I look around and I see unease, frozen in the eyes of passerbys. I make extra efforts to undue their unrest with a simple smile and a lighthearted chat. Regis was doing the same sort of uplifting while on his turtle-paced stroll around the aisles of the goodwill as he chose to bid his time while his dearest finished her shopping. It was a natural impulse for him to be compassionate and an oh-so-unusual gesture to seek out human contact whilst most of us look down on our mini screens with the predicted programming fitting for us in the balminess of our palms. How uncanny, it’s the part of us at least in these parts, that we use most often to greet, an extended hand to shake, a confirmation to our brethren that it’s a pleasure to greet you. Where my roots are from, we do three air kisses and even our name changes to a sweet wee form to enhance the exchange. Our hands are not vacant any more for these exchanges as they are often occupied and presently, due to submission into fear and according to that cataleptic being that most give their powers away to, we may not ever go back to shaking hands. “I’m headed to church tonight, I’ll pray for you, Cristina,” Regis says after our congenial exchange. Big smile from me, in fact the corners of my lips curled upwards our entire chat and then some, “Thank you, I appreciate it and I will be praying for you as well.” I came to walk this plank to fulfill my promise. Throughout the whirlwind of confusion, where echoes of trauma reflected upon me intensified daily, where my thoughts and feelings whittled down until they became withholdings trapped into my heart, where I had hit the end so that I can see with clarity what had been jumbled up like a dense fog, it’s this healthy connection that propels us to pull up from our bootstraps.
The next day I strolled about and fulfilled my pledge to Regis. There’s some kind of alacrity walking the plank. I’m at choice here. All the disorder, all the urgency along with impulsivity entwined with anxiety and all the withholdings at this juncture, there is nowhere else to go but take the plunge and leave the rest all behind. Nothing left to do but to be still. In my stillness, I closed my eyes and prayed, “please continue to give Regis the courage and the love that shines within him, please continue to let the rays of sunshine that entangle his silver locks on his head like a magical confluence for many more days so that he can continue to spread his light with all those that cross his path.” There at the edge as the sun rose, the Son lit up our world for yet another day.