Arrivals and Departures

I stumbled upon A. one day at a cafe in Bellingham and asked to take his picture…

Recently, a dying client asked A. point blank, “Isn’t this job boring and depressing?” A. works as a nursing assistant, and plays the ukulele while his client sleeps. But Allen told him that it’s an honor to be there with someone when he draws his last breath…”Someone was there when he drew his first breath on day 1 of his life, and I feel honored that I get to be there at 2 am when he draws his last.” “Arrivals and departures,” I mused as he continued up the hill wearing his hiking pack.

This life is an airport but we like to pretend like it’s our permanent dwelling. Sitting on the bench knitting for my hour, I have been thinking about change lately. There has been so much upheaval and movement in the news this week, it feels like the whole world is in an uproar. Wondering what it all means. Waiting to see the new symmetry that arises out of the detritus. A delicate state of balance that will last for a few breaths, until the next upheaval. How do we make our homes on the edge of a fault line? Life calls forth trust, courage, and letting go from the depths of my being. Not an easy process! The external changes parallel an internal reshuffling taking place–a sifting, cleansing and purging. Cleaning house frees up stuck energy, I think later this morning as I take out the stinky garbage and compost. What is disposable, and what isn’t? What’s core to my identity, and what is extraneous, a distraction, even an obstruction? Sometimes it’s challenging to write from this place of change, but here’s a postcard with gratitude for you today.

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2 thoughts on “Arrivals and Departures

  1. Cheryl says:

    I appreciate you writing about the changes you’re going thru and the flux the world is in as a parallel. It’s all related isn’t it? I’ve seen A. before but don’t know him.

    I don’t usually get bored. I have too much to think and do and write to be bored. You don’t strike me as a person who gets bored either.

    • Christen Mattix says:

      Thanks Cheryl…Boredom and I rarely meet. When my life feels static, I take it as like a minor miracle because that sensation is so rare, and it allows me a breather from the rapid pace of change…

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