It’s a typical August morning (hot but no rain) here in Queens, an important borough
of the concrete jungle called New York. Although the lush plants I see and the exotic
birds I hear on Sunday mornings in Atenas are not present, I will still go outside today
and move my body in gratitude. Our neighborhood (in Queens) has its own beauty
and I read somewhere that it is the the most ethnically diverse urban area in the
world. Taking a short walk is like listening to a radio that is automatically
changing channels. It is a total immersion experience and I am always fascinated
to be a part of it.
Almost a week has gone by since Robin Williams’ death last Monday. I had spent part
of that morning in a single-engine airplane flying over a sector of our country.
I thought about my paternal grandfather, Marcial, who had passed away 49 years
ago on August 11th. I remember him clearly; he was one of my favorite adults
and although I was only 10 when he died, I have many memories of him. When we
were in that small aircraft I hoped he was watching over us as we made our way
through the clouds in the sky. When I returned home and read the news about
Robin Williams, I felt very disoriented, angry even. I was angry because I felt
the enormous hole he left in our world, depriving us of his extraordinary talent
and humanity. It took a few days before I was able to acknowledge and feel
compassion for the pain he was in. May he rest in peace, his legacy of creativity
is a gift to us all.
I have an acquaintance (Cris) who has a very successful business. Every time Cris
talks to me I hear how almost unmanageable it is to have a successful business;
how tiring it is to have unreliable and incompetent workers; how demanding and
unreasonable the customers are, etc. A while ago, Cris complained that the mail
carrier insisted on delivering mail to the business rather than leaving it in the mailbox
for pick up. It did not occur to me until this week that this grumpy curmudgeon needs
the excuse to pick up the mail in order to contend with the social isolation felt within.
Instead of competing with Cris by sharing how busy I am, I began to listen with an
open heart and ears of tolerance. I remind myself that we all wear a mask sometimes
and that I cannot predict when I might need someone to feel compassion for me.
Have a wonderful day and an exceptional week, Marietta