The Living Room:
Bare white walls. One beach cruiser. One old wooden kitchen table. Two old creaky wooden chairs. One laptop.
One pot. One pan. One Mr. Coffee coffeepot. Four coffee cups.
Not having been in this home before it was instinct to take a snapshot (mental) of all visible items in case she’d need to recall them later.
He was a reincarnation of the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island and she guessed he was in sixties. A storyteller at heart he wanted to provide the background to every story first to be sure she understood and he commented a few times that she might be too young to understand his references. She was briefly disappointed that the white hair she’d let grow wild and prominent had not been considered.
Even though she was there for work purposes the truth was she enjoyed learning more about the person, what they did, how and why they came to do what they did and why they continued.
Though impossible to know those things in one meeting and sometimes a lifetime really, it is possible to pick up a lot through energy. She does this also to determine whether the person carries an energy she wants to continue working with.
He spoke of his father a few times, of what he’d taught him and his siblings. Though no longer around she learned he respected what he taught and held those values dear. Though no longer around she learned he respected his wife, by the gentleness in which he spoke her name and the one piece of paper he carried that proved she was once alive. Though she was no longer a child, she learned he was very close with his daughter, by the way he spoke of being a father and how he needed to ensure they remained that way after his wife passed. Though he was well off financially, he was grounded and seemed to care more about people and experiences than physical possessions.
She got the sense the man she met was a very different version of the man he once was yet also sensed he’d achieved a sense of peace with an underlying sense of loneliness.
She learned later the home she met him in was indeed the place he kept his bed, slept, ate and worked. She was happy for him, that he’d figured out so much at such a young age, then she was sad for him because she knew the painful formula for youthful wisdom.
There is always work and there are always things. It’s only people that pass away never to be replaced. Too often we forget and in the rush to accumulate often gain what cannot give to us anything in return, instead losing time and people.
Loss is often the formula that spurs change and leads us to ponder what we have left to give.
Driving home she thought about the bareness of his walls, lack of furniture and how leaving space is sometimes done with care and intention.
She smiled in the knowing that space also represents the love a person has saved within their heart to give another.