the heart of being

‘I don’t do installations anymore,’ Alan tried to explain, using his choked version of the English language. ‘The doctor said that my heart is not well. I work too hard, he say, stress you know? And… I must learn to rest.’

‘What happened?’ I asked, trying my best not to stare at his emaciated frame.

‘I collapse. Too many years, too much stress, the heart just give up. I had so much work, I go to bed and still think about work. And now, because of this,’ he tapped his heart, ‘I cannot do work like last time.’

In a span of 2 months, Alan lost 18 kilos and his livelihood. He was my main go-to guy for all things electrical in my home. I saw him about three times a year, and quite honestly, it never dawned on me to inquire about his family and personal life. Knowing that he’d just completed work on my air-conditioning unit and lights… I felt guilty.

‘But you’re one of my best customers, we been together for so many years… so for you, I do,’ he smiled.

Crap. Now I felt lower than the scum that eats scum.

‘Hey, if you can’t, it’s okay. Really. Your health is more important!’ I assured him. Or was it myself?

‘No, no. I still must earn for my family. But I tell you so you know, in case your friends ask for help too. I do for you, but not for them. And I give you discount…’ he smiled.

*

I left my house and headed to the gym with Mother.

‘Wait…’ I said to her.

‘The cab’s already here…’ she replied.

‘Just give me a minute…’ I stopped walking and closed my eyes. I was searching for something… what was it?

Opening my eyes, I didn’t see the car park. Instead, I saw all I had in life. I knew at that moment… I was never going to bed again with the cares of the world, because they didn’t care if I rose the next day. Shaking my head, I wanted to laugh. It was absurd, being so consumed by my worries, when I had breath to live.

‘Hey…’ Mother called out a little worriedly.

‘I’m coming…’ I laughed, skipping over to the waiting cab.

*

‘To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.’

– Oscar Wilde

As I write this:

… my phone is filled with to-do alarms that reach the end of March

… my deadlines are drawing closer, encasing me with their demands

… my days are filled with meetings, sometimes, over lunch

… my nights are not mine completely, as I share them with others

And yet, I know, it is all still awesome.

*

‘For in Him I live, and move, and have my being…’

– Acts 17:28

 

 

feeding a new home

Music: To Build You A Home by Cinematic Orchestra

Sitting in the luxury of not having to know what to do next, the Mother, The Husband & I began talking getting a new home.

‘Let’s get this straight… so all three of us have thought that it is perhaps, time to explore the idea of purchasing a new home?’ I asked them. They nodded.

‘Oh coolest!’I squealed.

‘But it’s the number one reason for stress, moving house, that is,’ The Mother said with her usual caution toward anything new. We talked about loans, financial health etc. I lost her somewhere at the term ‘house valuation’.

The Husband, who was by now, half asleep with his head on the dining table, mumbled his agreement. Mother was almost right though, moving house (funny how we call it moving house, we’re actually moving homes and changing houses) is the third common cause of stress, following death and divorce.

But we’ll conquer that mountain when we get there, which may be a year or two later. We like to take our time to do these things. I’d say that we’re at the Dreaming Stage of our new home, and like all dreams, we’ve decided (okay, I proposed enthusiastically, the rest just nodded) to compile a scrapbook of homes, interior designs etc. We’re going to feed the dream till it gets so big it overwhelms our senses. My opinion is that in doing so, when we finally see the right place months later, it’ll be easier to know it’s the right place. Besides, it’s fun to dream!

So here’s my dining room option #1. Get ready for more pictures of how different corners of our new home will look!

dreamdiningroom

There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust
This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home

Cause, I built a home
for you… for me

– Cinematic Orchestra