ardent bullshit comes down every faultline gushing heavily into jest kindly luscious melons nodding openly post quakes resting still to undermind various wonderous xylophones yawning zealously

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You're the Breath that Blows These Cools Winds 'Round

Monday evening I was having coffee with a couple gal pals when my phone rang. A number I recognize from my alma mater, good ol' Colorado State, was on the screen so I ignored it, assuming that they are calling for alumni donations. As much as I'd like to give toward scholarship, now is just not the time. And felt a twinge of guilt as I thought this, taking another bite of expensive cake.

Someday, I say to my cafe buddies. And immediately I thought of a woman who taught the last Spanish class I've taken. She wasn't someone you would describe as physically beautiful or even striking. I distinctly remember turning my nose up a little at the mullet-style haircut she rocked. She had a very gentle way about her, though. You could tell that she was weathered like a river rock. Smoothed over by uncontrollable forces until she was fluid, comfortable, and uniquely lovely.

One morning after class she and I were discussing something, I don't remember what, exactly. She looked toward me and said "this isn't the first time you've come to class and smelled like this, you know I used to smell like that a lot". The night before included copious amounts of whiskey. Not unlike many nights during that time in my life. Her manner of noting this was not harsh or accusatory, rather concerned. I immediately got defensive and said I was fine, physically brushing it off.

And that was all she ever said about it.

Years later, I vividly remember that particular morning, despite my hazy mental condition at the time. For a couple months now I've been thinking about contacting her. Not to toot my stupid horn about finally getting my shit together but to thank her. Urge her to continue talking to students she finds might need help. Because it matters and has helped me, even if the change didn't take immediately.

Yesterday I called up the Spanish Department and explained, loosely, my situation. That I wished to send a letter to a teacher, whose name I couldn't remember, thanking her for the seemingly small but realistically immense impact she had and how much she unknowingly helped me. The woman on the other end knew exactly who I was talking about and said that Amanda, that is her name, was a help to many people. But I couldn't send her a letter because she died three years ago.

We talked for a minute or two more. The kind admin, explaining that Amanda hadn't received the lung transplant she needed and moved back to Honduras to rest. Me, profusely thanking the woman for information and understanding. But it felt like a million hours, holding back tears. Once off the phone, I sat in my office while warm release streamed down my face. But not of sadness or sorrow. I felt so grateful and blessed to have experienced Amanda's energy and be able to hold it with me still.

I would have loved to gush thank yous to Amanda. Sincerely give gratitude to someone who touched my life in a way few have or could. I have faith that she knew how much she helped people. That she was one of those special beings who, despite their enormous impact, humbly accepted their roles in life and inspired others without desiring credit or gratification.

Thank you, Amanda. Your compassion and love for others will forever live in and spread from those of us who had the good fortune to know you in the physical realm and be affected by you in the spiritual one.

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