corsets & synchronicity part 8

I'm amidst collards greens and catch-up conversation at the seminary where I teach, after our so-sweet, plenty of candles, plenty of tears, plenty of justice preached ceremony welcoming new students. Suddenly, the woman who runs the farmer's market booth where I got breakfast yesterday (see part 6) walks up to me. I'm disoriented and I ask her warmly what context she's here at the school in, but she ignores the question. Where is the dinner catered from, she asks. I'm not sure which Ethiopian spot the school ordered from, I say, but I can find out. Never mind, she says, I need to talk to you. Ok, I say, and the student I'd been connecting with walks away to give us space.

I keep thinking about yesterday morning, she says, when you were at my booth. Really? Yes, I need to apologize to you, I've been so upset about it. What do you mean? I didn't give you enough chicken. What? I was worried when you ordered chicken that I hadn't brought enough and I didn't want to give you much, because you order it without bread and I wasn't sure if I'd make it through the day. It was a small portion, I say, but it was really fine. No, she says, I've been so upset about it, I should have given you hummus or something, too. It's ok, I say, I know you were upset about the noise from the paella guys. What, she asks, not remembering what I'm referring to. No no, she waves it off, that was nothing. I am upset because I didn't give you enough chicken, even though I ended the day with some left over.

Please come back, I will bring more next time. Ok, I say, I will. Are you sure, she asks. Yes of course I'll come back, you are who I like getting food from at the market and I live right nearby. Ok, she relaxes. Then she asks what I teach here - this semester I teach Ritual Craft as Transformative Practice. She lights up and tells me a bit about her holistic studies, her creative journey and how she wants to paint again. She says she was so happy when she saw me as she was walking by. Before she leaves she seems to want to say something else but doesn't. So I do. Maybe lets get tea or take a walk after the market sometime, I say. I'd love that, she says, and glides away wearing a smile.

When were at the market on Sunday, she indeed told me directly that she was worried to give me chicken because she afraid she didn't have enough. It's fine, I told her then, I can get something else, but she insisted on giving me chicken, though she was clearly way more stressed than I realized by giving it. She over-gave according to her perceived current capacity and undergave according to my perceived need.

I reflect on times I've given what someone asked for even though it felt too much for me to give, and I felt bad both in the giving and in the subtle withholding. I reflect on times I vulnerably share that the ask made is too much for me, and doesn't match what I feel good about giving. I consider the times that such truth-telling leads to whole new possibilities of connection or exchange. I'm excited to continue to build muscle in such moments - to take accurate stock of my resources and from that place of presence, make a choice to trust the more-than enoughness and give from abundant flow or to set a boundary around what indeed feels too much to give. In those moments, I envision an inquiry into what else might I offer that meets the need or want as well as my own desire or capacity. I imagine that this exchange can evolve with so much fabulosity.

This market-woman's apology comes in the same day I'm offered forgiveness for a thing I have been so deeply sorry for but haven't known have to repair for almost two years now. The compassion and clean slate given me today is a great gift and has my heart light.

An even brighter blessing of the day is encountering a dear one who's life almost went in a direction of no return and who now is on a clear path toward thrive. She helps me realize what a gift it is to sing, and to be in a body that makes miracles inside every moment of every day.

When I get home from the joy of her, I take a first dose of strong herbal medicine to heal the deep cough that has had me doubling over since priestess training week. I wake this morning to find my fingers already tapping to you this morse-code of spirit-connection and readying to head into a day of singing in community with one of my Sweet Honey musical activist sheros. She weaves a container so wide and deep and soaring that I imagine I'll be able to hear the song of the ancients and those entirely new. If _you_ sing a song of hope or play or prayer today, hear my voice weaving with you and know that my ears are perked, listening for yours.

Taya Shere