It has been a while since I’ve posted, cause I have just gotten so darn’d busy… all good things but juggling life’s demands, working, and putting energy into my own projects takes its toll on the hours I have to put up my ramblings…. that said I had an encounter this week that made me stop and look at my whirlwind of a life and pause.
Which is good for me. Pausing. I don’t do it nearly enough…. take the way I write, for example… long sentences, drawn out, extra commas and descriptors for emphasis to make sure you get what I mean… and ellipses, cause I’m not quite done yet and I have more to cram in… :) haha — As my good friend Stephanie Sheh said to me, to quote a famous phrase, how you do one thing is how you do everything. Oh, well, tis who I am I guess, cramming as much in as I can (fun, work, joy, play, adventure, life!).
So this moment, this pause came a few nights ago at the grocery. I had popped in to pick up some necessities as I nursed Yuri back to health (ugh, sick is suck!) and as I walked the aisle to grab some veggies, an old woman walked past with her husband, and I smiled, as I often do while passing strangers, at her. She mumbled something to him and they walked on. Then not a moment later she was by my side, grabbing me, holding my arms in her hands. I was caught off guard but not scared, just more startled (I get stopped and talked to a LOT). Then she said over and over, “You look like my friend.”
At first, I will admit, I thought perhaps she had Alzheimer’s and mistook me but after a moment her eyes shone and she started to tell me all about her friend Fancy Free who I reminded her of. She told me of Fancy’s family, Irish slaves, white, but slaves who were freed upon their 18th birthday, and how her grandmother got the name Free… Then about Fancy. How she never had any money, how she was always poor. And then about her own very different life and family in Eastern Europe and how most of them sank on a ship losing millions.
We chatted for several minutes. Mostly her regaling me with wonderful stories and me watching in awe. I congratulated her on her recent 80th birthday and we talked about our husbands still laughing at our jokes: the secret to a good marriage is a sense of humor, clearly.
And then her husband was back with their cart and I wished her well, and thanked her for stopping to share that moment with me. I reflected on the fact that I often get stopped. People see something in me, my eyes, my smile, that welcomes them to pause; even when I am not pausing myself. And I am gifted with a moment, even when unprepared to have one. A connection, although fleeting. Brief and powerful. And for that I am grateful. And being able to share this moment with you is my way of gratefully passing the pause…. PAUSE.
** side note, I went google image searching for pause, and so many [pause] button images came up, that while staring at my screen they actually started to look like tiny faces with big eyes…. so perhaps even the humble pause icon knows you have to take a moment, open your eyes, and breath! **