What the old lady gave me…

All is still where I am, so memories and thoughts collect like rain drops in a puddle. Sequestration always brings reflection. I lie peacefully and let my head know the solace of a pillow, breathing effortlessly as I recall a dialogue I had with an old lady on train.


She wore a yellow dress with white and red flowers on it, that’s all I can remember about her clothing.  But, I remember her face in a bit more detail, especially her eyes. The kindness in them gave them a delightful and peculiar appeal, and they lit up with every word she spoke. Also, her voice was extremely pleasing and notable and she talked with a curious mixture of childish disregard and prudence. Her words were filled with rational charity, the kind you’d expect from a loving but strong mother.

I was going to Manhattan, and had boarded the train in Brooklyn. She came in somewhere along the ride and a congress of wisdom seemed to form naturally. We started talking generally and then we started diving into matters of the spirit.


It’s entirely unnecessary to give an extended account of what was said, nevertheless, insofar as I can remember, this was the most salient thing that she said: “life is a mystery, young man, knowledge is good, but our experience of this world will always be limited by our senses. So, don’t worry about figuring everything out, you can’t. Also keep a sense of humour, especially about yourself for it will be a source of strength, and remember that change is the only constant thing, embrace it. Lastly, love with all you have – your intellect, your heart, your time, your commitment.”



I can’t remember how the conversation ended but I remember being told to spread the message. So, please give a wise old lady’s words an ear. Test them and see if she tells the truth.

by Mark Hutchinson  // Featuring photography from Stefania Dulgheru


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