I have been spending a bit of time in airports lately, and each time I see one of these rolling carpets, the kind that brings travelers across long hallways effortlessly, I return to an image I concocted in my head years ago.
I had just spent an afternoon with a brightly young very old woman and as she had painted for me vignettes of her many years of life, I kept getting little bursts of shocks going through my brain. There she was, inhabiting a very much used body alongside a rebellious, bada** personality, with a collection of awe-inspiring memories to match.
That's when The Rolling carpet metaphor first came to me.
We are all on this Rolling Carpet. Some of us have just entered, some of us are likely almost at the end, and most of us have no idea where ours ends.
There is something about this image that brings me peace. Because WE ARE ALL on The Rolling Carpet. You, me, them.
I like that. I like it when we're all together in such ways. It brings me calm, a sense of community, and compassion, too. The separation melts a little.
It can take away the angst, the potential sense of unfairness. It invites love. It reminds us that it's not about "The young people and the old people." It's about where we might find ourselves on The Carpet this week.
Some days, when I notice that my boobs are no longer quite so perky and my neck is doing weird stuff, I feel compelled to take a look back at The Rolling Carpet and find myself in it, oh, twenty feet/twenty years behind. Yeah, I looked fresher I suppose. Maybe I moved faster too. But then, when I connect with how I felt, these twenty feet back, I immediately also connect with how I feel now. With how much better I know - and love - myself.
Mostly, how less of a care I give about what most people think.
Back then, I asked for permission quite a bit. Permission to be me. I wondered. I settled much more. And the big ugly one: not only did I forgive too fast, but I also occasionally apologized for other's transgressions. It was messy and really, not worth the couple of inches of boob levity.
I love The Rolling Carpet. I love the places it takes us. I love remembering my grandma telling me, having asked me what I was up to next weekend: "C'est de ton age, ma chérie." It's of your age, my darling.
I feel very lucky to still be riding The Carpet. I am aware that I don't know when I will be whisked off of it, hopefully gently.
Five years ago today, my mom stepped off of it. A few hours later, my sister and I found a note in her desk drawer. It said something like "This is the end of the road for me. I had a wonderful life." I am not surprised that she used these words just as she left us riding along without her.
And then I think about a baby girl who already has my heart and is preparing to step onto The Carpet, and all I want to say is THANK YOU.
Thank you to this Life for the privilege of riding it, thank you for those riding with me, and thank you for all the cool art on the walls along the way.
SCARED OF THE SACRED