I love watching older women in fabric stores. Perusing the textures, calculating the softness, the durability, its purpose…..
They found a niche, a hobby, a craft they enjoy. Choosing all their materials with a tender heart and keen eye.
I am a HUGE sap.
I found myself at the fabric store today for a more banal need, barren of creativity – to make cheap blindfolds for the shirodhara treatments we’ll be offering to clients.
That’s when my heart swelled at the site of those chubby ankled women inspecting each strand of fabric.
God bless them.
I fell in love with the frail old lady who measured and cut my fabric.
Years of work with no absolution, not enough thanks – years upon years of answering dumb questions by dumb customers.
Me – “What does half a yard look like?”
She didn’t want to be there but nobody could tell just by talking to her.
We struck up a conversation and I offered to put the roll of fabric back where I found it.
Her eyes lifted in surprise.
Her – “You want to put it back for me?”
She said it in a way that made it sound like I was the first person who offered.
Me – “Of course I want to put it back. I had your job before and I know how it is. I’m in no rush.”
And then my love ebbed away the more I thought about how I’m the only person who offered to put the fabric back.
“People are assholes. Damn inconsiderate assholes.”
I swear uncontrollably in my head. I tend to use the term “fuckface” a lot. Like for instance, “what’s this fuckface doing pulling out in front of me?”
I know it sounds crazy, but the more I swear in my head, the faster my anger dissipates. It never see’s the light of day. It’s more like a habit and not so much actual anger.
In the plaza, on my way out of the lot, I stopped for a smartly dressed woman with carefully styled hair so she can cross into H&R Block.
Me – “She looks nice. Why’s she so dressed up? Oh, she probably works there.”
And then it hit me again…..my sap attack. I appreciated the way she cared enough to look nice for work.
I have trouble putting my sappiness into words, but I got it bad. This over-whelming appreciation for things that most folks don’t give a damn about unless they want something.
The woman looked nice for work. She proudly wore a slim-fitting dress because all those years at the gym paid off, and she styled her hair nice.
Me – “You’re a beautiful person.”
You know what get’s me? When people try. When I see people trying, I think it’s the most beautiful thing.
The ladies at the fabric store, the woman measuring and cutting my fabric, all the women who taken that watercolor class with me – it’s effort that I fall for.
My Dad putting effort into the lawn and keeping up on our house. My Mom carefully choosing groceries with a limited budget and cooking enough food for a small country in Africa.
I don’t care about the outcome of anything, but the effort that was put into it matters to me. The effort that only endures when someone cares. Homemade food will always taste delicious to me.
Mom – “I can put catsup on leather and you’d say it’s delicious.”
But why do they care?
Well, why do I care?
We are all individuals, wildly different from one another, but caring is a way of going outside to brave the storm to prove to ourselves that we’re not alone. It’s our vocation into being accepted.
In return, we feel more. We are more. We give more.
And so, this morning I was too tired to write about how being peaceful doesn’t always equate to happiness, but I think I have more of a grasp on it now. It’s the in-beween moments where we’ll find peace.
Caring about something is like a double edged sword – It can hurt you, or it can hurt you.
But the effort we put in to lessen that hurt, all the pricked fingers from sewing, foot pain from heels, back pain from gardening, headaches from kids, embarrassment from garbled creative endeavors – all that is beautiful. It’s beautiful because we’re all still here and we’re all still caring regardless.
The moments between the sword swings….
The moments between the swings make it worth it.
Peace can be found in conscious effort.
I know this because I can only write when I’m at peace – it’s true!
Although it may not bring happiness, it brings value. Albeit, sometimes just enough for you to value your own life.
If you’re wondering what someone cares about, just look at their insecurities. Than you’ll know. That’s why it’s a double-edged sword.
The more one cares, the more worries she carries. A mother will never NOT worry.
Trust is found in the swings in-between. Trust in knowing that either the fright has passed, or a new one is looming just ahead.
Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Or what I like to call myself, a dreamer?
I swing my own goddamned sword.
How bout this?: Unconditional acceptance of the sword.
A slice of real peace.
As for me, the things that I care most about? I value family, friends, and my dreams.
What I’m most insecure of? Loneliness and living with the regret of never giving this life my all. In other words, succumbing to my fears.
The sword will fall again but as the great Bruce Lee put it, “be like water, my friend.”
You know what I really want to do (aside from becoming a sushi chef)? Plant a flower garden and stop giving two shits.