Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bowl 21: Chris

It's been a difficult few days. . . 
things that I thought were done and tied up neatly
have been unravelling,
falling apart,
plunging me back into uncertainty.

Feeling the sinking in the pit of my stomach
I begin walking,
allowing myself to touch back into just this moment
just this step.

I see Chris fishing, his mom nearby.
Although he appears to be no more than 10 or 11
he is a surprisingly knowledgeable and competent fisherman,
Arcing the line far over the water
and pulling it in with adept flicks 
so that it truly seems that a live frog is on the end --
tempting bait for the large-mouthed bass that swim the pond.

"I always throw them back," he tells me. 
I'm very careful with them. Sometimes I have to cut the line and leave the hook,
but the acid in the fish's stomach will dissolve it," he says.

Then I give him the bowl and start to photograph..
"Wait," he says, "wouldn't it look great if I hold it up and you can see the water behind it."
He is absolutely right! Much better than the first few against his shirt.

Later, I encounter the shards of a goddess left three years before.
I walk home.
Things are still unraveling . . .
but I am more at peace with that . . . 
for this moment at least.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bowl 20: Laurie

The space is huge, but intimate, 
perhaps because of the warm wood that surrounds me.
Wooden beams soar high above.
And looking up it's as if we are in a ship turned topsy-turvy.

She is leading a tour for two contractors who know a lot about buildings.
I join in. 
They talk of the curved beams, unnecessary from a structural point of view,
but beautiful nonetheless.
And how churches in England were built this way 
because they had used up all of the straight trees, 
and only curved ones remained.
After they leave she shows me the Victorian wallpaper 
installed during one of several renovations. 
And photos of the interior all dressed up in Victorian garb.
It is so different from the plain beauty of the wooden pews 
and simple walls that surround me now.
And she tells me that when they removed the box pews, 
some families took them home and stored them.
And when they decided to restore the church,
 families brought them back again . . . 
more than 100 years later!

I leave, and return, catching her as she heads out down the driveway.
Grateful that she has shared this bit of history with me.
I offer her a gift in return.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bowl 19: Laura

She appears so content, 
sitting on a bench,
On a screen, not a book!

Curious, I ask if she likes it.
"Yes," she tells me, "and I never thought I would."

And, I am struck once again
by how we all make assumptions.
Every day.

This will work for me. . . 
this won't.
I will never give up the feel of a real book in my hands.
I could never enjoy reading a newspaper online.
So definite about so much.

She reminds me to try to hold these thoughts more lightly.
To leave space for possibility.
To allow that today I might feel differently.

I have given her a bowl.
And she has given me a gift.
Of inestimable value.