Portland put on the early-fall-ritz in michelle’s front yard yesterday. The mimosa tree trailed its feathery fingers back and forth overhead and the gnats hovered in the intersection like self-propelled dust motes showing off in the sun. It was a very simple moment and I experienced it as grace, coming by for a visit.
We’ve been out of favor lately, grace and I – not sharing the simple together but showing up for all the other momentous meetings and then standing by. Watching and waiting and putting aside the intricate layers in a pile, my hope is to catch up to myself later. This is a consequence I am finding, of spreading energy thin. Grace may have a different system; be working with a more immediate synthesis. I’ll catch up in an eon or two.
But Oh Hello – the possibility of a private moment with the universal –
I was wrapped in a blanket on the grass, doing heart yoga behind the hedge. There were bicyclists eveywhere – one fellow with a heavy gut and a bike bell that dinged indiscriminitely, he let out a satisfying belch as he passed my shade-dappled corner. Perfect, round, complete.
And a call from somewhere nearby in the neighborhood: “Help me. I’m locked in the bathroom!” This roused me a bit from my graceful reverie – Which bathroom? Where?
No response – not all cries for help must be answered by those that hear them – the grace for me was full in this same moment of ordinary terror for someone else. Irreconcilable? no, paradoxical? yes.
grace is private, I think.
I’m was in the Fremont Coffee Company recently, eavesdropping on the baristas.
One of them was telling a story about a customer who asked “Do you have service on the porch?” She thought he meant wi-fi service and so she said yep. So he sat out on the porch waiting for table service for a while, and as she was slammed behind the bar, one of her regulars – some guy named Spencer, with his kooky clothes and his wild-eyed hair – went on out to the guy on the porch and asked him if he needed a sandwich, or something to drink, and was his waiter for the morning. No harm no foul, just a little extra help.
[Stepping up, filling in so that the structure in question is not something that can develop cracks, but a dynamic concoction of opportunities to weave a bit of your own thread into the web. Spencer saved the day – it could have gone a lot of different ways, but the story he created for the telling speaks volumes about the craft of improvisational living.]
And I’m in the Fuel Cafe on Alberta Street currently, ordering coffee on an empty stomach, feeling a cold brewing in the cup of my jaws. The woman who hosts here is playing Catpower on the stereo, and she reminds me that coffee is a digestive, best drunken after eating. I order a grilled vegan sandwich, I let myself be fed by this woman who knows. Chan Marshall’s eerie lullabies, the bouquet of basil on the counter, the mandalas and the christmas lights and the green walls – all these components combine to birth a potency of calm, a space with soul in it. And soul bespeaks soul, and so I am home here, in this skin; and from this sense of home, words may come moving through me.
The soulfilled space is expressed by the vision and presence of an anchor.
The olde taverne wench has evolved; she channels through brew and food and conversation, information on the nature of the universe.