As some of you know (or not), I run a writer's workshop, one Saturday per month, at my library. It was just something that needed to be, the community clamored for it, so I started it. And I always look forward to it, not just for the prompts and the writing, but... the people. Who will the universe lead to our doors...today?
Today, we were blessed with Jim "Poppa" Kelly. He's written a few books on his own, already. He's an older gent, lost most of his hair and walks with a cane. His ball cap says that he served in the Korean War. His smile is full of Life, wisdom, gratitude, and humor. He smells like my grandfather, whom I haven't seen in many years. He taught me, unabashedly, how to anchor my weight, with one foot behind me in a lunge position, to sturdy myself and help lift him from his chair to a standing position. He said I was quite strong. Oh yeah... :-) :flexes: Don't let the frilly blouse fool you.
We had a small group, just three of us, so I was happy to let him ramble. Yet, it wasn't ramble. I wish you could've been there to listen.
SO much, so much he's seen. Done. Experienced. The wisdom, the perspective. Grace. From his growing up in Queens, to living on a boat, in Florida, and then back up north, parking it on the north shore, not far from here, in another old, quaint, coastal village. He just dripped with enthusiasm and gratitude for being alive, and for all he's done and accomplished in life. And his True Love. (Which is also the name of his boat.)
He explained how he met his wife of 60+ years, and I'm paraphrasing: "I met her at a dance, at the church. She was with someone else, I was with someone else. We passed each other and that was it. I dreamed of her every night. Every night for a week... and then I went back to the church. And waited, and waited... I knew I had to see her again, I knew... finally, as I had given up and walked toward the door to leave... she came in. And we danced all night. We talked, on and on. We've never been apart, since."
Something inside melted. My eyes turned glassy. Not everyone has that experience with love. Only in the movies we watch, the girl at the end of the table and I thought. But Poppa Jim says... he got lucky, the first time. Sometimes, we need to circle around a bit until we're ready.
It was moving, beautiful, open, and inspiring. So many stories to tell, I just wish you could've seen it, felt it: rapt in your chair hanging on every ounce of Truth. Nods of clarity. Smiles that come with new perspectives on repeating issues, meaning that bubbles up through confusion. The simplicity, the sheer simplicity and joy of being that this man had shown to me. It changed me.
I so adore talking with these older folks, it's always a treasure. I am full up, and writing, and dreaming with an open heart. Today's free-write revitalized my faerie story, with a new twist. A good day, a really good day, despite the cold. It's warm in here. Not hot and raging, not cold and withdrawn. Just...warm and hopeful. Blissful and balanced.
And I can't wait for next month's session to get another fix. <3
Thanks "Poppa." What a delight you are, I do you hope you come back in April.