Warriors: Stories From The Battlefield of Inner Peace
By Andrea Marcum • November 12th, 2012 • 4273 Views
I ‘m a bit of a National Public Radio freak. When I heard Kate Braestrup’s story on On Being while I was hiking, I took another loop around the canyon to catch her entire interview. She’s a chaplain in Maine who accompanies the game wardens on search and rescue missions that often involve loss and disaster; people driving off the side of a snow covered road, or going missing in the wild. Because she lost her own husband unexpectedly in an instant, she knows how important it is to have people around us as we face life’s challenges. Time and time again, she sees the power and beauty of people showing up for one another in a time of need and the juxtaposition of difficulty and compassion. “The question isn’t whether we’re going to have to do hard, awful things, because we are, and we all are. The question is whether we have to do them alone.” Braestrup says. “There is this sense of a community that will hold us.”
At my studio in LA, we witness each other’s lives too. We see each other through the down economy, watch the beautiful pregnant bellies among us turn into miraculous new extended family members. Broken hearts are comforted and new exciting jobs celebrated. We’re not in the wilderness of Maine, we’re in the jungle of the city and I am no chaplain. But human stories do not adhere to zip codes or territories. They belong to us all.
To share them with each other is to hold each other close.
When she came on retreat to Mexico, Sherry was terrified of the bugs, the food, the accommodations (which were luxury) and the sun. While everyone else was raving about the place, splashing in the surf and sipping hibiscus water, she found nothing acceptable. It was six days of misery in paradise. Never would I have foreseen what she proved capable of two years later. After her boyfriend proposed with the only sized diamond she would allow, they were married and had a beautiful baby boy. Three months pregnant with her second child doctors discovered stage-four breast cancer. It was strongly recommended that she abort the baby, as they had to do extreme chemo and radical treatment. She refused and bravely entered uncharted waters receiving the treatments while the baby grew inside her. During this time...