Sunday, April 22, 2007

the place i go to be alone

i've been avoiding most company for quite some time now. most conversations leave me wanting. most words feel empty to me now, so i am trying to figure out what to do. i've not really known a place where words couldn't let off some of my grief. some of my confusion. some of my angst.

so now, as the day is too beautiful to be shut in, i will go sit beside the hudson and listen to the gulls piercing cries, the canada geese hissing and honking about whatever it is they happen to be squabbling about. a rowdy set, those.

i found myself there yesterday, with strangers packed all around. the first empty bench i came to was overlooking an inlet with mallards. i decided to keep walking and see what i could find. lo and behold, a guitarist was perched on a picnic table playing some distance away and the empty bench beside him and his friends was where i found my peace.

he was quite the fingerpicker, did a zeppelin riff that made me want to ask for more, but i was not a part of their powwow and so, held my peace. just listening to him sing and play.

i will go there soon, then off to work.

yesterday, i heard a mom and her twelve year old daughter squabbling in the store. i had wandered up to them while putting clothes away. they were pretty into it and had just entered the store. i had to step away to decide if i really wanted to be in the middle of that.

but they were getting no where except on each other's nerves. so i stepped in.

may i help you?

the mom lamented about how her daughter likes nothing, etc. and i heard her out.

i turned to the daughter and said,
what do you like?
and asked pertinent questions. about structured styles and unstructured, colors and fabrics. narrowing down some of her preferences. it is quite a daunting task to pick the "right" thing for a person you don't know.

so the girl lets me know what she likes and on a whim i grab a shrug. she is not opposed to it, so i weave her and her mother through the store, picking up complimentary pieces and saying,

we're not committing to anything, just finding out what you like.

they did not fight once, and when the mom would voice a preference the daughter did not agree with, i'd pick up both options and say,
we're not committing to anything, just moving in a direction.

that direction was to the fitting room.

in they went. i kept passing shirts over the door and heard them actually getting along in there. they opened the door for me to see, and showed me what they had chosen. i voiced agreement and they were all smiles.

i realize my agreement means little, but it helps to know an objective party agrees, i guess.

so, they check out and before they leave the mom tells me,
we've been looking for weeks and have only fought. thank you.

no problem. i have a daughter too. blessings to you!

and they left. quite satisfied. i felt like a mediator.

sometimes, in the mundane of my life, i get to light all the candles of the altar, lay hands on the sick and pray, snuff out those candles at the close of service and remove the vestments which shield me from the great power of altar ministry.

sometimes, i get to sit beside guitarists and waft away in delight. the very strings of my heart are what he played and i had forgotten the sound of them.

sometimes, it looks like hope will prevail.


Miss Audrey said...

This was a beautiful post Suz. Thanks for sharing.

TS said...

this really needs to be turned to poetry. This could be marvelous! If you don't write it, I am going to steal it.

siouxsiepoet said...

you never need ask marvin, steal away.

Deborah said...

I love this story, Suz.
Thanks for posting it.