Saturday, July 10, 2010

happy accidents

If you haven't guessed by now, I find great solace in eating. Chemistry shifts, satisfaction settles, flavors abound and I find joy.

Joy is something that has been waning and waxing lately. It is a word that is coming up often. In conversations, on paper, with some great and wise folks I am lucky enough to have in my life. They tap this word on my forehead with firmness and big love and remind me to find it, or even just remember that it's there.

It has been tough times. For you, for me and for folks that have issues I cannot even conceive. I have gotten a few chances to step aside and watch the tape that plays over and over. The one full of doubt and beliefs and the reality that is unmovable and ingrained. I finally called bullshit. Softly at first, but now it comes out loudly and more frequent.

So then when you counter your current situation and dream up a new one, what the hell are you going to put in it? Other than a working car, an actual income, debts paid: what does your life look like?

I have decided to try an experiment recently. I am breaking the habit of worry and despair and am giving up. I am deciding all is as it should be and I'm going along for the ride. In the back of my mind this seems highly irresponsible and somewhat arrogant but it is a hell of a lot more fun. I am experiencing surges of happiness that terrify me. I am attracting cool ass folks. I ask for big and little things like parking spaces and jobs and they show up.

After a long haul last week of massages and driving I was making my way back to the neighborhood. A big detour kept me off my exit and threw me into downtown. While coming up through Santee Alley, I was on the phone with my closet pal and driving aimlessly through dark streets and shuttered store fronts and haggard and hungry folks. I turn left and find myself in the hub and vibrant scene of Thursday Art Walk. Wow. Folks packed on city streets. Persian men sketching, punk rock kids hanging out of makeshift gallery spaces, tourists overwhelmed, tiny girls balancing on high heels holding on to their macho men. It is a time warp, a few decades represented in the sidewalk fashion show, a thrill in the air. The dead air of downtown is nowhere to be found. I strut down Spring Street to The Gorbals which is filled with raucous happy folks. Sitting, standing, pushing against the bar. Buzzed boys try too hard with sweet girls. A girl carries an accordion. The bandleader of Dakah Hiphop Orchestra enters and everyone cheers. It is a scene.

There is an empty seat at the counter. I am served calamari with a Vietnamese dipping sauce. Broccoli arrives, the one I have spoke fondly of before. Every one is harried and happy and shaking their hips as they work. A young man with 3 inch eyelashes sits down next to me. He takes one of the yellow flowers from behind his ear and hands it to me. I put it in my hair and swivel my chair to face the gypsy band that starts playing. Bliss. I watch folks dance and eat and hold each other. The owner bustles and smiles shyly.

The calm that ensues is the confort of being fed after a long day, as well as a stellar glass of Viogner. It is the feeling of being in a city that likes me in this moment. Of hearing great music and having an excellent date with myself.

It is all my great loves in one room in one time, and that is enough to let joy linger for awhile.


  1. Beautiful writing J, this story pulled me right into one of life's magical moments. Thank you.

  2. Yes, the girl can certainly write! This made me very homesick. How wonderful that you could be open to the serendipitous nature of life and feel joy. Thanks and more of this, please.


  3. thanks for that. Means a lot from both of you.