Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Power of Voicemails

" congratulations and know that you are well loved and very admired."

                                                 ~ from Ann's voicemail on the day I ran a half marathon.

As cheesy as the song was, Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You" speaks well of the power these sort of phone calls have in our lives. In a day and age where life flies by at 90 miles per hour, and the calls come and go laden with plans, questions, responsibilities, or whatever.....a sudden call, in which your friend or beloved doesn't want anything from you, but simply want to relay their love and admiration, well that is just more precious than gold.

Two months ago, I ran a half marathon. One of my dear friends from high school, who I've been in touch with of late thanks to Facebook, called and left me a voicemail saying how proud she was and how loved. A week later, a friend of mine from Santa Barbara--where I once lived--called me up to say he was thinking of me driving along the shore, and wanted to send his love. Then I got two more lengthy voicemails from Santa Barbarian friends who had called to catch up, said how much they missed me, and left long and endearing voicemails instead. 

I've saved them all on my phone. Whenever they reach an expiration date, I re-save them. There is energy in their voices, carrying love, good will, and something I can't even name---something that lifts me up and makes me feel dialed into the collective One of humanity. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that whenever you get a warm, fuzzy feeling for no good reason...someone is probably thinking of you right in that moment, and you are somehow feeling it.

Energy is weird that way. I'll bet when I'm my mom's age, scientists will be a lot closer to knowing all the wondrous powers that lie in the power of thought, feeling, prayer, or any other non-verbal communication.

Voicemails have come to my rescue in so many ways, ever since they existed. Once, after a painful breakup, a few family members who'd just seen me off from a family gathering, had called my home line as I was on my way home and took turns saying soothing and encouraging  messages. The voicemail was waiting for me when I got home. I kept it for a long time, to help me heal..

Another time, my sister knew that a mere crazy and discordant violin song from the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou" made me laugh and all she did was call up and leave the song on my voicemail. I saved it and used it to laugh my ass off at the end of long, difficult days.

And while it's rewarding to be on the receiving end of these voicemails, leaving them for other people is equally fulfilling. I used to leave "lullaby" songs on a boyfriend's voicemail every Monday night, so he could listen to it after getting home from one of his weekly events. It was fun to plan which song to sing and know that he would listen to it just before going to sleep.

There are so many ways to enhance a relationship with just a phone, your voice, and some well-chosen words. And it only takes about thirty seconds.

Go on...go get your phone. Make someone's day.