Sorry. One simple word that has the power to connect worlds.
Out to dinner with my friend S, on our weekend writing get away, we both noticed the grumpy attitude and lack of enthusiasm if not general connection with our server. When S stepped outside to take a phone call from her son, I overheard the restaurant patron seated on my left tell her male dinner partner, She didn’t even say sorry, calmly spoken with no judgment, pure observation.
I looked over and caught eyes with the couple. Are you having trouble with our server, too?, I inquired.
It was then I heard the story of receiving raw chicken, twice that evening. She acknowledged the occurrence of making mistakes and instead of reacting with an outburst, she showed grace. We both had been waitresses in past lives, so an instant bond of empathic proportions was formed.
In this short lived interaction we voiced the power and importance of acknowledgement in this type of situation. Raw chicken isn’t the fault of a server, nor the cook – it’s simply raw chicken. Our new dinner companions would have liked a word of recognition for now not even getting to eat dinner with each other. His meal was finished. Her appetite lost.
S was back from her phone call and now the four of us began to engage each other in conversation. No more mention of chicken, just pure, raw curiosity and questioning spewing forth like fireworks. Our stories drew out more connections. The six degree thing came true when I discovered she graduated from high school with my neighbor and he worked on my favorite TV show. The show that inspired the kids and I to sing loudly together around the house all through winter. (http://www.mamaneedsarefill.com/2012/02/fridays-free-refill-soul-music/)
It is in these connections, speaking up when perhaps you shouldn’t be eaves dropping on restaurant patrons, and asking questions that tap your curiosity, that life unfolds to mystery. Your heart is touched, cracked open a little wider letting in possibility. Learning from surrendering, bringing forgiveness, (it was just a grumpy waitress and uncooked food, ok, ok, raw chicken isn’t exactly healthy) that we learn not only about ourselves, and our friends but the strangers seated next to you, who really aren’t strange at all.
We are all connected and often it takes something at first glance viewed as negative to bring us all together. Souls barred. Raw. Beautiful.
by J.G. McGlothern