Dangerous Compassions

garden day win

“I like my music really smart,” I told Ming.  And something about Sufjan Stevens being the smartest.  Ming agreed.

We had Garden Day.  It was lovely.  I would do it even if no one came.  It nourished my soul.

A bed got moved from the back to a better zone.  The compost pile was pulled from.  Ming watered.  We talked about seeds and okra and weeds, weeding.  There were a couple drops of rain.  A grackle in a mesquite tree was nicely squeaking.  Squeak blessings.

Our friend V was here just to change her oil.  She brought her little doggie.  She hugged me twice.  The first hug was a cautious one, and the second hug was warming.  She had been to New York and back.  I felt like I’d just seen her.  I think time is passing a bit wrong for me.

Our friend in the back house thanked me for his present, which was a harmonica.  He said, “Thank you, thank you!  I jumped for joy!”  He spread his arms wide and looked up into the sky. 

I looked at his long arms, the gaps in his smile, and the graying hair in his beard.  I felt tender about him and his mortality. 

He said, “I gave you a big hug!”  He acted out the hug from four feet away.  I felt we had done a good job loving each other.

“You’re seeing it clearly,” Ming said–we were having a conversation about some difficulty he was having sorting papers.  He held his hands up in front of his face like holding binoculars.

“Thanks for the validation complete with gesture,” I said, making the gesture.  “The binoculars of clarity.”  We were laughing.

Last night we were lying in bed–Ming was home from a DSA thing.  We talked about his evening, the terrible hat P gave him, had a small argument about a historical fact.  “Can I complain to you about something?” I asked.’

“Yeah,” he said.

“You know that cork board in the kitchen?  Well it’s been bothering me–someone put a bunch of straight pins in it!  They’ve been there for a really long time.  And I’m like, why would anyone do that?  So I took out the straight pins, and then I saw right next to them, someone put a bunch of tack nails!  Why in the world would anyone DO that?  So I took those out too.”  They were pretty brass tack nails.

Ming confessed he put those things there.  I was astounded.  I told him how push pins, thumb tacks, and map pins are the only appropriate things to stick in a cork board.  For some reason, this was really important to me.  I said how the tack nails were too thick and harmed the cork board.

He said he put the nails there in case someone needed them.  Some tools are by the door, so the nails went with the tools.

He asked what straight pins are for.  “Sewing!  Only sewing!” I said.  “Or getting out a splinter maybe.”  Hmm, my rules were breaking down.

I’m telling the story badly, but this house, much of the stuff was here when we got here, and the more I realize I want to stay here a long time, the more I see I can change a lot of it.  Some stuff’s got to stay, but not in a certain place, and a lot we could get rid of.

So it was funny to complain about the inappropriate cork board stuff sticker, and then it was him.  Sweet, his confession.  Sweet, our meeting of the minds about cork board policy.  We could write up a cork board policy and stick the policy on the cork board.  Well, that’s not necessary.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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