The other day, I wrote about how the offer of prayer provides a human connection, creating an energy web of support. But there’s more that needs to be said on the subject.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in waiting rooms this week. They are their own separate animal, distinct from the process of waiting. They can feel empty and quiet, and then reverberate with the leftover emotions they contained. The people shift through them, different faces, different skin colors, different accents, but all with the identical expressions, all with audible thoughts and tangible panic.
And then you get to talking. A quick smile becomes a quick question, and suddenly you learn that the group six chairs over has spent their lives in a place with a population lower than that of the facility they’re waiting in. Another woman sits alone because she and her brother have the kind of life-or-death jobs that don’t allow for dropping them, forgotten. So there they are, keeping vigil serially.
You’re probably wondering where the metaphysical is. Well, for those who think that concept is pointless, please follow me through.
Every one of those conversations is like a chip of something calm and stable, a tiny place for two people in vast emptiness to stand. Those conversations are about a level of connectedness beyond the concrete, but in the very barely detectible energy that makes us different from the inanimate. Those connections are support for the soul, not necessarily in the religious sense of soul, but as the essence that inhabits a body for a time and then leaves, taking with it the thing that distinguishes a person from something that never had life in it at all.
They are touch, but not physical touch.
Nearly every culture has a concept of an essence separate from the physical body. That energy is what binds us, all living things, together. Fighting the connections among us is what makes room for hatred and strife, because when you realize that we are all the same, we are all little puddles of the same larger sea of energy, you see that divisiveness and hatred spread and disperse–puddle to puddle, lake to lake, sea to sea–and poison us all.
But those quick smiles and quick questions anchor us and nourish our energy.
The things you learn in waiting rooms.