As Big as the Universe

By: Jenni Taylor

Let’s play the I want game.

Okay, he said.
I want to reach the stars and feel them glow in my hand. I want to blow through my window curtains like the wind and separate into tiny particles all over the world.
Want me to throw your dust out the window after you die? he said.
I guess that’s the closest I’ll get.

Let’s play the I want game.
Fine, he said.
I want to be bigger than the earth. I want to see the tiny specks of people from where I am, floating above them, and to see the puzzle pieces of their lives laid out in a beautiful, sad picture. I want to float and be big, so big, big enough to hug the universe.
And who will hug you? he said.
You’ll have to be there with me, and be a little bit bigger than I am.

Let’s play the I want game.
Alright, he said.
I want everyone to be happy. I want people to stop being cruel to each other. I want the meanness to be sucked right out of the bullies in every playground and government office. I want children to smile and grandmas to sit in nice rocking chairs. I want tears to go away forever and ever.
I know, he said.

Let’s play the I want game, he said.
I want all the sad things in this world to make you cry, cry so hard your tears water your own roots and make you grow, grow, grow- bigger than the universe. I want those tears to make you hug the world the way you want to. I want those tears to make you hold the stars with wonder and give hugs the size of time. And when you get that big, your smile will grow so bright it will light up the milky way.

Really? I said.
Okay. Hug me.

Loose Thread: Touching Moments

Today’s Loose thread is about moments that touched your soul this week.  

So tell us….What moment touched you this week?

Jenni: I recently moved to Shanghai to work as an intern before starting the school year as a teacher in the fall. Being an intern means all the non-fun parts of teaching- grading, power point making, grammar worksheets, etc. My only interaction with students occurs for one hour of tutoring with different students every day after school. Earlier this week during lunch break, I ran into a 5th grader I tutor. “Miss Taylor!” she shouted, and waved me over to watch her and her friend do tricks on the monkey bars. I cheered them on and clapped when they were done. As I walked away, I heard her friend ask, “who’s that?” “That’s my tutor, Miss Taylor!” my student said, in the excited, proud sort of way that warms your heart. It was a simple interaction, but it was enough to remind me why I teach and that boring office work won’t last forever.

Autumn: This week I went to a German beer festival with several friends. It was an amazing intergenerational experience of people from 16-80 singing songs and dancing together. The night ended with a series of group hugs. During one hug I was literally stuck in the center of a group of about 8 people. I couldn’t move and wasn’t even properly standing, I was being simultaneously supported and overwhelmed by my friends. I occurred to me after I freed myself and regain my breath, that that is what deep love is like, it is both totally overwhelming and totally supportive. 

How were you touched this week?

Sophia Sighting: London, Ontario


By: Autumn Elizabeth

Location: London, Ontario, Canada

Sometimes touch can be bad sometimes it can be good. A lot of times touch is filled with Sophia. This is a photo of my brother and I when he was about one and a half years old. I was talking to him about all the things we saw outside. I was teaching him, but he was also teaching me. In my arms he taught me about the trusting love of a child and showed me the wisdom of curiosity. Sometimes children see so much more of the divine than adults do.


By: Jenni Taylor

It was my first week in Shanghai, and a friend of mine thought the best way to be inducted into Chinese culture would be through a full body oil massage at the Dragonfly Spa. I said hell yes, of course. There’s a first time for everything.

We put on comfy robes and the scratchy paper underwear. I laid down on the bed and tried to fit my head in the weird head hole. Not made for my tiny head of course, but it would do. There was a little plate with sand and flowers underneath, as something pretty to look at instead of the black soled shoes of the masseuse.  Instrumental music played in the background, peaceful and calm and Enya-like.

Scoff all you want, but halfway through the massage I was already planning how to carry the masseuse off with me to the Bahamas to live happily ever after. What I experienced in that cozy upstairs room in the middle of Shanghai was something called safe touch. Safe touch is amazingly hard to find in this world. I thought safe touch had become extinct, and all that was left was the bad messy hurtful kind. But there they were, strong hands making me feel safe, oh so very safe and beautiful and worthy of- good touch. All the bad touch faded away, and I felt like Dorothy getting ready to see the Wizard, with all the primping and trimming and stuffing and shining after a long hard trip through Oz. I felt like I was being put back together again, that my body was beautiful, that maybe touch could make you whole after all instead of taking bits and pieces of yourself away.

I don’t know what heaven is like, or what it really means.  Whatever it is, it won’t be disembodied spirits floating around with harps, that’s for sure. There will be touch. The beautiful kind. Shy. Sloppy. Passionate. Strong. Loving. Playful. Comforting. Warm. Healing. Maybe we’ll all get our own personal masseuse, too.