To shore up or …

imagedream my way out to sea?

Well, speaking for myself, always in regards of myself (save for when I’m voicing LBM’s stories but then, that’s really only a narrative of someone else’s experience anyway, isn’t it?), I’m choosing to leave the shore a lot more often.

And while for the most part it’s been instilled into a greater percentage of us, that our life’s practice must contain a whole lot of shoring up as it were, well, I’ve noticed that hasn’t always been so much fun.

Fun? one would ask me.  Is that all life means to you, is to just have fun?  Sure fun is good but it can’t be all there is, all the time.  Have you not a sedate thought as to the direction of your future?  Are you just going to throw sensibility and caution straight out into the gale force winds, shrugging your shoulders at the very word, ‘serious’ … Seriously!?

Okay to be fair, I took quite a few things with as solemn an approach as I was raised to do, while making my way through this world; through this first half of my life.  You know, I’ve noticed however, as time goes by, the seriousness of it all begins to fall away.

🤍 And thank goodness it has done exactly that for me.  It couldn’t have happened at a better time, this unencumbered ability to just be!  Trust me, this has nothing to do with a financial perspective as I haven’t one anyway.  Someone just asked me, “How can you be like that, especially during this CoronaVirus scenario?”  I don’t know if I could really ever explain it, I just know it.

 

Get this:  two days ago I accidentally dropped a hot water pot to the ground, at my feet.  It was three quarters full and had just come to a complete boil.  The pot was momentarily resting at a level just above my head.

You see, my brother’s house is currently kitchen-less during renovations and so that’s where the pot’s base was, atop the refrigerator as there’s really no space here in the hallway.  And I take full responsibility for the accident, I do.

Now as it made its way down, it bounced off a mid-level (about waist high) shelf, flipping itself on its side and that’s when it happened.  As it hit the shelf, the water burst out from the pot, it doused my entire left hand, to also include both sides down past my wrist, and then both of my legs (I was wearing shorts) as it hit the floor!

Shocked?  Oh yes, for sure! 🔥 It took a moment to realize I’d just been badly burned.  I picked up the pot and set it on a side table, quickly making my way to the bathroom faucet for a good drenching of cold water💦

There was very much a raging fire burning from within my hand which encouraged me to repeat over and over, ‘I’m fine, I’m good, I’m brave, it’s going to be all right,’ and over again some more.  I said this out loud because I wanted to be sure LOL my affirmations were being heard somewhere out in the universe!

I was also being very, very appreciative that my head or face wasn’t involved in this mishap.  I intentionally ignored my legs because the nerves of my hand were screaming a lot louder.

After a little bit, the cold water from the faucet was not cold enough so I had to get the pitcher of cold water out of the fridge and slowly trickle it onto my hand.  Emptying the pitcher, I had to return to the faucet but it did feel better than at the beginning.

This process went on for quite some time until I could finally pull myself away from the running water to attempt applying something soothing onto the surface of my hand.  CBD to the rescue!

It was an all day, all evening process; in and out of the running cold water and frozen washcloths but do you know, in all that pain, I was able to sleep most of the night through, waking only from the misplacement of my hand.

And do you know why?  Right from the beginning I reminded myself to absolutely not take this seriously, despite the intense pain and I’m not kidding!  While it’s true my legs received a lesser amount of 💦 splash, I didn’t attend to them at all.  I had felt the burn when it happened and for a short while after the fact but they managed themselves I suppose.

🌸 Today, the 3rd day, there’s redness only at the inside of my wrist and a little on the back of my hand.  I’m trusting that’ll be gone before long, perhaps even before my birthday next week ☺️ and pain?  Non-existent LOL save for when I knocked my hand up against something yesterday. ⚛️

I’m so appreciative that I was able to, in such a crisis, remind myself to not take it too seriously.  I’m not certain how my reaction will take hold in alternate circumstances but I have to say, I see this has been a very good direction for me and I’ll keep comfortably on this path.

Perhaps my story will awaken something in yourself … a positive application of self-trust, a bit more relaxed about life and a healthy dose of more fun!  Look, I know how severe this burn was, I see the manifestation of the near immediate healing and I also know how great I felt comforting myself 🌹with simple ease and pleasure of being light-hearted 💙💕💖

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45. At Last I’ve Been Dealt the Perfect Hand – Tuesday

January 1959

Tuesday morning instead of going straight into work, I detoured to the hospital.  Today I hadn’t made the arrangement to be late to work, I just took a chance, optimistic in my near future plans.  

At this hospital there was a young man I knew who worked there.  This X Ray technician was still burning a candle for one of my cousins.  In the not-so-distant past, I had played courier pigeon for the two of them so he was only too happy to return a favor!  

I found him and briefly explained what I was up to.  He shared a broad smile with me, “I know exactly what you need.”  In five minutes he had me back in the X Ray room and he clicked off precisely what was needed.  

“Come back anytime after two this afternoon and your picture will be ready to pick-up.  Best of luck and don’t forget your mates back here on this little island!”

That was easy.  I felt confident enough now that I wanted to just propel forward; so no, not to work yet.  Next I went to the Suva police station to try and obtain the required ‘good character’ report.

I quickly found a cousin of mine -yes it’s true- who worked there.  Again briefly, I explained my intentions and handed the paperwork from the consulate’s office to him.  “I know what’s needed here for you, I’ll get it done.  Give me an hour and come back for it.”

Now that the police document and the X ray was tended to, I went over to my brother-in-law’s garage to get the document of financial promise.  While I waited there in the office, the letter was drafted and I obtained it quickly.  

Guess I’d better go to work?

And so I did.  No one said anything to me about my late arrival.  My brother is watching me though but I didn’t think anything of it, save he was just being my watchful brother.  

At lunchtime I went back to the police station and picked up my letter.  I then caught the bus to the hospital to collect my X Ray and returned to work.  

That evening I went straight home, it had been a very active day.  Still I have told nobody in my immediate family about my plans.  Thankfully I now have 3 of the 4 required items to go along with my already filled out application.

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45. At Last I’ve Been Dealt the Perfect Hand – Monday

January 1959

The American Consulate’s office had arrived on Cumming Street in Suva, providing a green light at my crossroads.  It was a Monday morning when I headed towards their front door and there was only one thing on my mind, immigration to the United States.

I seem to recall a 3-story building housing a Chinese restaurant on the street level, the consulate’s office above taking the entire 2nd floor, with the 3rd floor being irrelevant to me.

A short hike up the stairs and I was inside the office, looking curiously around.  There was a woman sitting at a desk.  She looked up at me and asked in a kindly voice, “How can I help you?”  I responded, ‘This is the American consulate’s office?’  She smiled,  “Yes.”    

‘I would like to apply for a permanent resident visa so I can live in the United States,’ I stated eagerly.

She got up and excused herself going into one of the rooms somewhere behind the front office.  She returned with a stack of forms for me.  I met her back at the counter.  

“Read all the requirements, fill all these out and be sure to gather the necessary documents which are listed on this page..,” she was pointing to the list.  “…and when you’ve completed everything, bring the entire packet back here and we’ll move to the next step from there.”

I told her my name and asked for hers; Theresa, she told me.  I extended my hand to shake hers and left the office.  On my way down, at the last step before I exited the premises with my stack of forms, a thought hit me like a thunderclap.  ‘Wait a minute,’ it started.  ‘Didn’t I do this years before?’  

I turned right around and marched back up those steps with even more determination than before, feeling a whole lot closer to my goal.  Theresa was at her desk and she looked up at me again, just as before and this time she said, “What? You’re back again!”  

She was grinning at me.  “Did I forget something or maybe you’ve got something for me?”  I shook my head and with a return smile I stated, ‘Not really but I have a question.’

“Go ahead,” she said.  I asked her if the consulate kept old applications.  In an assured voice Theresa replied, “We keep everything.”  The look on her face told me she couldn’t wait to hear what I had to say.

I explained I had submitted a similar application years before; it was the spring of 1953.  I told her I had mailed it to the American Consulate in Noumea, New Caledonia.  She wrote my name and the year on a piece of paper.  She got up from her desk and said she’d go in the back and look for it.  

Theresa suggested, “Why not have a seat Mr. Masala. This might take a while.”  It may have been 15-20 minutes before she returned and with my file in hand -how about that!  She took it straight to her desk to spend a few moments reviewing the old application.  

Theresa asked me why I had not completed the application before.  I explained there were various particulars including timing and financial reasons.  She nodded, adding and subtracting pages, re-sorted them and restated what I needed now.  

It was the same as before really; the doctor’s bill of good health, no disease and such to include a chest x ray looking out mainly for TB, and financial letter of sponsorship.  Also needed would be a letter vouching a promise of accommodation when I arrive in the United States and lastly a police report clearing me as safe, respectable and without record person.

I knew I could take care of the list for I would be persistent in changing the direction of my life.  Theresa wished me success, “I wish you all the best Mr. Masala.  I think you are really ready for this and so we will see you soon, I expect.”

I smiled and thanked Theresa. This time I actually left the building and I went straight to work.  It took me all of 10 minutes on foot.

C - Sunset at the beach

At the end of the work day, I stopped to have my ice cold Guinness Stout with an excited feeling following me about.  I took the evening bus towards home.

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Theresa of course is a ficticious name for a truly helpful, sweet and kind person.