I don’t feel good.
I remember a day in first grade when we had a substitute teacher… Mrs. Amici. She was a regular substitute and so we knew her pretty well. All things considered, she was nice enough but obviously she wasn’t Mrs. Westbrook whom I adored.
On this particular day, we were doing some kind of color-between-the-lines paper and I finished quickly and put my head on my desk. Eventually she came and stood over me and said “Do you need to go to the office?”
I popped my head up and said No! rather defiantly.
I might have startled her a bit. Then she pointed to my colored-between-the-lines picture and said “It says here that you don’t feel good.”
Yes. I had written that on my drawing. She sent me to the office.
Meet Sr. Bernadette
Sr. Bernadette… the principal… tall rail-skinny… clicky tappy black medium-heeled shoes… Irish with fiery red hair peeking out from a black habit with white trim… stern and disciplined. [Unfortunately I became all-too-familiar with her over the years.]
Sr. Bernadette greeted me when when I arrived asking what was wrong.
“My heart is hurting,” I replied.
Sr. Bernadette was probably about to call the paramedics until she saw tears welling in my eyes and realized that I had a sad heart not a sick heart.
Wouldn’t it be great?
Sometimes I think it would be great to just put my head down on my desk with a note so that the world could understand what I’m thinking or feeling. Some days, language just seems so cumbersome and inadequate.
In my mind, I think I am being clear and expressing myself well… but more often than not, I come away from the encounter feeling misunderstood or misinterpreted or worse… unheard.
That day Mrs. Amici heard me… or rather “read” me. She misunderstood and misinterpreted but at least she heard me. [Turns out that my heart was hurting because she had yelled at me earlier that morning. I told that to Sr. Bernadette who promptly refuted my claim and sent me back to class.]
I wonder why this memory makes its way to the blog today.
[Perhaps I am looking into the pensieve! Google Harry or Frodo for more.]
My heart is a little bit hurting.
Because of conversations spoken and not-spoken… words heard but misunderstood… situations beyond my control… possibility handcuffed by this-is-the-way-we’ve-always-done-it thinking.
But like all things… this too shall pass.
God never changes.
Onward Brave Voyager!