I have a black shirt, soft as butter and stretchy, with the super long sleeves that serve as small teddy bears at the ends of my arms. I had lost this shirt at some point Friday night at a weekend festival. I was devastated.
Mind you, I had another shirt the same in all ways but color. This is my second favorite shirt because it is red, not black. As many of you will agree, this second shirt, though loved, was no replacement for the first.
I mourned my loss for most of Saturday. It upset me that I had been careless enough to lose something that I now realized I’d taken for granted. I asked the Powers that Be to reunite me with my beloved shirt.
As I shivered in the cool night even amidst the warmth of my circle of friends, a man approached our table and asked to join us. Being the rowdy lot that we are, he was welcomed with offers of food and drink. Being the rowdy lot that we are, we mercilessly fucked with his head.
Around said man’s neck was a pair of what appeared to be tights. He treated them much as a child would his “woobie.”
I’m a healer, a shaman, and my life purpose is to touch the lives of those who need healing…
His friends had come by to check on him and felt comfortable leaving him to our tender mercies. After a few more beers had dropped into his gullet, I realized that he needed to be returned to his friends. I took him by the hand and hoped I remembered what his friends looked like.
As we headed for the Hall, we made a pitstop at one of the temporary outhouses. I took the tights from him and guarded the door. I even enlisted the aid of the next in line to assist should we have a pass-out situation on our hands.
I shook out the tights and stared. As you might guess, the fabric did not make the shape of two legs and a waist. I held in my hands the very shirt I had lost.
Overjoyed, I pushed my head through the neck. It fell like a cloak about my shoulders and swallowed my hands. It felt like fur against my arms but so whisper-thin and so black.
I knew he wouldn’t remember having the “tights.” He was barely able to buckle his own belt, but as I looked at him, I saw why he’d ended up with my shirt.
Him: What are you?
Me: *exhales* I’m your angel for the night.
I’m a healer, a shaman, and my life purpose is to touch the lives of those who need healing and to assist those who are willing to do the work to retrieve the lost parts of themselves. He was sent to me for healing, but I wasn’t sure what kind.
I knew him in ways that very few people can know another. This is the story of my life. I see people, and in this day in age that acknowledgement is addictive. He wasn’t immune.
I saw a man who was filled with purpose yet locked in a cage of alcoholism. He tried to drown his demons, not knowing they could swim. He wouldn’t tell me why, and this was one thing I could not divine.
The conversation went much like this:
Me: What’s on your mind?
Him: *stares at the ground* *looks at me with almost clear eyes* *opens mouth to speak*
Me: *gets excited about the potential to clean a wound*
I see people who hurt. I see people who want to laugh and be happy.
Him: What are you?
Me: *exhales* I’m your angel for the night.
Mind you, I wasn’t talking about anything other than guarding his soul so that whatever forces within him could work in peace. Connecting with someone is such a pleasurable experience and too many people sexualize the event.
Sexualization is a defense mechanism against connection. Not because sex isn’t a good way to connect, but because our society twists sex into something it cannot be.
Him: I hurt so much. What is wrong with me?
Me: You’ve forgotten how to dream.
Him: Life is hard.
Me: You’ve been running away. You’ve forgotten how to dream. When you face life, you learn. When you have dreams, you have purpose. I’m hoping you’ll face these challenges while sober.
Him: *drunken pondering* *nods* Fair enough.
He was quiet for a little while as we smoked cigarettes and I prayed I wasn’t fucking this up too badly. I was doing what I could to stay open, to not make this about me, and to listen instead of talk.
Me: Why do you hate yourself?
Him: I do hate myself. A lot. *flings arm out to take in the festivities* What do you see when you look at all these people?
Me: *observes the string lights, the swirl of black clad bodies with hints of color, the inebriated faces wreathed with smiles, and the air full of laughter and crude jokes*
He tried to drown his demons, not knowing they could swim.
Me: I see people who want to love and to connect on a deep soul level. I see them floundering as they try to find their way because the true path to connection has been crowded with distractions. I see people who hurt. I see people who want to laugh and be happy.
Him: We’re here for them? They are us?
Me: Yes, and we are them.
After that profound statement, we returned to my friends. I told my friends where I had been and what had happened. They agreed I should continue my assigned mission.
Many of you will think I had to choose, but I didn’t. My friends know me, and they know my purpose in this reality. This was the biggest take away for me and I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this humbled or grateful in my life.
We are all loved. We are all connected.
I swam in a sea of human energies and I was recognized. It’s a sense of arrival and I want everyone to feel this connection.
I had a deep and insightful conversation with his friends after he had been put to bed. His friends love him dearly. He is a wonderful man when he’s sober.
I may not see the outcome of my influence. I haphazardly followed the plan of something greater than one human being. Despite this man’s stumbling in the dark, I had become an instrument of love and light, a lamp shining in the darkness of his life.
You would not be chosen for this bewildering experience if you weren’t ready.
But in this apparent “tragedy” I took away one very important understanding. We are all loved. We are all connected. Angels touch our lives all the time and when we need them most.
You may be called to perform this angelic duty. You may stand in the eye of another’s storm, a beacon in the dark, before the gales and torrents claim him again.
Remind him to dream. To dream big. To embrace the glory of his purpose here in these fragile, flesh-bags we call home. You would not be chosen for this bewildering experience if you weren’t ready. You are enough to change the course of a generation with the flutter of your butterfly wings.