Why do we run into similar striking stories from others as we move along our journey?
A few posts back I said I had 2 stories to tell.
I’d just written what I believed/believe to be deeply true of me: I celebrate what’s been discarded but where I see life abounds.
And with that sentence came back 2 of the life stories I’ve been privileged to hear. The story of Hans (his real name) and of a craniosacral client – let’s call her Kim.
I met Hans when he was about 10. For a 10-year-old the first impression was striking. If it’d been a photograph I’d have believed his mom had been given the power of the moment to get his hair and clothing that perfect. Watching Hans, however, he was a bundle of radiance and joy and his impeccable appearance somehow perfectly matched his bearing. This was about 10 years ago, and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone before or since that made this type of impression. I’d given in to a neighbor’s insistence to teach English to their daughter Peggy, 2 hours on Saturday afternoons. Truth be told it was always one of my highlights of the week — a time of great joy and a complete change from research/administration/ university stuff. The second child, Hans, had been enrolled to make the costs bearable. Hans’ body didn’t ever quite cooperate. Something had gone wrong along the way but it was of no concern to Hans, and so, no concern to me.
After maybe two years of this relationship we all decided to take a hike one day up the hill behind the university to old Portugese or Japanese forts over the coastline. It was about an hour’s walk. At one rest stop Hans began with great intensity to tell me his story.
There was a problem with his mom’s pregnancy. She’d already lost another child in the womb and now this pregnancy was ending, too. There was great anguish. The doctor was there to tend to his mom, so was his mom’s mom, Han’s grandmother. The baby emerged and was dispatched to a trash pail while all the focus was put on saving/caring for the mom. Until, that is, grandma noticed breath in the baby and insisted against the doctor’s best judgment that the baby be cared for. That was Hans. I can still feel him telling this story with swagger and impact. I still stop breathing as my body zings with the image of that small soul revealing his story. Something like 2 years later Hans, his mom, and his dad (there were no other children) disappeared off the face of the earth. In their store and home there was no visable sign of preparation to leave. Around town I heard whispered stories of deep debts the family had to gangster loansharks who finally carried out threats to exterminate the family. I prefer to note that many many people “disappeared themselves” at this time to escape impossible financial situations. I see them happily living in Switzerland. That’s because the one day Hans came in wearing lederhosen I could swear he was born for that outfit, and how often is such a thing so clear?
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There’s no way I can tell another story just yet.
Instead it’s time for a walk from my university office through the peace and drizzle of the campus to just breathe for a bit and remember Hans. And Ripley just called to ask me to make the healing circle a solid weekly occurrance. So much is possible in this world. Time for a stroll on this COLD (ca 9C) rainy day delighting in what I’ve been fortunate to witness.