Today is Friday, and I think of scaffolding.
At the Horace Mann Theater, we changed lights by climbing a rickety set of scaffolding on wheels. When done with our five-foot area, we would sit as someone would undo the wheel locks, move us, and relock us.
Pressing on each lock, the scaffolding would buck; rolling across the floor was a bumpy proposition. Scary for a lot of people; but for her, it was a sense memory.
“It feels like riding elephants,” she confided to me, as we both sat, clutching the bars. “The rhythm of the bucking and bumping. Just like riding an elephant.”
She used to ride elephants, back when she was a literal princess before the revolution and the fall of the Shah. She lived the fairy tale – a retinue to brush her hair and taste her food; commercial flights that would be delayed hours if her whim made her stop for shoes; and riding elephants.
And now she was a student working for a degree, covering her tuition with minimum wage work-study, and hanging lights for another student’s production in a dingy, forty-eight seat theater.
She takes being at the bottom with good will and cheer. There is no place she would rather be than atop a scaffold elephant, serving others, experiencing life at the common level.
It is Friday, and I think of her, and I wonder if He ever had an elephant moment, a moment where He would feel the breeze across the desert, or hear the bleating of a lost sheep, or touch the roughness of a block of wood, and think, “This is just like” some piece of the heavenlies.
Some piece of what He had when He was a prince, before He chose to be a servant.
Today is Friday, and next I think of Jack.
Jack who came out to me first, because we were so close, and had such a love for each other that he thought I should know his inner self.
But then he cut himself off. From me, from all of us who called him friend, to forge a new life with those he called alike.
And when he became ill, he cut himself off again, even from those that he called alike; shamed by his disease and by his dying.
I didn’t even hear that he was sick until he was gone. I wondered if he had anyone; I wondered what it must be like to die separated and in shame; I wondered if he knew that it would not have mattered to me, if he would have reached out.
It is Friday, and I think of Jack, and I wonder if He felt even more alone by the choice to separate. Knowing those that called His name chose to separate from Him; knowing His shame was not His own, but ours; knowing that He could reach out and be re-united with His Family; but choosing instead the suffering for the sake of those He now called alike.
Today is Friday, and I think of Rayn.
The cat who, despite my natural resistance, got me to love her. I think how small she was, so perfect. I remember her heartbeat, and her life, and her purr.
And I think of her last moments. I held her through to the end, as the drug was pushed into her system. My hands upon her, feeling the heartbeat, life and purr.
And in an instant, she simply wasn’t there.
It is Friday, and I think of Rayn, and I wonder if He was gone when He gave up his spirit. I wonder if Mary could still feel His heartbeat, life and warmth; or if when she cradled her son, she felt just the emptiness.
Did the body wait, knowing what Mary could not know?
Or was the body just a marker for the aloneness and shame; the suffering and pain; the humility and loss?
Today is Friday, and I think.
Just my thoughts,