Holding out an empty cup, I want only this: for it to be filled. It isn't a selfish want, a refreshment of my soul, something for my ego to play with in my downtime but a need so strong that I instinctively understand without words that unless the rounded hole which I carry around with me chases the echoes away I will perish. Clenching the cup tightly, I feel the solidness of what it can hold; yet I am baffled. Why is it empty? I am parched. Past need.
From a distance, I watch an interchange of strangers communicating as only those sharing a common interest can. They laugh, reaching out while stressing points as they talk, hold hands, hug. Look directly into each other's eyes. Even bow their heads together as if sharing something secret.
Each carries their own cup, much like mine, sipping on occasion for substance. Refreshment.
I thirst. For what they have. Tiring of this: my empty cup. It is now only a weighty reminder of what it is meant to be. I long to have it filled, but am afraid to ask.
Busy staring at what I do not have, my head is down, focused on the ‘me‘. I draw into a shell, pretending not to hear the voices, but their joy draws my ears to the outer edges of where they mingle.
I am curious. Folding neat stacks of self-commiseration, I pause, sensing...something. Daring past embarrassment, my vision lifts.
A small group has gathered around the hospitality of their Host. Lifting my sight past his shoulders to his face, I stop, glued to his eyes as we connect. He misses nothing, sifting through what vision misses. He smiles. At me. He nods and courage ties my shoes firmly, allowing undistracted steps to inch forward. Towards him.
Just a little bit.
Gravity pulls a bit from his smile. Seriously - intently, he asks: “is my cup burdensome in its weight?”
Odd, in another setting, this question would make less sense. I swallowed hard. Nodded once, afraid to speak aloud the truth, for I’ve carried this thing with me for as long as I can remember.
Not comfortable in wallowing through these thoughts, I weakened, tried to emotionally hide. Wondered aloud: Was this a party, celebration of some sort?
Gravity lost it’s battle to pull gentle humor from his countenance. His smile broadened in understanding the unspoken.
Courage cleared a path, and I walked closer, my eyes never leaving his face. He held out his arms, reaching towards me and offered to fill my cup.
An old clay jar it was, suddenly there. Was it on the table behind him, and I was just unaware? All I know is that he was reaching forward - I blinked, then it was my focus... substance from air to here. It looked pulled from earth. Molded by an artisan of much worth, rich in colors from the core of what earth was meant to be. Yet it sparkled from the inside out, pristine. I knew that if clear water were drawn from a well, it would never cloud when poured into then out of this vessel.
Without fanfare, he held my hand, encouraging me to hold onto the cup. Then placed one of his over mine. He poured. And poured. My eyes widened as he poured yet more.. Was I to call a halt before all overflowed? I kept silent, fascinated past worry.
The jar, guided by his untrembling hand tipped upright.
I blinked, and it was gone.
Glancing at the cup offered back to me, I hesitated, studying his face. It held no secret of game playing nor sleight of hand movements in the falsehood of magic. Only an aura of peace with an unexpected twinkle to his eyes. His voice was soft. “Take it? It’s still yours. If you want it.”
Releasing his hand from cradling mine, he patiently stood, quiet.
I expected the filled cup to be problematic, heavy, easily spilled. Carefully I secured my other hand around it. Puzzled, for the cup was lighter. Lighter than when empty.
How could that be?
Gently, carefully, slowly bouncing the cup to test its weight, I looked up to comment. Raising a palm to stop my words, he understood. “Love removes the weight of burdens. Now you have what you are meant to carry.” Knitting these words together, I held the cup closer, peering at the contents. Brought it up to my face. Tested it with a sniff. Talking into the liquid, I invited my Host to answer: “But what is it?” I asked.