Guest WritingsThoughts our guests like to share.
If I had a friend named Crayon we could all live in one big box. We could have a lot of other friends with the same designer plots.
Our clothes would be matching, although we would have different names; Each one of us a different color although all of us are the same.
We could create beauty together with lines and squiggles and tilts; Make a house with a rainbow roof to fill it with colors and quilts.
You see you see all that we can do. We are all the same in the beginning.
The beauty is up to you.
On April 20, 2016, at 7am, I was lying in my tent pondering what I was going to do for the day when I hiccuped. When I hiccuped I not only felt but heard a pop in my stomach area and, suddenly, a very intense burning sensation started growing from the area. Within two minutes every cell of my body was on fire and I was paralyzed.
I stayed that way for quite sometime, and before I was able to get help my stomach suddenly started getting larger, almost to the point it looked like I was pregnant. The good thing was that the burning ceased. An hour later I threw up about half the blood in my body. If you have ever lost half your blood, you know that it is a real trip.
Finally I was able to get help, and by the time I got to the hospital I was in severe shock. An hour later I went into cardiac arrest and died. The doctors said I was clinically dead for 13 1/2 minutes. I later found out what caused this very serious episode: an upper gastrointestinal bleed. Basically, an ulcer the size of a dime exploded in my abdomen.
This is where this story really begins for me, but I won’t be able to share a whole lot with you for the simple fact that either I cannot put into words what I saw and learned, or the memory has been suppressed because – as it was explained to me – the physical body could not withstand the absolute reality of the other side. Or I will not tell you because you will think I am even crazier than you already do.
Yes, I did see the other side and it was incredible. What I saw and learned completely blew my mind. Now, five months later in my tent when I think about it these thoughts are as strong or even stronger than ever:
There was no pain.
There was no sadness.
There was no darkness.
There was complete peace.
There was complete happiness and joy
Everything was light.
Death is a new beginning.
There is no need to fear death.
I was very upset that I had to come back.
Treat yourself and others well.
We are all priceless beings of light.
We are all HOLY SPIRITS.
DEATH: I highly recommend everyone try it at least once.
– Michael Steven
Lately, there has been much discussion of what makes a dog a service animal. Garage guests put together their criteria:
- If your dog can use the remote, she’s a service dog.
- If your dog is smarter than you are, she is a service dog.
- You know it’s a service dog when it pulls down the covers and puts you to bed, even when you’re sober.
- He’s not a service dog if he greets everybody from behind.
- A service dog doesn’t hold a grudge.
- If your dog isn’t trained in customer service, he is not a service dog.
- A service dog washes dishes without using his tongue.
- A service dog can open the fridge door, take out a can, pop the top and serve it to you.
- A service dog doesn’t need you.
I know more than just a couple of people who must take conscious care of their mental health. I have fought depression and anxiety since I was 10 years old. Yeah, diagnosed at 10. Since then, I’ve discovered some things that help. Not many, and not always enough, but a few:
- Exercise regularly, particularly in the morning. And eat breakfast immediately (not more than 30 minutes) after waking up.
- Eat good food, with plenty of vitamins. Add bananas and eggs to your diet.
- See new places. Don’t spend any time in your bed or bedroom when you are not sleeping. Get outside every day, even if only for a few minutes.
- Funnel as many different kinds of stimulation into as many different senses as you can. Open the curtains and let a lot of sunlight in. Fresh air, too, weather permitting.
- Figure out activities to distract from excessive inner dialogue. Cut to commercial. You know how TV and radio hosts will just spontaneously cut a short break when something unexpected happens? You can do that, too.
- Go to SLEEP at night, so you don’t hear the moon sighing. GO TO SLEEP.
- Touch and get touched a lot – massages, head scratches, whatever.
- Working with clay, the tactile manipulation is a great salve for the nerves.
- Listen to the world, and smell things, and look at all the colors and textures, but also reserve a little time for pure quiet.
- Be aware of your respiration. It’s really easy to hold or clip your breath unconsciously in times of stress, and that helps hardly anything.
- Let people love you. Do anything you can to love them back.
I think we all have a responsibility to take conscious care of our mental health – diagnosed or not. Being a decent human being is a tough job a lot of the time.
– Jonathan Cohen
The connection between the Garage and the Gospel has always been so obvious to me that when a seminary professor asked us to describe the kingdom of God using each of our five senses I wrote:
The kingdom of God looks like Quixote’s Garage on a Sunday morning. It smells like sun-baked concrete, cigarette smoke, and freshly brewed coffee. It tastes like the honey in my coffee, bought for me by Sharon with the last $3 of her monthly check. It feels like sitting cross-legged in “my” chair, mug of coffee in my hands, the sun shining on my back. It sounds like the murmur of voices as the guys talk, laugh, kid each other, and help each other.
Since the Garage taught me about the kingdom of God, it is an honor for me as a priest to be able to come back at 10:30am on the last Monday of each month to celebrate the Eucharist with all of you. Thank you for making and keeping the Garage a sacred space. Truly, the kingdom of God is among you.
– Emilie Finn