Monday, January 11, 2010

Adventure of a Lifetime Begins with a Human Touch

Greetings from Prague, Czech Republic! I am writing while attending the TEFL course that just started today...a rigorous schedule that starts at 10 in the morning until 6 at night...with a cross section from around the world...or so it seems...from California, Canada, and Colorado. This Motley crew of teachers, professionals from multiple sectors that all have their stories of how they came to choose to come here in January at the height of one of the worst storms that Europe has had in a very long time.

After spending a must needed vacation in Paris for two weeks I hope to share this special journey that evolved from an image that I had in my mind while I was teaching English in South Korea. This picture clearly shows the power we all have to create our lives each day of our precious journey. I wanted to share with you an incredible encounter I had while on my way to Prague.

I was in Gare du Nord (which simply means the North Terminal) in Paris. A homeless man approached me and looked into my eyes and took my gloved hand and put it to his cheek. He didn't ask me for a thing, but just to be touched. In the gulf of his pain that I could see in his eyes, I saw the cry of a man to be a man again. I was speechless and withdrew my hand and took off my glove and he took my hand and held it, just simply stood by me.

I thought about the courage it took him to approach me. It moved my heart and my eyes threatened to tear up. He then moved my hand to his cheek and then to his neck, which begged for the touch of a woman. The moment lacked words, but had the human moment without words of touching an untouchable in the view of society.

I thought about my potential reaction to recoil out of fear, but I was not afraid. I saw the deeper meaning, the hunger we all have to be touched out of love and not fear. I walked away and mouthed the words, 'I care'...perhaps that is what we all need to do more of.

Without regard for public appearance...the people watched and were horrified and it magnetized them at the same time. I have no regrets for touching this man...it was what he needed and that transcended our languages.

7 comments:

Katherine Jenkins said...

Beautiful Marilyn....yes deep down we are the same creatures with the same needs. We make distinctions on the outside, but we all need love, care, happiness and peace. Your gesture did indeed transcend the outward and embrace the universal need to feel loved. May you always feel these things. Much peace, love and happiness to you on your journey. I look forward to reading more!!

heatherconroy said...

How brave you are Marilyn. When your heart spoke you listened.

Pat said...

That was very moving......you were brave and so very kind. You knew what that man wanted and needed. I can't remember the exact saying but it something like, "Jesus walks among us" and "angels". Whatever the saying is, the meaning is that we never know when Jesus is going to test us - I think you passed the test with flying colors!

Eco Yogini said...

wow what a phenomenal moment.

we are all connected. :)

Marla said...

Oh, Marilyn. This is so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. As I go deeper into the homeless community, this is the very cry I hear from their hearts and their lips. Human touch is so very essential. Babies die without it, even while receiving food and water.

Thank you for this powerful written word.

Marilyn said...

I haven't known how to respond to all of this outpouring...I debated about not writing about this moment, but I realized that so many people are afraid right now. There are people that are afraid of being needed. There are others afraid to express their need.

I realized this moment never happened to me before, and it happened at a point in time when I was wondering what I could do...all I was, was available and very much who I am...

Thank you for letting my words touch you and I hope it motivates you as well to really look within at your toolboxes...to see that we all have something within us that we can give to others in a very real way.

Katherine Jenkins said...

Marilyn...I am so happy you wrote this. I also hesitate with my writing and whether or not to share it..but I am so glad you did. We can all benefit from sharing moments like this. We are all in this together. The more we open and share with each other, the more we make this world we live in a little better. Thank you so much. I am so happy again that you wrote this.