Saturday's Holiday Fair was, in a word, magical. There was Marilena, "the Greek girl from Turkey." Out of our warm exchange, her purchases, and her spontaneous gift of a Turkish bookmark woven with symbols of protection and good luck, I have made a new and kindred friend, and Love's Freeway will make its way to the land of the Aegean. There was Sunny, with her piercing blue eyes who matter-of-factly asked me of my work, "How did you recognize this as a calling?" Come to find out she has authored a book on the subject. We knew we'd found in each other a kindred spirit. A passionate exchange ensued which took us from the North End of Boston to the grounds of la cathédrale de Chartres with a few stops in between and tales of the miraculous shared along the way. Her parting with an "à bientôt" caught the ears of Marie-Claude and Jonathan, who had just approached the table. "Vous parlez français?" asked Jonathan, and I was off on a new conversational adventure, this time en français. I engaged, observed, listened, and understood: they embodied a dream of mine. It was as if Life were saying, "See? It is possible, you can have this." My recently rekindled love of France--le pays, les gens, la langue--caught yet another flame. And by the conversation's end, Marie-Claude had recognized me as her writing teacher of 15-odd years ago! "You wouldn't remember me, I was very unexceptional," she assured me, but I do remember. Phil, from a recent class, stopped by too and unwittingly completed the arc of my years of teaching here. Erin perceived a relationship of patterns in one image that I had never seen before, even though it is a favorite of mine which carries with it a story I felt was worth telling in Love's Way: Reflections and Practices.
My neighboring vendor Stephanie has overheard bits of these conversations. She finds it remarkable that I remember where every photograph was taken. "It's a moment in time, not a picture," I tell her. "Like time spent with good friends, they are moments lived." I cannot imagine it any other way, so this "remembering" feels unremarkable to me.
I am sitting then, threading ribbon into new bookmarks, when I look up to find my sweetheart, who has zero time for a trip to the Back Bay in the middle of a densely packed working Saturday, standing before my table smiling at me. I burst into smile myself, and Light multiplies, or so it seems to me.
How do I tell of it, of being full of Grace, only to have more come adorn me like jewels?
Dagmara, minding her sister's 'store away from store' for this day, came over to praise my photographs and to generously offer a lead to a possible venue for them. Later, I would learn that she had, from across the room, caught the one line I spoke in the language of my ancestors : "That was very good Polish I heard you speaking over there, Katarzyna!" which delighted me.
Were there many sales? No. Ostensibly, we "vendors" had come to sell our wares, to provide beautiful, quality, handmade gifts to help visitors cross some names off of their holiday shopping lists. But this day wasn't about sales for me at all. This day--this past week too--has been about opening the heart of Love's Freeway wider than ever before. It has been about touching and being touched, deeply. It has been not about spreading Love, but finding It, in Its native habitat. It has been about resonance--the sort of resonance that stringed instruments know so well: pluck an D and all the other D strings in the room begin to vibrate. This is my life of late. I am plucking the "L" string and finding matching vibrations emanating, radiating from all directions. This is such joy, such bliss--it is living in Love, this.