An Exploration of Sacred Parenting and Education

The Hospital

In Story telling on November 5, 2012 at 9:30 pm

The hospital is an amazing place. Each person has a story to share. Somehow there is a common thread where there may not have been any and people open up. A few months ago I had two operations on my leg. This lead me to meet countless people who had their life stories to share. There was a person lying in the bed opposite me who didn’t have an arm and broke his other arm while snowboarding. He was filled with joy and offered to help before the nurses got in. There was a lady who broke her leg while turning off the television set. Another who had retired and worked voluntarily in the hospital. Everyday she would hand bake cupcakes and hand them out to all the staff — from security to consultants. She was just filled with compassion and care for other people. Another man got his leg amputated a few years ago and was in for an operation on the knee of his remaining leg, which he broke as he fell off his wheel chair. He lived alone. I will never forget an elderly man — a proper cockney (not many of ’em in Hackney nowadays!). We sat on a bench together for a few minutes. He kept swearing in every sentence he used. But I knew I could trust this man if needed — he was totally transparent. He understood what I was going through because he had broken his leg a few years ago too. When we had finished talking and I got up to go, he genuinely wished me well and told me to get going with the physio as he wanted to see me walking without the crutches.

There is a certain beauty there. A formless beauty. So subtle, so simple, so there — it’s easy to miss. Maybe it’s what Walt Whitman found in people as he travelled up and down the busy city. He writes in his poem ‘To See God’:

Why should I wish to see God better than this day?

I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then.

In the faces of men and women I see God and in my own face in the glass.

I see letters from God dropped in the street,

and every one is signed by God’s name.

As much as we can be attached to or identified with our stories, I also realise how we can live from a deeper identity without our stories; maybe, as Emily Dickinson so beautifully puts it, as a nobody.

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