My dear friend Ann is number 1,995 on the donor transplant list for new lungs. She needs them bad and to me that number seems furiously large as I listen to her labored breath.
She’s wildly optimistic, cherishing every moment and radiantly happy to be alive.
“Tyler, think about this; My donor is alive right now. It could be anyone. Someone I know, someone I don’t know. Isn’t that just unbelievable?” she tells me.
Ann has taken to blessing everyone she meets while she waits. She is seizing the opportunity to express gratitude to her donor before they die by blessing every single person she comes across. Can you imagine anything more beautiful?
The world tells us “we’re all connected”, “we’re all one”. It’s not hard to understand, we really are all living downstream from one another. But Ann understands this in a way so many of us can’t. She’s literally going to be one with someone else, breathing and laughing and living, two people becoming one, each essential for the other.
As Ann and I talked today my email buzzed as another dear friend sends me a deeply beautiful story, what she describes precisely as “a little morsel”. I know her head didn’t know it but I know her heart knew exactly that her words were describing dear Ann’s belief in the most perfect way, the oneness of humanity.
Take a read, then get to know and follow this writer who I have this bizarrely divine connection with that I cherish and who is actually even more fantastically fabulous than this picture represents .
Sister in Brazil
I recognized her easily as the once carefree back-packing expat girl selling handmade rope jewelry from the side of the road. Her long beaded and sun bleached braids coiled around her head in a halo of frizz. Her body hard and lean. Her skin now tanned a deep bronzed leather She was a beauty, once. The closer I get the more I can see the years of malnutrition and addiction snaking there way through her veins. Her man, Brazillian, lets his presence be known. He owns her. You can tell by the way her body stiffens in his presence. A cat used to getting kicked. Head down, hands busy, answering with a nod but not a look she turns to me, the tourist. He scans me up and down, pricing my worth before leaving. I am no threat, my pockets are not that deep. Besides, this is woman’s work, beneath him. Collectively we breath together, the shadow having passed.
“Hello” I say picking up a delicately braided rope and shell bracelet. “Did you make these?” She smiles huge in recognition of her native tongue. Her ice blue eyes dancing in a momentary homecoming.
I tell her San Francisco and she smiles again, only this time her hand covers the space where teeth should be.
I want to save her, hold her, ask if she needs to get a message to the outside world.
But now my man, Brazilian, is giving me the look of, “Lets go.” and “Are you spending money again?”
I pay too much for the bracelet and we part sisters.
As I get back on the bus of cultural wonders, my fingers trace the delicate weave and knots wrapped around my wrist. I have taken a little part of her with me and wonder what will become of us.