We were painting Powder-Puff run-throughs with the cheer markers in my room, which is always commandeered for such during Homecoming Week. Let’s just say the air was thick with hallucinogenic fumes and thin with plain ol’ oxygen. That is one reason I do not hold class Homecoming Week. Also, as I am in charge of nearly all activities of the week, I run around organizing, counting, putting out fires and getting important things done.

This particular period, I  was overseeing the making of the parade signs and our ink intoxication. The Child I Love and the Child I Am Fast Falling For were manning the markers. They have steady hands and draw good clean lines. When they had finally finished, I called TCIL over. I asked if she had read my new series on my blog about my weekend away. TCIL and I write back and forth for fun and as an outlet to vent or to think things through. She regularly reads my blog.

As she had not, I thrust my Macbook into her hands and sat her against the wall aside me. ( We had emptied all my room’s space of chairs and tables early in the week. ) The floor fit our excursion better anyway.

At school, she alone knew why I was going on my trip, the reasons obvious and not so. She writes with me remember? She shares some of my secrets and helps to bear me up like the other young-guns who are stationed all around me.

She quickly made her way through each post, nodding her head with unspoken approval. Finally, she looked up at me. “I love Callaway, Mrs. Kim. We have a chalet there. I don’t even know how many times I have been…I know this place, Mrs. Kim, I know it. ( In my spirit I heard, “I am with you. there, too.”) And she is. with me. making my days at work . and even away. mean and maybe matter more.

She helped me this week, in little ways of which she is not aware. She up and left her normal crew stationed and spread out up front, moved to the back of the room with a new friend, near my desk and my weakness the days I was so physically, and consequently, spiritually weak.  It may have been unconscious, but it buoyed me. I felt protected. She checked my eyes several times a day to make sure I was not overwhelmed or somehow in need of help. And everyday she found me at the day’s end to assure me she would see me the next day…that she would be there.

I write about her a lot. She is grace to me…even here at school where I struggle so to sense it. At least once a week, some adult will mention her to me in some fearful way. I don’t know why. She has never caused any real trouble. She does her work well. She is kind and gentle. But, for some reason, maybe her foreign Catholic upbringing or her sometimes less than studious or squeaky clean comrades, she is rarely seen for what she is.

That’s okay. They can have what it is they want: shellac and supercilious spirituality.

I’ll take grace now and with me wherever I go.



Filed under observation

2 responses to “Captive

  1. You and grace — what a partnership.

  2. Again — seeing people as they are and appreciating them for it. Seems like this is a gift of yours.

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