Little Things That Aren’t

"BARNACLE",  32" x 8",  2002, ceramic

"BARNACLE", 32" x 8", 2002, ceramic

 

Yesterday a good girlfriend and I went to an old haunt for a civilized Sunday brunch.

Imagine the white table linens,  crystal glassware and porch setting of an old Santa Fe interior courtyard.

When I arrived in New Mexico in 1989 I was still doing hand-painted fabric and the waiters at this restaurant all wore custom neckties I created for them.

So I have history there.

This is a very civilized restaurant and I had not been there for a long while.

Bobby,  the owner was there as usual,  greeting everyone warmly.    We love each other.

He betrayed his surprise at my significant physical decline since we last saw each other by doting…

He seated us at a table easy for me to access.

He sent us an appetizer on the house.

He whisked my new plaid walker away so it was totally out of sight.  I wasn’t sure if this was for my benefit or the other diners but it happened so quickly that I just let it..

An alarm bell went off in my bladder but I said nothing and let Bobby do what he wanted to do.

We had a gorgeous afternoon in this  ‘oh-so-civilized’  little spot.

Even though I like dirt so much for my work and can be caught drooling over a particularly fine or even tricked-out truck and do find deep beauty in ordinaryness,  I am a woman who NEEDS CIVILIZED BEHAVIOR AND ENVIRONMENT as a salve to ease most of life’s ruffles.  Just once in awhile.

And this place is THAT.

Here I am feeling so perfectly content.

Of course I now have to pee and my walker is unearthed from the shadows and Bobby,  the owner is making sure he leads the way like a tour guide to the bathrooms so I know which is the larger,  handicapped one.

I closed the restroom door and cried at his gentle and proprietary way of caring for me.

When our meal was finished,  Bobby was magically there as I began to lift myself up from the table.

He took my elbow from behind and pulled out my chair.

While all this  ‘tending to’  was going on I had an odd assortment of stuff happening in my head and heart.

Wow,  I thought.  This is an awful lot of attention.

And I am sssssoooooooo piss-ass independent that I usually manage to  ‘do for myself’.

But Bobby was loving me in his gorgeously elegant and compassionate way without me feeling diminished one iota by his over-the-top-assistance.

In fact,  I felt disarmingly connected to and safe in the world.

I did not feel like a disabled person.  Or at least that wasn’t at the top of my list.

I felt beautiful,  loved,  visible as a friend and loyal customer who has been in this community for 20 years and who now is changing physically but remains essentially the woman she was when she walked tall unassisted by a walker with a plaid pouch.

It really meant something to me that Bobby didn’t make a fuss.   But really he DID and I TOOK it and didn’t push it away like I do so often.

I left our lunch feeling very much an integral element of a community.

I do believe this sense of belonging is my most precious creation.

For it IS a creation..  a work of art.

No one dropped this community in my lap- it is a creation and not a given.

I see that I am reaping rewards I could never have dreamed.

And I can REST in that.

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