untitled,  2001,  ceramic,  1" to 5" varies

untitled, 2001, ceramic, 1" to 5" varies


There is a man who sells newspapers on a corner near me.

His name is Terry and I find myself curious about him.

He is so reliable;  stands in the middle of a not-too-busy intersection doing his thing.

When it is searing cold, he is there..  all bundled up in his puffy overall suit.

If it’s hot,  he chooses interesting hats to wear.

Sometimes his chihuahua sits there with him.

His mustache is stained yellow from cigarettes.

I always give him more money than expected and ask how he is.  He says:  “I’m here.”

I drive by him a couple times a day and he sits quietly looking down at the pavement.   Never waving false hellos to prospective customers or even attempting to catch our eye as we drive by.

I know he is a vet and clearly depressed.   Seems like that should be the end of it…  but no… he’s got my attention.

And why is that?

My guess is that I somehow admire the way he holds his frailty.

No grasping,  no moving outside himself to make a sale,  get attention,  get done quicker with the task at hand of selling the papers.

He just IS.

He sits there in the middle of the road on a crate and waits for the next thing to happen.

Maybe it is that quality I notice.  The lack of AFFECT to make life go a certain way.

Of course,   I am surely lending my own story line to a questionable scenario here but this is how I watch people and end up loving humanity as a whole.

We think we are so all powerful and somehow the chosen species but we are all at the effect of life when it happens inconveniently,  horribly  with no warning and no recipe for a return to what was.

We are all Terry,  sitting on our box in the middle of the street at one point or another.

We might have the where-with-all to cover the scars better but our frailties make us human.

This is the party we’re all attending.

In my own health challenge,  I see what it takes to create a beautiful theater out of the mess.

And,  I guess that is the point of interest for me of late:   how to make a thing of beauty out of something that looks less-than-perfect?

The act of just NOTICING human frailty feels beautiful,  somehow,  because we,  as a culture ABHOR IMPERFECTION.  It frightens us and so we lend a blind eye.   We don’t want to catch it.

My frailty has made me softer somehow.

I like that part.


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