Angels and birthgivers

Tomorrow is the Annunciation.

Immigrant on Earth

 
The Mother of the Lord and Jesus in prison cloths. The painting is done by Fr. Arsenie Boca, who was imprisoned during communism. The Church Elefterie in Bucharest.

Regardless of where I am, I always try to call my mom on March 25. It is the Annunciation, and I know she has always loved this day. I don’t often have something to tell her. There is nothing spectacular in my life. However, being at that moment together, something is said. The “she and I” is being said. When calling other people, the “they and I” is being said.

Regardless of the words used, the being together is “love” in all of these situations.  What if I respond to it with the words of the Virgin: “Be it done unto me according to Thy word!”

The Annunciation… Giving yourself up in the arms of love, regardless of perils, of shame…

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Places of regeneration

Immigrant on Earth

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The Holy Dormition Monastery in Michigan, one of my places of regeneration

There are certain places in this world which have healing power. Some of them are spatial; others are temporal. Alyosha Karamazov was remembering his mother’s face, praying: that is also a place of healing, even if it is about a face–or rather about a relationship. Remembering it, being in its presence, does not allow you to think bad things. The embrace of my grandma. I cannot judge people while I remember her embrace. A monastery: peace penetrating your bones.

In my experience, all of these places have one feature in common: you are loved.

Preserve the places of regeneration of this world. Which may also mean, “become a place of regeneration for others.” And this may mean: “embrace whoever is in your presence.”

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Moments of life with Neil Diamond

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I have the feeling I forgot something in the hotel room. And I am bothered by the fact that I couldn’t check in for my flight. “We could not reserve seats for all passengers. You need to check in at the airport.” Bummer! I need to get to the airport fast, to solve the problem, so a little bit of stress takes a hold of me.

“Good morning!” The driver of the shuttle is in his 70s, the age of my dad. I’m not good enough with accents to realize which part of the US he is from, but there’s something warm in the song of his voice. “Sunday morning!” he says. “Easy drive today, we’ll be there in 20 minutes.”

“Did I really forget something in the hotel room?”

There are no other passengers in the shuttle. We make a U-turn, and the driver starts a CD. And my life changes:

Where it began, I can’t begin to knowing
But then I know it’s growing strong

His voice is really warm, and he sings along the CD. There’s a force pulling me, too, and I can no longer hold it. Two strangers singing together in an airport shuttle:

Hands, touching hands
Reaching out, touching me, touching you

I forget that I forgot something in the hotel room:

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good

“Do you like singing?” I ask him. “Oh, yeah! I used to run the corporate parties. I did the 45 minutes Elvis routine. I had a ball doing that.” He had some problems a few years ago with his vocal chord, and he had to stop.

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good

I don’t know his name. He probably knows mine from the ticket. Still, it’s brother’s love.

It’s love, Brother Love say
Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show
Pack up the babies
And grab the old ladies
And everyone goes
‘Cause everyone knows
Brother Love’s show

We arrived at the airport, and I haven’t checked the time once. “A good day sir!” he says. “It’s Sunday.”

I forgot my phone charger in the hotel room.

Let’s fly! It’s a good day to die.