On the corner of Main and Country Club is a coffee shop that gives away chocolate covered coffee beans. Across the street is a mechanics ship and a Taco Bell. At the diagonal corner holds an empty lot. Cars stream through, the endless procession of green and red lights mimicked by strangers passing each other inside the lines of a cross walk. The inviting look of downtown opens to the east, lined with trees, sculptures and people walking, window shopping. The west holds the promise of another warm evening as the sun slips lower into the desert horizon.
Lost in the thoughts of the day, past, the future and more specifically the structures of relationships. The cold steel bar depicting a bus stop supports the hunched figure. Dressed in appropriate attire for the common desert rat she lets a cloud of smoke go just as a motorcycle roars through the yellow light. The thought comes quickly, intruding on the doubt and fears of her last lover, the last relationship and the damn world seeming to crumble beneath her. The fear of letting go, the pain of holding on, the last words she said all faded as the rumbling of the engine ricocheted through her body.
“A gift, really.” she mused out loud. Another conversation with no one. Her friends often questioned her sanity until they realized that talking out loud was how she spoke to God. Then they really called her crazy. Normal often is defined by what others do, in a majority. If a person followed the majority then they considered themselves normal. The problem Sarah had with normal was it never fit into her idea of healthy, sane and reality. After years of hearing her mother say she marched to the beat of a different drum, Sarah came to accept that it was indeed true. Afterall anything else just sounded nuts.
The laugh started low, from the depths of her belly and bellowed outward in a jovial way. Her athletic frame lifted and shook vigorously as laughed at herself.
“Normal…” she said through chuckling. “Yeah, I am about as normal as lesbian republican who doesn’t agree with the right to marry homosexuals.” This made her laugh harder. “Really what group do I fit into if every group I partly identify with is against every other part of who I am?” she asked no one in particular. Even God laughed at this one as she heard the voice echo through her head.
“Why do you have to fit into a group?” The thought gave her pause as she considered what it implied.
“Now, that explains quite a bit. Not to mention it opens a whole other can of questions, God. Seriously?”
Silence, Sarah looked back toward the sunset now emanating red and purple hues. She asked herself why fitting in meant so much to her hoping for some clarity and partly dreading the answer. In the moment she stopped wondering as the colors melted together before her eyes. In that quiet peace of the view her whole body relaxed. A calmness rolled through her and she heard her answer.
“I fear being alone.”
The weight of the past six months of juggling love, jobs, dogs and living arrangements
suddenly lifted as the full meaning of the revelation sank in. A small tear escaped her left eye and she didn’t move to wipe it away. The wet liquid moved slowly down her apple cheek and settled comfortably at her chin before plopping onto a tattered t-shirt. It was the first time she allowed herself to feel the relief that crying brought.
“What do I do now?” she asked God while watching the sunrise. Flicking the cigarette into the gutter, she sighed. “What the hell am I supposed to do now?”
The voice broke it’s silence and spoke again. The words echoed through her heart and brought another wave of peacefulness.
“Chiseling the Stone.” she repeated softly.
The words hit her like a tsunami, washing over the beliefs and judgements of an entire lifetime. It was a fable that Grandpa told her shortly after she felt the love of her step-father through his fists. The plan was always to survive, get through and get out. Moving into Deb’s house while waiting for approval for a new apartment Sarah came to this realization looking at her belongings.
There in the middle of an empty bedroom sat two duffel bags and a box. The irony of Renae’s words filtered through her mind.
“I must be jaded. I don’t know how to love anyone. Thats why all my relationships fail. I am sorry.”
She laughed, right there sitting on the floor of her bedroom. Recognizing that a jaded woman held her sway everytime. Not because she thought she could fix or otherwise save her, at least that wasn’t the surface thought. The reality was Sarah saw herself in each of them because she was the jaded one. After all her whole life sat in two duffel bags and a box.
Lighting another cigarette, Sarah leaned back into the pole. People in the 12 step rooms called this ‘growing up in public’, she smiled at that thought. The fear gripped her then when she realized she had no idea how to began. A deep breath and her sponsor’s words played again.
“…When in doubt or agitated, we pause and ask for the next right thought or direction…”
A deep breath Sarah released the air and quietly bowed her head to her heart.
“I don’t even know where to start. Will you show me?” she asked.
Again the soft voice answered and Sarah smile brought a tear to her eyes. A warmth wrapped around her body and the passing cars muted in the background. In a silent moment the world ceased to exist and she felt the presence of God. Unlike anything the preachers talked about or told you in church. This was ecstasy.
The airbrakes of the bus brought her back to reality. Sarah reached down to pick up her bag as she reached for her wallet. Flipping through to find the day pass she heard a song filter through an open car window. The lyrics familliar but not knowing the artist she smiled because the lyrics described exactly what she just experienced.
…I found God. On the corner of 1st and Amistad…’
The moment when she knew with every fiber of her being that Neale Donald Walsch was right. God is always speaking to you, in all ways.
And he answered prayers.
- Prologue Profiles Episode 007: Pursue Your Dreams, I Left The Corporate World For A Non-Profit Organization And I Love It (thoughtcatalog.com)
- How Do I Save My Relationship? (ravensinkwell.wordpress.com)
- Realising your wholeness. (gertasafonova.wordpress.com)
- Neale Donald Walsch – Living Out Other People’s Beliefs – 23 August 2013 (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)
- Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch (Hodder, 2005); A Review (malobisinha.wordpress.com)