Archive | Church Matters

The Church of Healing Paws

It is a gorgeous fall Saturday but I don’t mind writing all day. I like holding the world slightly at bay as I type by the window, the wind drifting in, gently smoky. It is, however, difficult to finish an essay while Gracie is holding my hand. I’m no complaining, though. It’s hard to resist a cat who likes to hold hands. And she does, she really does. She holds my hand when she is proud of me. She holds my hand when I am sad. She holds my hand when she is afraid of the thunder. She holds my hand just to establish I’m her person. She held my ex’s hand, until she began to sense she needed to emotionally protect me. It always broke my heart when I’d encounter the two of them watching TV and calmly holding paws. It broke my heart more when they stopped.

I honestly think this predilection of hers stems from the reiki certification classes we attended when we were trying to help Max, my now-departed white tiger. It sounds far-fetched but during those sessions she sat on my lap and listened closely. She even has a little reiki diploma now. She’s a reikitty! Imagine the possibilities: She could open a business. She could call it Healing Paws. She mewed indignantly when I typed that last sentence but why not? It’s about time Little Miss started contributing financially to our household. We Rosman Girls aren’t meant to just sit around and look pretty.

The Church of the Magic Chair

Last weekend while in the, ahem, Hamptons (they’re so tony I can scarcely type their name), I went to a bevy of amazing yardsales. Most prized among my booty was an antique wood rocking chair made by the grandfather of the man who sold it to me; when I accurately described the grandfather (who was right around us as far as I was concerned), the man—a year-rounder who worked construction—gave it to me for $10 and a hug. Such a cute person. After money changed paws, he helped me attach the chair to Sadie, my forever-on-the-blink Hyundai. I lugged it up to my third-floor Brooklyn walkup with much huffing and puffing and more than a few reservations: Ever since my apartment rehab, I’ve considered the near-emptiness of my living room to be the height of glamour. But the chair has turned out to be a great writing ally–this man’s grandpa may have harbored literary fancies of his own–and as I type in it, permakitten Gracie nestles beneath, purring to herself and squeaking in happy fright whenever I rock unexpectedly. I suspect this Grandpa ghost is blocking whatever other energy was giving her agita, and I’m glad for him, as well as for her. My Summer of Reckoning sure has produced some treasures.

The Church of Grown Ups

The older I get, the less interested I am in spending time with people who haven’t weathered serious failure or loss or opposition yet. Choosing to navigate hardship with certitude, with grace, with open eyes and open heart is not only what introduces us to true adulthood but to our best selves. And selfish as I am, people’s best selves are the ones I want to know. As Benjamin Franklin, of whom I’m ridiculously fond, said: “You will know failure. Continue to reach out.” As an unnamed beau, of whom I was once ridiculously fond, said: “It’s all part of growing up.”

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy