I had an interesting conversation with the old lady that I’m taking care of at work. I was reading The Little Prince to her, and here’s what she said to me - verbatim - when I asked her if she liked being read to:
‘You read beautiful. You don’t see what I see with my eyes when you read, but I see beautiful things. I like you reading. You read beautiful, you do good. Is a good story.’
After, I asked her if she liked numbers (because the narrator at the beginning talks about grown-ups liking numbers). She said:
‘Numbers don’t make good meshe. You know what meshe is? Is what you read to me. Is a story. Meshe. I like words, like you do because they make good meshe. They are beautiful. Do you believe everything you read?’
Me: Well, I believe a meshe while I’m reading it, but when it’s done, I stop believing. Because the words have stopped, and it doesn’t exist anymore. I believe in my story, though and I know that you believe in yours.
‘Yes, yes. That’s good.’
Me: I’m sure you have a beautiful meshe. Every morning is a new one, and when you go to bed, it ends. The next day, you write a new one again. Our lives are our stories.
‘Children like them. We should be like children because stories are beautiful. We should look at the beautiful.’
‘You know, this is not my home. Little boy in your book is not home. I have no home anymore. But I have a meshe, and is beautiful. Is my home.’
Me: That’s right. Your home is right here, right in your heart.
‘Yes. Because is beautiful, is where everything is.’
Me: When I come back, we’ll finish this meshe, ok?
‘Yes, yes. You have a home?’
Me: I do.
‘Take care of it and take your stories here. Tell good stories. Tell good words. You read beautiful and I like you reading.’
Me: Thank you. I will.
‘I like you smiling. You have beautiful teeth.’
I tried looking ‘meshe’ up and from her repertoire of languages besides English (Russian, Swedish, and German), I ended up with this: מעשה. It’s Yiddish for ‘story’. The phonetic reading is: Mʻşh, courtesy of Google Translate. I don’t know if this is the exact word that she was telling me about, but I’m guessing it’s close? I couldn’t find the word in any of the 3 languages I mentioned, and I didn’t know if she speaks Yiddish or not (but now that I found this word, maybe she does). Maybe I’ll ask her what language it comes from next time.
BUT my point is this: we really need to look at our lives with our hearts and faith, trusting and believing the unseen. Keep the memories - the stories - whether they be good or bad. That’s how we live out our lives. That’s how we make a home out of wherever we may be.