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Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Old Woman On The Steps

"Who are you and what do you want?"

"I am nobody. I want nothing.
I sat here on this very spot. Years ago now. It was November and cold. Remember?
My bones ached in the chill air and my breath made clouds in front of my face.
You saw me. I know you did.
I saw you look and then look away. I made you uncomfortable.
I was hoping someone would see me.
As a person.
As someone's daughter. Someone's mother.
Someone worthy of, if not love, then worthy at least of a small, the smallest really, act of kindness. Charity.
Out of all the people walking up the steps, I saw you after all.
And when I saw you I hoped...
But you ducked your head and passed me without smiling.
It was November. It was so cold.
I needed to be seen. I thought I'd come to the right place. It was the only place I could think of where I might have had a hope.

But when nobody in the crowds filing by me would meet my eye,
I began to believe they didn't see me.
It was an uncanny sensation.
Like I didn't exist. Like I wasn't there.
I couldn't stay much longer.
I was dying of the cold.
Everything was grey and biting and the cathedral steps were hard.

By the time you came back out again, I was gone.
You saw God in the dark beauty of the cathedral. You saw God in the stones and the statues and the artwork on the walls.
Yet you could not see God in me.

Who am I?
Your sister. Your mother.
A chance to show love that you didn't take."

- Mainz, Germany -

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful...enjoyed it...thanks Judi

Colleen said...

Thank you Judi! I'm always glad to know you enjoy my writing!:)
And thank you Fr√łken Paris for the congratulations on our new little family!:)

Anonymous said...

Like your new blog presentation, specially the aphorisme of Horace Rutledge. Never heard this name. Where did you find it?
Marlies

Colleen said...

Hi Marlies! It's so nice to hear from you! I actually first heard the quote from Judi (who commented above:) and loved it...it's so true, isn't it? And you know, I have no idea who Horace Rutledge is/was...I looked him up just now and checked about 40 different sites but couldn't find any information what-so-ever! Too bad, it's a very wise quote.
I really hope you, Thomas and Anna-Lena are fine and enjoying spring! Give them my love and take care!

Bernie said...

I have enjoyed reading your posts. Thanks for visiting mine. It is so true that we do not see God where we should but choose instead to go to beautiful churches with their beautiful safe clean worship?

Deborah said...

Colleen that is so beautiful and painful. I feel every word you wrote. That's how I felt yesterday. I don't want to be the person who's too afraid to get involved, and yet I am that person. Your words have struck a deep nerve with me. You should link this post in my comments section so others can easily find it and read it.

Colleen said...

Thank you so much Deborah, for you words and your understanding.