I grabbed my camera in time to snap a photo of the plumbing truck with “Any Size Job” emblazoned on the hood. That’s my motto too…One of my favorite artists, Leslie Dill, once said that she’s a YES person–when an opportunity presents itself she likes to say yes. I think about how many experiences I missed in the past because I was too afraid of the unknown…like the sky on Wednesday, muffled by fog, the horizon a vague strip of blue. I tucked a wool blanket over my knees, fuzzy cloud cover for me. It was a magical knit, after several days spent feeling impatient and dissatisfied with the project. First, Garth and Pierre approached, lavender in hand. Garth had a sprig stuffed through a buttonhole in the middle of his chest. “We are stealing lavender from the neighbors…want some?” Pierre handed me a staff of lavender and I stuck it behind my ear. They are a pair of artist-collaborators and partners, recently back from Bellagio Artist Residency in Italy. They urged me to apply to be an artist in residence–tempting me with tales of bedspreads turned down each night, topped with a plate of cookies, chefs in white coats serving gourmet feasts, and world-reknown scholars and artists to rub shoulders with every day…All paid for by a Rockefeller fund. I might apply some day…it can’t hurt. I jumped off the bench to hug them goodbye, and Pierre gave me a kiss on the cheek (he’s from Montreal). The whole exchange left me happy and warm.
Our sick neighbor came across the street to me with a gorgeous beaded purse for me to borrow for an upcoming event that C. had told her about. Later C. swung by the bench and asked me if I knew the story about the purse…”It’s from her mother-in-law and she told me she’s only used it once in 30 years.” She also said our neighbor is having a major surgery done next Monday which will hopefully put her on the path to wellness. In the meantime, she’s having major repairs done on her home–I’ve seen plumbers, painters, and gas men buzzing around her property for the past 3 weeks. She’s a force of nature, even now.
A red car stopped and two ladies jumped out and asked to take my picture. “Sure,” I said, “can I take yours?” The blond lady was giving her cousin from Israel a tour of Bellingham. “Come visit Israel,” the cousin told me. “It’s not as bad as they make it sound in the news…there is violence sure, but it’s isolated…” She has two sons who are soldiers.I have been thinking about trust. A friend told me recently that trust has so many faces…The child that leaps into his father’s arms in an act of abandonment is one kind of trust. But so is risking disagreement with someone whose opinion you care about. Exposing your failures, weaknesses, and fears is a kind of trust but also expressing desire and sharing your hopes and dreams. Even telling someone you don’t trust them fully is a kind of trust…My friend E. thinks that the fact that I have lately been telling God on a regular basis that I don’t trust Him (or Her) is an act of trust! She said that trust is about staying in relationship, truly engaging the other. It’s not the surface interaction on parallel planes. It’s a real contact with the Other, a touch that leaves an impression, marks you forever. A young man came and sat with me on the bench. He and his pregnant girlfriend have decided to get married and keep the baby. “You just have to have faith and do your best,” he said. He’s gone from setting goals for the next day or week, to setting goals for several years from now. He showed me a sketchbook full of plans for his new business. To me, he is a picture of trust. Trust is a pair of feet that walk me into the unknown.
And now, I am late for my knit.