Close Encounters

A few weeks ago I recorded a pleasant encounter I had at the grocery store. My hope is that this story will add some positive vibes to the world

     I’m always impressed how encounters with new people can be so meaningful, and almost magical.  I had one such encounter in the grocery store this week.  While I was checking out a young Asian man stood right behind me.  We both did a double take because it was only two days prior that we were in exactly the same place together.  I reminded him, “We met here two days ago and you were buying a bag of King Arthur Wheat Flour and you were going to make cookies for your girlfriend who was visiting.”  He said “Yes, and here’s my girlfriend Sarah right here.”  I said, “Hello Sarah!”   Sarah smiled and said hello back.  Then I asked the young man how the cookies turned out and he said “Great!” and that they would make them again. I saw he was buying Tofu so I asked  him with all seriousness if he was going to make Tofu Cookies.  He laughed as if one doesn’t make Tofu Cookies, and said they would make something, but I didn’t catch the name. “A Korean dish,” he said. We conversed a little more and I managed to get them to tell me they were students – he at UCONN and Sarah at U of San Diego.  I said “Oh my son lives in San Diego.” Yet another coincidence.  I asked what he studied, and he said, “Economics.”  Then I asked Sarah, and she said, “Economics.”  As I proceeded to leave he asked me what my name was and I told him, and I asked what his name was, and he said “Pin”, “Pin and Sarah” he said.  I said it was a pleasure to meet them.  We both agreed ours was a wonderfully joyful encounter and we hoped we would meet again.  I then left the store, with a memorable experience to take home.

It never ceases to amaze me when a magnetic charm takes hold in this world. Really, what were the chances that I would bump into the same stranger in the same place within two days of each other? And on top of it, have such a pleasant conversation. Since these two consecutive meetings, I haven’t run into Pin, or, at least I am not aware of our paths crossing. Though, it’s possible we have – and maybe we will. Until then, let the magic of the world unfold.

A Day at the Beach

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

I love the beach
It’s a special place for me
I take naps
Listen to waves
And walk along the sandy edge of the ocean,
Watching children make castles in the sand.

Dreams of the inhabitants flood the beach
My dreams, their dreams, everyone’s dreams.
The salty water of the tide moves in and out
And sweeps up all these dreams
and moves them back out to the sea.
Back and forth, back and forth, 
dreams tumble like shells with the riptide.
Dreams that may never come true
Dreams unseen in real life
Except in the minds of those who dare to ponder 
that which is possible.

A small girl with blonde hair to her shoulders
Builds pyramids by the seashore with her dad.
Chichén Itzá comes to mind.
The re-creation of a place they never heard of before.
Maybe shown in a picture, at some time,
By some teacher, from who knows where. 
And it stuck in their mind.
As the tide moves in at about 4 o’clock,
Most pack their bags to go.
Begrudging the work that lies ahead
Their feet kick up their dreams in the sand.
The lifeguard stays on,
Talking away with an older female friend sitting down below. 
She keeps him company for the day.
He talks about the sea, the wild sea so ‘bravo’ from the full moon rising in the sky.
Gentle souls were he, and she.

And the small blond girl stood before her pyramids
Arms extended from East to West
Absorbing the current through her veins, eager to gulp her up like a whale.
But she stood strong, and firm, 
Impermeable and invincible against the steady gust of wind,
As she overlooked the sea with its fierce and raucous waves. 
When her father said “Aria, it’s time to go,”
A loud and thunderous “No” came from her tiny back turned body,
Resistant to a thief who would dare to steal her dream.
But she acquiesced leaving her castles behind, like the friendly couple
Sitting nearby, she too packed up her things to return to her camp at Burlingame Park.

A single colored, sleeping woman, with a indigo bandana, tied like a crown on her head, was awoken from her dream.  Startled to find her dry little island in the sand 
Surrounded by the water, the encroaching tide told her she must flee -
To save herself from getting totally drenched.  Her dream clung at the edge of consciousness
As she raised herself from the ground.
 
The small girl was still standing in the distance with her parents.
We caught her eye and waved, she waved back.
Then they were gone. Disappeared as if they had never been there before.
Their effervescent dreams dissipating like mist into the air.

The beach was empty.
Only the friendly lifeguard high in his chair was left chatting away,
With his older female companion sitting below.
Relating his stories of the sea.

We too thought it time to go,
Reluctantly, we gathered our things.
As we stepped away, I searched my pocket filled with two white rocks
To see if I had room to take everyone, and their dreams home with me.
But no, I too, like Aria had to leave my dreams in the sand.
At least for another day.


By Georgianna Rivard

All Together

NOT LOST BUT GONE…
Sometimes a poorly exposed photograph is worth the effort. In this case I was able to bring back the memory of three small children, in a small way. Here we have the grave of Little Mary Smith (1865), Little Fannie, and Little Someone Else. The inscriptions were hard to read, but with a bit of tweaking, I was amazed how the letters and words become clearer, until “Voilà!” You have a phrase.
Plainfield, Connecticut August 26, 2016

Stepping Stones

My journal is filled with disconnected ideas, weather conditions, and random thoughts.  Days and dates, and months of the year quickly pass by.   Yesterday marked the first day of Spring, an annual milestone, filled with new hopes and dreams, like a toddler taking their first steps across the room. 

I don’t remember learning to walk, but will never forget when I learned to ride bike.   One day, a small bicycle suddenly appeared in the yard, and I knew what to do.  It wasn’t mine.  It was borrowed, and I would teach myself to ride.  No eyes watched me, and no one talked.  No training wheels attached themselves to the frame, either.  It was hop on and go, from the top of a small embankment of the lawn, down.  The incline was slight, and the soft, fluffy grass protected me when I fell.  The time  spent balancing became greater than time on the ground, until finally I was sailing away.  It only took a day, or two.  Left to my imagination,  in this crucial task of growing up,  the  way to build and sustain my fragile confidence, was to be left alone, to own the accomplishment for myself.  

It just occurred to me that the photograph I took of the stepping stones, leading from the forest into the open field, can be a metaphor for every task I embark upon, in every new stage of life, like riding the bike.  And now, as each page of the calendar gets turned, and every new season passes by, the uncertainty remains as powerful as before.  But, to move along means to cross the stepping stones at every  juncture, and make the most, of tous les jours.   

Sensitivity

“Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist-a master-and that is what Auguste Rodin was-can look at an old woman, protray her exactly as she is…and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be…and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart…no matter what the merciless hours have done to her.”
― Robert Heinlein

New Clothes and Old Clothes

“New Clothes and Old Clothes” from “The New Book of Days” by Eleanor Farjeon, captures the way I feel about old clothes. There are some pieces of clothing I really love and can’t part with. I may or may not wear them, but keep them for their colors, the feel of the fabric, or some memory attached to an event or time. It may be something I wore over and over again – the threads so bare, the collar so frayed.  The intangibility of the passing of that time is what matters most to me.

Eleanor says, “In May, older clothes are kinder to you then new ones.”

I rather like New Clothes,

They make me feel so fine,

Yet, I am not quite Me,

The clothes are not quite mine.

I really love Old Clothes,

They make me feel so free,

I know that they are mine,

For I feel just like Me.

 

The Same Way

People don’t  always see things in the same light.  Reactions will differ, from something to nothing at all.  Even in seeing a blade of grass. The same blade of grass in a sea of millions of other blades, an observer might ask: why are you looking at that blade of grass? -singular, like yourself. – And if you choose to answer them they still may not understand.  You simply have to move on.

On Children

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

 

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

 

You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and he bends you with his might

that his arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies

so he loves also the bow that is stable.

Kahlil Gibran