Monk in the World guest post: Alizabeth Rasmussen

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission for the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Alizabeth Rasmussen has been part of our community for several years and I have been blessed to spend time with her in person at a previous Abbey retreat. She suffered a stroke last year and has been on an incredibly arduous and courageous (with courage here also referring to the root of that word, meaning “with heart”) journey. Read on for her powerful wisdom about remembering:

Remembering and Forgetting

After the stroke,
the credit card machine
makes little sense, which way
does the strip go?

How many ways are there?
(More than you think.)

So it was at the garage that day…

I gave him the extra parking ticket,
that I bought by accident,
this stranger, without a word.

I was flustered,
I was late,
I was alone,

And I was lost.

The line of people at
this downtown garage,
the garage didn’t have
stairs and was a maze.

(After the stroke,
I was more sensitive
to people…as if it was
not bad enough before.)

So many people.

After purchasing a ticket (times two),
I made my way back to the car.

Then I tripped…

My shoe was caught
on the other side as
the doorway closed
behind me.

and my purse scattered
on the ground,

I couldn’t figure it out
without getting my feet wet
with rain.

A man rushed past me,
— THE man who I had
given my extra ticket to –

…and he ignored me.

I felt so invisible,
which made me feel this small

And…mad.

But then a woman stopped,
to make sure I was okay.

I asked her if she wouldn’t
mind grabbing my shoe
(in gestures), and she did.

I haven’t lost the ability
to say, “Thank you.”
I meant it,
(I hope she knows.)

Finally, I got to my car.

And exhaled…and remembered…

I wondered how many
people I had rushed past,

On the way to work,
On the way to the gym,
On the way to school,
going home…countless times.

Not noticing because I was busy…what with?

And I wondered how many
had I stopped to help?

Simply noticing.

I remember, for that’s what
being human is all about.

And that’s what being a
Monk In The World means to me.

Forgotten and remembering:
Silence,
God is quiet, after all,
why not listen for Him?

Forgotten and remembering:
Hospitality,
we are the same…everyone of us.
I am in the oneing of love,
(Lady Julian of Norwich.)

Forgotten and remembering:
Community,
when loneliness threatens,
reaching out,
making myself vulnerable.

Forgotten and remembering:
Kinship with Creation,
the trees and the animals,
the beauty that surrounds us.

Forgotten and remembering:
Meaningful Work,
For me, that is,
even if it is “just” healing work
(after all, what’s more
important than healing?)

Forgotten and remembering:
Sabbath,
to catch up with
the blessings of life.

Forgotten and remembering:
Conversion, and
Conversion, and
Conversion,
for the rest of our lives…

And maybe sooner than later
…next time.

Alizabeth Rasmussen

 


Alizabeth RasmussenAlizabeth Rasmussen is a freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared indamselfly pressWild Violet and Mused: The Bella Online Literary Review.  She blogs regularly at Write Click (www.writeclick.me) and is a Blog Editor for Literary Mama (www.literarymama.com)

Click here to read all the guest posts in the Monk in the World series>>

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17 Responses

  1. Beauty that stuns, even as it convicts, all offered with such generosity and understanding—words that could change a life long-distance. And have. Thank you.

    1. I wish I was there to keep you dry and put on your shoe and gather your purse and hold you tight my friend. I think of you often and still hold you and your journey close to my heart. Slowing down for you…

  2. Alizabeth,
    Thank you so much for allowing me to remember what I had forgotten (this morning and on many mornings!) that ‘just healing’ is meaningful work. Thank you for being a companion on the journey and I shall now go and look at all your other ‘work’ too.
    All blessings

  3. Thank you Liz for reminding us of what we so often forget to remember
    that we have a Kinship with Creation and that requires we look around and notice and reach out to one another. Hugs to you.

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