I went to church this morning, and was washed with music. "O Holy Night" performed by our worship band -- singers, a cellist, a vibraphonist, and a guitarist. Gorgeous. I stuttered to sing through the tears that were arising after our pastor's sermon -- he spoke of the 'Holy Night,' in part, as the dark night of the soul ... as the longing we can feel, especially during the Christmas season, for presence, love, mercy.
After the service, my bestie asked me if I'd like to share lunch with her. I had to say no. Brain-injury wham-o. Sideswiped by all the stimulation; a nasty surprise. Dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, inability to participate in conversation and to think of responses when people spoke to me; stammering utterances and staggering balance ... and a need for sleep.
Mother Teresa's words struck me after I got home ... and could begin to discern what was happening in my brain. The last word of her quote -- love -- began to change to other words: Mindfulness. Awareness. Kindness. Mercy for our human condition.
I've pretty much accepted that I can do only small things now. Sometimes I can do no things for a while. I need to sleep in quietude at these times; need to not read, write, be with other people, engage in any stimulating activity ... even when I want to. I need to say Yes only to rest.
I've calmed myself with the wordplay; reminded myself that in this moment, for this while, the saying is true that I can do no great things, only small things with great ... rest.
I can do no great things, only small things with great mercy for my present human condition.
For right now. For the next while. Until the staggering nausea and dizziness pass; until I've laid down with my cats and allowed myself some rest.
This, I realize, is an act of great love.
I've done this one small thing ... and so to bed. With love.