V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #73: whole

Joseph was eighteen when I first met him, a hulk of man with dark eyes that always glanced away, and a permanent hunch, like a cowering animal. He didn’t communicate verbally, but with patience and a steadying touch, could type out his thoughts, if the mood struck him. Some days he would pace and flutter his hands, in a rhythm only he understood.

I trust your intuition, was his first message to me, a confidence I didn’t share, but it was a start.

We met once a week, sometimes to “talk”, sometimes to walk, or go for a drive, usually to his favourite restaurant. Some days we met with a circle of others to meditate, and share stories.

At one of these gatherings, as I led the group in meditation, Joseph came to stand behind me and put his hand on my shoulder.

“Can I ever be whole?” His voice was stilted, unfamiliar.

“I’m sorry, did you say something, Joseph?” All eyes raised.

“Can I ever be whole?” he repeated.

Not sure if it was the miracle of Joseph’s speech, or the nature of his question, but tears came as response.

Joseph patted my shoulder, as if to say: “Not your fault”, and the room fell into stunned silence.

Later, in privacy, I asked Joseph how I can help him be whole. He typed:

“You see me as whole. Hold that vision in your heart and I can succeed.”


Today’s challenge was inspired by Paul Vincent Cannon’s poem, To Be Made Whole. I have not thought of my friend Joseph, nor his wise words, for sometime, so I thank you for that Paul.

All are invited to participate using whatever format of expression you wish. Just remember to link back here so we can all find your work.

Look forward to your responses.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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