Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Prospered in Love

I am grateful to all who came out for Open Studio at Chestnut Hill Mall last weekend. It was wonderful to see and talk and share with each of you. Quelle richesse! The show was rich in so many ways--and from the get-go, in fact. Saturday morning found me setting up beside a propping wall for displaying framed prints (I had a table and no wall, and wasn't sure how I was going to display these) which bordered an American Bullfrog habitat of all things!

I confess I spend very little time in malls. But this show placed me indoors for two days straight in the halls of commerce, with lots of metal and marble and glass around: not my usual habitat to say the least! And this on a glorious sunny spring weekend, no less. But the eleven or so American Bullfrogs saved me, along with their pond and fountain and lush birches and moss and such: they brought the outdoors in. What a treat. They croaked when I made my first sale!

I'm realizing more and more that such grace, in a word, is what happens when one's "business" is Love. Love attracts Love. Love breeds more Love. You just can't give it away. We see what we're looking through. We draw to us what we are, etcetera etcetera. So "happening upon" the bullfrog habitat should not have surprised me, and neither should what transpired at the end of the two-day show have surprised me. But it did.

I could say the little miracle started Sunday morning when, dressing, I realized I didn't own a single piece of jewelry to complement the tunic and neckline I was wearing. It occurred to me that one of the artists in my "pod" at the Mall--a metalsmith/jewelry maker--might permit me to wear something of hers for the day, and promote her work in the process. I had done this at a show a couple of years ago. I modeled my friend Helen's strand of freshwater pearls, silver beads, and kyanite for a day. By the end of that day, I was sad to have to surrender it. Word got back to my sister who had visited the show, and she arranged to buy it for me for my birthday, which fell a couple of days later.

I had no such plan for this necklace I might borrow. I would model it, enjoy wearing it--featuring it--and return it to its maker at the end of the day.

I approached
Kate Jones that morning, and sure enough, she was game. She invited me to select a piece from her array. I chose an oxidized (silver) pendant that was the perfect match to my black pearl earrings and the metal buttons of my blouse. I put it on, and prepared to enjoy gathering attention for her beautiful work.

At closing time, I started breaking down my exhibit before I remembered the necklace. I paused, and made way for Kate's table.

"Kate, before I forget..." I said reaching up to unclasp the necklace.

She turned to me. "I think you should keep it," she said. "It looks really nice on you."

"Noooo," I protested. Her gifting it was unthinkable; surely she was suggesting I purchase it.

"Yes. I do that sometimes. Keep it."

Incredulous, I hesitated still, but she insisted. "Just tell people where you got it," she smiled.

"Of course!" I said with a firm nod, and I humbly thanked her, blessed her, hugged her, all the while wondering how I could accept this extraordinary gift "for no reason."

I realized how as I drifted back to my table, touching the pendant at my neck: just accept it, that's how. I know that when Life (Love) gives gifts like this, ours is to receive them. As I began to absorb what had just happened, my mind flashed on a woman who had visited my table earlier that day. I had watched her sort through the bookmarks I had for sale, to choose the image of her liking. Then I watched her walk away, look again at the one she'd selected, and then tuck it in her purse. I felt myself reach after her for a moment. Then in heart and mind, I smiled and I let it go. The whole process took maybe 15 seconds. At the start of that time, I actually wondered if I should go after her, tell her--imagine! It's embarrassing to say I went through any process at all, but I did. And be that as it may, I did let it go. Not dismissively, not resigned, but with pure release: I gifted her the bookmark, happy she was interested in having it, happy for that opportunity to share the Love with her. It was a very small gift, granted, but a gift just the same.

Kate's was no small gift, and I knew when she offered it to me that I was not capable of a comparable gesture. I also knew that I wanted to be. And so I walked away from her table with more than a necklace. I walked away with an opening as well. A possibility. Her gesture showed me who and what I am, and who and what I am becoming.

I was struck by these words when I visited her website later:
My work is inspired from my love of the natural world. Seeds, flowers, bones, branches, and anything else that grows, provide me with endless inspiration.
So this was an exchange between kindreds. How not at all unlikely it was then for Kate Jones' jewelry to find its way to me, then show me how to live closer to Love? And ditto my winding up beside the bullfrog habitat!

Oh, Love: what a many-splendored thing you are indeed. What riches and grace, what beauty and order in Love's way, and what a joy to let It have it.


Post a Comment

<< Home