Monday, July 23, 2012
And Now A Word From Our Sponsor
The elderly man leans against the locked door of the dementia unit. His bottom half pushes against the barrier while his upper flails freely toward the nursing station. His is more passing the time than agitated. The tenor of his voice rises and falls. I discern a cadence, a military march. His eyes are glazed, far away, in another land.
My secretary coos on the phone to the crying patient. She placates, she soothes, she checks the schedule. I can hear the lilt in her voice, the one that signals genuine empathy. She fields such calls with a certain expertise. Her tone, the exact mix of warmth and graciousness, begins the healing process miles before the patient actually enters the exam room.
My son chitters away in the direction of my daughter. Sometimes my children's voices are like songs, others they are squawking ravens pecking at my feet. Every word is filled with emotion. Every sentence ends with an exclamation point.
But words fall empty when there is no audience. Only the keen observer will note that the demented man in the nursing home is a retired army colonel, or that the secretary has just lost her own mother, or that behind the children's nagging is the overwhelming request to be loved.
I have spent countless hours staring at this blank screen as it reflects back a mangled version of myself. My pitiful, misspelled words collide into fragmented sentences. Thoughts come randomly and build, crescendo and decrescendo. Purpose languishes in the shackles of rudimentary delivery.
Yet you, my reader, come faithfully without beckoning. You comment, and retweet, and click like on facebook. You turn the bald, pragmatic glyphs on page, to something more than ephemera.
You give my words context.
And in that, you bestow upon me the greatest kindness.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 5:08 PM