Nice

July 14, 2007 at 8:18 pm Leave a comment

Nice. Everyone is nice to me. Even the mean ones. Even the ones I’m mean to. Even the ones I think will be mean. Everyone is nice to me.

These few lines have been running through my head for days upon days lately, and periodically I try to sort them or extend them into a poem, but that’s as far as I get. Nice. Everyone is nice to me. It’s a simple thought that I keep getting reinforced everywhere I go.

I think it started many months ago one morning when I enthusiastically drove off for my morning coffee and nearly ran over a lady in a wheelchair. At least, that’s what she thought. I thought I was just parking the car, but she let me know otherwise. My initial reaction was to educate her, to let her know that I was in full control, but I don’t know; in that moment, I saw her there, all pissed off, sitting in her wheelchair, dog at her feet, a dirty bag beside her, looking at me, freshly showered with my clean blue car and my focus to indulge in a latte at 6:30 AM…I wouldn’t like it either. So I took time, chatted with her, told her I really didn’t want to drive over her, and I pet her dog, and she told me about the mess she lives in, and then she gave me these wonderful gifts: she told me I was a really nice person (and I laughed…”even though I tried to kill you?”), which set me off with a way warmer feeling than a double latte, or sparring with her in a defensive way. And now, I see her on the bike path occasionally; she’ll catch my eye, we hug, and we both go away with a smile. Nice.

So some people may say, oh how nice of you to take the time for her, but look at how many of you have taken the time for me, to listen to the same sad story over and over, and you have incredible patience for me. You indulge me and I love you.

I think of the lady who rapped on the window of my car at school, and handed me a piece of jade, telling me that it would help me. I had run out there crying; a friend had died just days before, and I, in that moment, was overflowing and needed to let loose. The lady had asked me how I was, and I of course, said, “fine.” As soon as I was in the car, I wailed, and there she was. Nice.

The friend who recently handed me a worn out origami model. He knew how much I like origami, and he carried it with him for months, knowing that eventually we’d see each other. I keep both the origami and the jade in my pack. Reminders of Nice.

My friend who for a solid month could anticipate the 6 AM call from me; that’s when I knew she would wake up and be somewhat ready to listen to my repetitive woes, which fortunately dissipated in time. Did she complain? Never. We have fun laughing about it now.

People come up to me and tell me things; “I like your smile!” “You look so happy!” “Don’t I know you?” They listen to me; they see me when perhaps I forgot to see myself. Those people are so beautifully attentive to spreading their acknowledgement of life around, even to strangers at Costco. What a wonderful thing. Nice.

There has been a man at the coffee shop (yes, that place is an on-going theme) whom I’ve glanced at from time to time, who looks “different.” He wouldn’t be one that someone would say “how beautiful you are,” or “how healthy you look,” because his face is scarred, he has a hearing aid, and walks with a cane. I shared a table with him this morning, and we got into a conversation. He was worried about his daughter who was going to drive to Southern California for her first road trip. She’s only 16. Turns out he figures if she can help him through his lung cancer, and the recurring trips to the hospital, she could probably do a road trip on her own. He was a delight to talk to, and there you go, another gift. Nice.

Differences? What are those? Those are the potential gifts from others that fill the gaps of what we don’t have, and really need so badly. Amazing that we hold up our hands, our egos, and our psyche in disdain when that other person could give us so much to make us all the stronger, more tolerant, and more full of the love that we all crave so badly.

Family; we’re all family, which means that sometimes we don’t look so great or we behave badly, but we can come around, and we are supposed to lift each other up. There is heart and gift in every person, a treasure to be accessed and added to our journey of growth. We’re all trying to survive in as lovely a way as we can.

Thank you all for being nice.

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Entry filed under: Ruminations.

Cholla Low Tide Morning

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