You Chose to Listen

I know you must have been busy.
I’m sure you stay that way.
I suspect there may have been others
who needed you today.
But, for me, you made one decision,
a solitary choice,
that changed the color of the world
and gave me back my voice.
My mind’s been gripped by confusion,
my memory forgets.
I likely won’t recall the names
of faceless silhouettes.
But there’s nothing wrong with my feelings,
like sadness, and pain, and joy…
there are sheltered spaces in us all
dementia can’t destroy.
So, my memory has just recorded,
with the contours of your face,
a true sense of validation,
familiarity, and place…
a profound, yet nameless knowing,
relational, and real,
simply because you cared about
how your actions made me feel.
There, among the busy bodies
brushing by my chair,
you chose to stop and listen for
the soul behind the stare.
When I saw your kind intentions
to truly understand,
it was as if some hidden part of me
went reaching for a hand
that love seemed to be extending through
your presence, and your pause
(and I feel the gifts that love extends
it never, yet, withdraws).
In choosing to listen to me, you
did something else quite rare:
you decided to see what still remains
of the person sitting there,
to regard, with respect and compassion,
and perhaps, a sense of awe,
the sacred, eternal sanctum of
the suffering self you saw.
In this no man’s land of confusion
you brought a sense of peace,
of trust and vulnerability,
expression and release.
So, my spirit came out of hiding
in the space between us, two,
and the air between your eyes and mine
turned the warmest shade of blue
like an iridescent ocean
in back waters of the mind…
a place I long to sit beside,
but rarely, now, can find.
Please know how deeply thankful that
I am that you stopped by…
if I thought about it long enough,
I suspect that I would cry.
But the tears would not be tears of grief,
but of gratitude you came,
for your listening has reminded me
Love will not forget my name.

Artwork by Lester E. Potts, Jr., an artist who had Alzheimer’s disease

5 thoughts on “You Chose to Listen

  1. Pingback: About Visits | Truthful Loving Kindness

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