There are days, like this one, when I wish W at Searchblog would allow comments on her posts. I understand why she doesn't, but one can wish, eh?
Today I had a conversation with a guy whose initial is also W. My W was recently in the hospital with some condition I cannot even pronounce, but which had something to do with his blood pressure. He is a much beloved small business owner here in town, the kind of person who can make a room brighter by entering it. He is masterfully quick witted, an artist in badinage.
Who knew? The man is a spiritual giant. He ministered to me from his bed of infirmity. I felt more alive than before as I left his hospital room that day after a brief visit turned into an hour of soul sharing.
I don't need to say more about the visit, but I do need to mention today's conversation. He sauntered in to the local coffee and artisan pastry shop as if he'd never been ill. It was, as they used to say in the way back, meat and drink to see him and I told him so.
He sat down and said, "I didn't realize it until after you left me that day, but during our conversation I shared a story about my past. I realized only later that I wasn't simply naming it, I was reclaiming it! Thank you!"
"You're welcome," I said, stunned. The look on my face must have said more than my words.
He said, "No really. It was a breakthrough for me. Thank you. I know it wasn't you who did it, but you were the one who was used to bring it about."
"I'm honored to have been the guy who sat with you at that moment." I said, though I believe I stuttered every word.
The last thing he said before we went on to talk about other things was, "I was pacing the room for an hour after you left thinking about it. It was a transformation."
He was suppposed to have been in the hospital for at least two more days after that, but was sent home the next day. Call it standard operational procedure for HMO's, I call it the speaking of healing words, the reclaiming of forgotten past.
That's also what W writes about today. If she allowed comments, I'd simply call her post what it is: beautiful.
I'd also comment that I love Raymond Carver's writing for the very quality of careful elision she mentions. His silences say as much as, perhaps more than, the actual words. Would that I could be so eloquent without saying anything!