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Seeing Light

Beautiful stories written by YOU about a person or event that changed your life, gave you hope, made you dream...
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Beautiful Soul
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Location: Australia

Post by Maithri » October 7, 2008, 2:49 am

A Sunset in Melbourne is a little like grace. It can take you by surprise.

Against a stern city skyline, the world suddenly softens.

I think it was William Blake who once said that "Colours are the wounds of light." In Melbourne this truth is never more boldly apparent, than at sunset.

I've lost count of the times I've sat in quiet awe as the wounded sky bled pastel peace across the land. Tender shades of apricot, rose and burnt sienna rising in waves of layered comfort to embrace a tired city.

It was on such an evening not very long ago, as the sky made secret love to the world, that I walked through the doors of the Childrens hospital, stethescope round my neck, to start an evening shift in the emergency department.

Funnily enough, on the very same site as the hospital, there resides a little Macdonalds restaurant. (The ethics of which I'll leave to those who are wiser and more knowledgeable than I to discuss.)

On this particular day, prior to starting my shift, I felt a sudden, distinct craving for ice cream.

So I wandered into the bustling eatery and took my place in the queue which stretched at least 20 deep before me .

The man immediately in front of me seemed very different from the other customers waiting to be served.

He wore a long olive brown coat. It was the kind of coat that had probably seen more than most people in that restaurant ever had. Mottled, frayed, covered in little jagged edged holes and layers of accumulated dirt. His calloused fingers curved tightly around the ends of its tattered sleeves the way a frightened baby clings to its mother.

His wild beard was coarse and unkempt. And with every step he took, the smell of cheap beer walked with him.

He was one of the 'unseen'. The 'unrespectable'. And every one around him knew it.

As I thought about the kind of life he must live, he suddenly turned around and looked directly at me.

His face was a portrait of pain. Red eyes burning from a face that was wrinkled before its time. Lips dry, cracked and ulcerated. Teeth chipped and almost as yellow as his jaundiced skin.

For what seemed like an eternity, he stood motionless. Glaring at me with a fearless intensity.

I pretended not to feel his piercing gaze as I looked at my watch and then at the Menu behind the counter. Others in the restaurant noticed too and moved uncomfortably in their seats.

After several minutes he said in a loud husky voice:

"Hey Doc, Is it the end of your shift?"

I looked at him and replied "No I'm just starting mate."

After a moments pause, he took two small steps forward, and put a hand on my shoulder. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the security guard also edge closer.

Then he spoke these words, soft and clear.

"Why don't you go in front of me, Doc.

I'm not in a hurry."

There is a Swazi greeting "Sawbona". It means 'I see you'.

In that crowded Macdonalds restaurant that evening, I was 'seen' by an 'unseen' man.

And as I looked upon him again, I saw

A soft light templed in his face.

The same light I had seen rapturing the skies just minutes earlier.

And I wondered how I could have missed it before.

Copyright - Maithri Goonetilleke 2008
If you cant feed one hundred people. Feed one. - Mother Teresa



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Cosmic Dreamer
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Post by Liebestraum » October 7, 2008, 8:48 am

Oh, dear Maithri, you moved me with this story. This man recognized your noble heart because even though under apparent layers of dust his heart remained noble too.

You are a born storyteller!

Love and hugs.
Margherita :)
Love is the One who masters all things;
I am mastered totally by Love.

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Beautiful Soul
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Post by Mammy » October 8, 2008, 10:14 am

That is such a beautiful and inspiring story of one amazing soul recognising another :) :) :)
thank you Maithri xxxx

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Beautiful Soul
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Post by kena_quote » October 13, 2008, 12:50 am

Very rewarding...i like it. Thanks for the enlightenment kind of story.

love lots,

kena_quote =)

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Ron Atchison
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Post by Ron Atchison » October 14, 2008, 3:35 am

I read this a couple of days ago Maithri... and the man who stood in front of you is still on my mind. The story is beautifully written! ;-)


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Post by jojigirl » October 16, 2008, 12:37 am

Prejudices are blinding, crippling.

The spontaneous naturalness of the man's manner, apparently unbridled by society's biases, made him completely see.

You're lucky to have seen a diferent light as the sun went down that very day, Maithri.

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