Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Worth waking up

I was asleep, deeply asleep, having a wonderful dream and a loud jangling noise yanked me by the hair into semi-consciousness. I stumbled from bed and made it to the phone just as it stopped ringing, so I booted up the laptop and checked my email, thinking it was Beanie calling me and knowing if she did there'd be an email waiting. No email. After a little time, I checked my voice mail and it was one of my best friends telling me wonderful news of home and family. I was still a bit groggy, but awake enough for my heart to swell with happiness at the news. Her lost baby had been found and was safely home. She also made me laugh when she told me her seventy-something mom had been on her knees in the bushes the day before to help catch the baby (yes, it's a cat).

Her husband had been devastated because he felt responsible for the baby getting out and he was so happy when he pulled the baby out of the trap they set the night before. This is definitely news worth losing sleep over and I am so glad I got the call.

It's moments like this, even bleary-eyed and punchy from lack of sleep as I am, that make all the trouble and niggling irritations disappear as if they never existed. There have been a few moments like this recently, like receiving an apology and getting a picture of a good friend after hiking to the top of Pikes Peak.

I have said so little about my friends of late, focusing more on writing what I hope helps more than just me from the vast emotional archives of what my friends send me or call to tell me. I realize, as I found again this morning in my emails, that people I don't really know are going through the same things and think I'm inside their heads. The things we all believe are unique to us aren't really all that unique, like a pebble dropped in a lake sends out ripples that touch the shore at different points and different times. We tend to forget that we are all connected and our lives are mirrored in the lives of others we may never meet, and it helps to be reminded that we are not alone, that someone else (probably many someones) are going through the same things. There will still be those who believe their situation is unique and no one can know what they're going through, but I think that's because they need to keep the spotlight on themselves and hate the idea of sharing the attention.

So much has happened over the past few years, things I haven't had the time to share here, like a good friend's battle with breast cancer and then turning around and building her own business. Sometimes the emotions are too raw to put them on the page, so I don't.

It's an Aquarian trait immortalized in a line from Star Trek: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few -- or the one." Doesn't mean I don't take care of the ones or that I'm not there for them, just that I need the distance and balm of time to help me find a way to put it out there so that what I've learned and experienced could help the many. The one I keep for my private paper journals, just as I always have, writing in the moments before sleep and letting go of the sometimes overwhelming emotions so I can sleep, even if it means being awakened before I have to get up because a friend wants to share their news, good or bad. One thing my friends know is that they can call me any time if they need me and, now that I don't turn the ringer off to spare my housemates, I'll get out of bed and leave my dreams for them.

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