Randy Hasper

Randy Hasper

Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, was one of the five rivers of the Greek underworld, the other four being Styx (the river of hate), Akheron (the river of sorrow), Kokytos (the river of lamentation) and Phlegethon (the river of fire).That’s a nasty bunch of waters, and I’m not boating these if I can help it. Instead, I’m chosing to float another stream — mindfulness. These days, I’m remembering — good things.

Oscar Wilde wrote that “memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.”

I’m carrying that diary these days — all the time, a diary of the good things that are happening to my new friends, and I’m liking it.

Yesterday Isabel who is six, and Dolores, who is seven, came to my house for lunch.

“What’s your favorite story,” I asked Dolores.

“The God story,” Dolores said.

Three years ago she wouldn’t have said that. Three years ago her father was rafting hard down that river of fire that is made up out of crystal meth — Phlegethon, flowing hard and fast. He’s not now. No smoking meth; just working in the ship yards, and going to church. Because of this things have changed for Dolores, as well as for her nine siblings, and for her mom too. I’m remembering, and smiling.

Sunday at church I shook Aaron’s hand. He’s a single dad. He introduced me to a friend who was with him.

“How do you know each other?” I asked.

“Recovery,” said Aaron and then he laughed, having outed his friend the first thing.

Aaron told me recently that he was able to buy a house for he and his two boys. He’s so happy. A few years ago, his life was impossible — Kokytos of devastating proportions. Not now. The hard crying is behind him.

I’m remembering. I’m smiling.

Jeanie and I sat down to catch up recently. Jeanie is one of my many new friends.

“I’m telling my daughter that I love her now, ” she told me, breaking a little as she says it. She continues emotionally, “I never used to be able to say that.” Her eyes are wet.

When I met Jeanie she was traversing Akheron. She’s not so much now. She’s expressing emotions. She’s feeling. She’s coming back from the dead.

“Why do you think you’ve changed?” I asked her.

“Love,” she said emotionally, “I’ve found unconditional love. Now I’m able to give it to others.”

But Styx — it’s pervasive.

“I want you to pray for me,” said Robert.

“Why?” I asked him.

“I don’t want to hurt people anymore,” he said. He told us about an incident. He said, “I don’t want to use violence anymore.” He’s done trafficking on the river of hating.

We prayed for him.

Robert lives in a group home. Apparently there is nobody to tell this kind of thing to there. It’s hard to find people to tell this kind of thing to anywhere.

I’m happy for Robert. I’m happy as this year closes. I’m happy because I’m remembering my friends who are abandoning the polluted rivers of the underworld.

I’m with them. I myself refuse to float Lethe anymore. Mnemosyne — I want her.

I have too many good things to remember to be spending time forgetting.

I have too many memory stones to pile up to be losing river rock these days.

I’m remembering my people. I’m remembering my people, my precious ones, the transforming ones who God has given to me, the ones who are floating new rivers with me.

I’m remembering them. I’m happy.

Randy Hasper

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s