for a pedestrian at a crosswalk... for the second time a pedestrian told me to go, instead of having me wait for them. this time was different. this woman (most likely around my age) let me pass, but she walked as i began to ride. she approached me and she exclaimed, 'you are so pretty!!!' then walked off. it sort of threw me off... i mean, people tell me that sort of thing, that i'm pretty. but this time, in the anxious state i was in, it threw me off more than usual (and it usually does throw me off). i just wanted to cry out, 'but you don't even know what i look like, i am wearing sunglasses!' i wanted to say that i don't look as pretty without them.
and i began to think about you, and how all these people thought you were beautiful, but you didn't seem to think that way about yourself (most likely due to being told the opposite growing up). i grew up like that... i know people say that it's easy to just not believe all these things you are told when you were a kid; but when you've had it drilled into you for so long, it's not that easy to unlearn it. i still struggle with people giving me compliments about my looks, because i don't see what they see.
and whenever i see footage of you pinning your eyes to the floor whenever someone gave you a compliment on your looks, i see myself in that.
and after she told me that i was pretty, i rode my bicycle and i cried.
and as i keep saying, for me it doesn't even matter what you look like... i find such beauty within you, that it transfers to the outside. through your sad, beautiful eyes. i'm not too concerned with what you look like. except for the fact that i was really concerned that you were too skinny. you were such a tiny man. i was really worried for you. that smile of yours was so beautiful. the way it radiates a room...
and i am looking for it right now...
and i went home and looked into your eyes and asked you if you heard the show at all. i really need to know if i did a good job; if you were humanized, at least a little bit.
my anxiety has yet to end, as there is still the event on saturday- YOUR day... will your spirit be all over the park, and all over the WORLD, on this day?
maybe i will hear from you then...i will look for the rainbow (without rain) in the sky...
your humble student,