Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Moment of Sitting

     One summer, too earn extra money I took on a second job, with a store that was starting up. The new employees had to set up all the fixtures, stock the shelves and build the store from scratch. I emphasize summer because this was in the deep south. A typical hot and humid summer in the south.  We were working eight to ten hours in a building without air conditioning, no shorts permitted, hammering, lifting and toting (as we say in the south). I hope you can appreciate the full depth of my meaning when I say – I was filthy dirty. Did you know your teeth can sweat?
     It was so bad that when my dog ran to greet me, she came to a screeching halt, cocked her head to the side, looked at me and walked away. Hmmm, guess I need a shower. Did you know that at a certain temperature your clothes are absorbed by your skin? My knuckles were bruised and my knees were swollen. Short of having to save my life there was no way I could make a fist with my fingers. I was exhausted. I was so thirsty that I could not drink. I wasn’t sure “I” was even in my body. Maybe that’s why my dog was still sitting at a distance watching me.
     Sitting on the front door step (my dog’s reaction said I probably should not go into the house), I cannot tell you the thoughts rummaging around in my head. I’m not sure I was thinking. After my shower, as I was taking my clothes to the trash (yes they were that bad), I saw the gift on the front door step. I remembered sitting there earlier, just sitting with the sound of my heart beating in my head. I had been so exhausted I could hear my muscles and my blood flowing along its highways of arteries and veins. I think I could even hear the hair on my arms. No thoughts. No thinking. For that moment, suspended in time, brain, soul, spirit, body and skin moved as one to the rhythm of a silent dance.