Love in the métro

//Love in the métro

Love in the métro

Came across this quote today: « The entire cosmos is a cooperative. » I suppose that says it all.
What would happen if we each realized only that?
In the métro, I had a taste this morning. In need of help to sort out why my son’s annual transport pass wasn’t working, I inquired at the window in a métro station near my home. The fellow behind the window was friendly, kind, listened to me. His eyes were clear, he smiled, and did what he could to remedy the situation. When he couldn’t solve the problem, he called someone on the phone who could.
It took awhile. We chatted. He was Italian, asked where I was from, said he’d like to visit America…
A woman with a baby in a stroller came to ask about the price of a ticket to a station in a distant suburb. He directed her to the vending machines, because that’s the only place to buy tickets now: No more human contact; machines are cheaper. She hesitated, he sensed her anxiety. « Do you know how to read, in French? » he asked her kindly. No, she said, she didn’t. His colleague went off to help her.
He continued to deal with my problem. There are many, many people like that woman, he told me, people who can’t read and therefore can’t buy tickets in the machines without help. I see so many of them, he said quietly. They try to find a way of getting help without having to admit that humiliating fact. Here in the métro we see so many poor people, he said, and this seemed to pain him. I was so touched to see that he was touched.
When he had at last solved my problem, we were both overjoyed. « You saved my life! » I told him with a smile, repeating what only moments before he had told his colleague on the phone who had helped us. We laughed. « Does that mean you’re in love with me? » he joked. « Yes! » I replied, only half kidding, for what had been shared among all of us in that 20 minutes in the métro was indeed love.

By | 2015-10-02T16:09:53+01:00 octobre 4th, 2011|Textes|4 Comments

About the Author:

Enseignante Zen et poète, Sensei Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell est née et a grandi à Minneapolis, aux Etats-Unis. Arrivée en France en 1981 pour étudier la littérature et l’histoire, elle y est restée, s’installant à Paris, où elle élève ses deux enfants et gagne sa vie en tant que journaliste. The Zen teacher and poet Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell Sensei was born and raised in Minneapolis, but came to France in 1981 to study literature and history and has lived in Paris ever since, raising her two children and making a living as a journalist.


  1. little lake 7 octobre 2011 at 17 h 59 min - Reply

    we need trust?
    complete trust in the unknown?
    to be open to live…?
    trust life will bring us what we need to grow?
    for it will…

    we want to know ?
    confirming ourselves we really exist as an entity
    playing games of me and the other
    imprisoning ourselves in this golden cage
    high price
    when we see someone dying – we experience we cannot know at thing about life and death – the essence is completely uncomprehensible, ungraspable, uncontrolable…???
    and everything is the essence???

  2. Tu es cela 6 octobre 2011 at 22 h 20 min - Reply

    It’s true, we can’t understand or grasp the interconnection. It would be like trying to understand what it is to swim in the ocean: Only when we plunge and bathe in the water, experience the chill, the salt, the wet, do we truly "know" it. We "know" the difference between wet and dry, hot and cold, yet we don’t understand (literally stand under) either one!

    Same with everything – whether it’s love, empathy, disappointment, fear, delusion, practice…

    And so what is this "faith in practice"? Does it mean belief in a result, in an accomplishment? If so, that’s limiting the mirror. An all encompassing mirror is limitless, it excludes nothing, it reflects each and every moment just as it is.

  3. all encompasssing mirror 6 octobre 2011 at 14 h 05 min - Reply

    Have fallen in the mire of free will. All interconnected how can we hope to grasp or understand. Love, disappointment empathy. I am scared that nothing makes a difference. Is my faith in practice is just a delusion too?

  4. litle lake 5 octobre 2011 at 0 h 11 min - Reply

    thanks sensei.
    love it was.

    it feels so good when we can feel interconnectedness – or how do you say it.
    Just being a small part of the whole human consciousness and body.
    The fundament of true compassion? – true humbleness?

    i have a student with a problem.
    first week allready – tears in her eyes: we were so good to her.
    second week tears again: anxious to disapoint me.
    i said she would never disapoint me… i have no agenda – just listening – as close as possible.
    Later i realised this was empathy – and i hoped i can live up to these high standards i expressed… I hoped i wouldn’t disapoint her…
    The same day – i made a mistake . So i said – i hope i don’t dispoint you…
    she smiled…
    we smiled…
    love it was.

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