Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Inward Music

Been reading The Essential Rumi again lately, just bits and pieces in spare moments. His poetry simply lights me up. Next art I make will be to illustrate this somehow:

Watch the dust grains moving
In the light near the window.

Their dance is our dance.

We rarely hear the inward music,
But we’re all dancing to it nevertheless.

Yesterday my phone rang about lunchtime. Caller ID told me it was my friend B, so I picked it up despite the deadline I'm pushing.

"Ya want to go to a movie?" she asked. No greeting. Not a hint of her usual "Hey, hey," chirped like some lovely Southern bird. Just a flat, numb voice asking about a movie in the middle of a work day.

"Absolutely," I replied. "On my way soon as I get my shoes."

I grabbed my shoes and a jacket and jumped into Paula for the 30 minute drive to B's house. On the way over, I could literally feel Rumi's blossoms of blessings dropping all around me, brushing my cheeks with their velvety petals and filling Paula's interior with their sweet perfume.

I met B quite synchronistically just before she moved to KC, mere months after I moved here myself. Now we're friends. Real friends. The kind of friends who can ask for help, even obliquely, and know the other will respond without question—one of the greatest blessings life can offer.

B's cat greeted me in the driveway and her husband, home for lunch, greeted me at the door. I breezed in, threw my purse in its usual corner, and sat down on the floor in front of the fireplace. B drifted in and we talked of inconsequential things—which movie we'd see, whether to get tea on the way and so forth. She demonstrated a new picking style learned at a recent guitar lesson and picked around on her new banjo for me. The conversation continued in the same vein as we drove to the movie and as we sat in huge upholstered chairs waiting for Volver to start. Afterward, we talked of nothing but the movie, all the way home and sitting in her living room again—B on the taupe velvet sofa and me on the hearth as usual.

It was a lovely afternoon, filled with laughter and music and stories. The light was leaking from the sky when she finally got to the heart of the matter. Moments before she called me, she'd noticed possible evidence of yet another health challenge. B is very, very ill. She faces her illness with the same grit and dignity and Spirit with which she's faced life since she was a child being raised in poverty by a loving mother and an abusive, alcoholic father. Her current challenges, however, will not be overcome by sheer determination. If they're overcome at all, it will be by miracles.

Details came slowly between long pauses for deep breaths. After only a few sentences, the jingle of keys at the door signaled her husband's return. B called to him and he joined us in the dark living room. As he sat down, B flicked her eyes and I knew we'd talk about the rest later. We told him about the movie and made plans to see another together.

Amid much more laughter and hugs all around, I headed home.

B knows, as I know, that we're all dancing to the same inward music and that the music will not stop when we're no longer physically present for the dance. People are born. They die. And the music plays on.

Sometimes it hurts like holy hell, but the music plays on.


Mystic Wing said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. You and your friend will be in my thoughts today.

magicaldamselfly said...

I will light a candle for B and add her to my prayer list. Perhaps we can all pray together and B will be allowed a small miracle to add to her dance.
Sending you much love today.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Gorgeous writing. Straight from your heart to ours.

Amber said...

What a beautiful blessing it would be so have you as a friend, so close by in real life... I am happy B has you. I will add her to my prayers tonight, for whatever she may be facing.

You are so full of love. I am happy to have found you, just so you know. ;)

What movie did you see?

holly said...

beautiful. gorgeous, post. sending up my thoughts and holding you both in my heart.

Ziji Wangmo said...

This is beautiful - so thoughtful and heartfelt.

Thank you.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Beautiful Jerri. She is lucky to have you for a friend.