Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meet You at the Deli Counter...

(Art journal page - "It happened at the deli counter")
(November 2, 2009)
So there has been a story in my head since Monday morning. This is what happened. I had a nice exchange with a lady in the produce section of the grocery store. I don't remember what I said, but I know I spoke first - probably something about the beautiful day outside or the condition of the produce or something. She gave me a smile and a nod of agreement and we both continued on our way.

(Bottom half of journal page tells the story...)

Then we met again in line at the deli counter. She was ordering turkey breast. The deli guy offered her a piece of the turkey to try. She took the piece of limp beige in between her fingers to check the thickness, told the guy it was fine and then proceeded to check in her purse for somewhere to put the turkey, grimacing big as she did. I caught her eye and laughed ! "No way do you want to eat that piece of turkey right now !" I said. She laughed too, and replied "I like turkey but it is a little early for me !" (It was about 9:30 am).

A moment or two later, she asked me a question - "Are you new to the area ?" Startled, I replied, "No, I have lived here for almost 10 years....Why ?". "Well," she said "You are just so nice!"

I have to say that I have found this town to be a hard one to be a Big Heart Walking in at times. People are close-knit, clique-ish I guess you could say. Oh, they can be friendly if you make the first move but rarely does the level on friendliness go beyond really common courtesy.

So this lady's comment gels with what I kind of know about where I live already, but at the same time, what she said has been ringing in my head all week. It made me very sad on one hand, pretty proud on the other, and it also made me hopeful in my heart.

Sad that we have lost the common action of showing kindness, connection and friendliness to our fellow women and men; so much so that when one person acts that way, it comes as a surprise to another.

(Top half of journal page - spread the love !)

Proud because I have been living my life this was for a while now, showing kindness and love whenever I can, and worrying so much less about what people think or being rejected or getting embarrassed if I get ignored. I do it because I have learned that when I spread the love, even just a little, I get rewarded with wonderful exchanges with people I would normally never have connected with. I have also learned that life is too damn short to worry about looking stupid !

Finally, this little exchange at the deli counter one Monday morning has made my heart hopeful because for that moment, there were two more people connecting and sharing the present moment and spreading the love. And if we cool, somewhat distant Manchesterites can do it, so can you !

"The best portion of a good man's life - his nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love." - Wordsworth

"A little bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses."
- A Chinese Proverb

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile."- Mother Teresa

Plant kindness and gather love. - Unknown

"Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair., but manifestations of strength and resolution." - Kahlil Gibran

(Busy getting stuff ready for a weekend away. I am leaving tomorrow and will be back Monday. Only one week until the craft fair and I still have lots to do. Next week is going to be a busy one ! I hope your weekend is filled with love and kindness and just the right amount of silly fun too !Big Love, beautiful Ones !)


Miss Meliss said...

We moved to the country (Amish-land) two years ago and I'm shocked at how unfriendly people are. I still haven't met anyone, but not for the lack of trying. We're not the only ones who have noticed - others who have moved to the area have said the same thing. It's like the good old boys club around here (except the women are like that too). Our male neighbors are nice (they help us with stuff all the time), but the females have never been friendly to me - I've only met them once after I lived here for a year. I don't know what's wrong with people - too afraid to let anyone in, too busy watching TV. I've even said "I don't know anyone" to other women around here and no one has ever offered to introduce me to anyone or to even offer their own friendship to me. It's very hurtful to put myself out there like that and basically get snubbed. I thought it would be different in the country - guess I was wrong....people are people. It's sad that we don't connect more with each other, I think the world would be different if we did.

I'm glad we know each other Kim...wish we lived closer!

~squishy hugs~

Miss Meliss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joanne said...

this is so beautiful, Kim... i think many of us can probably relate, probably because so many people are feeling so much pain and pressure and are lost in the "out there" of living they've closed themselves off to something truer inside... it sounds like you live somewhere very similar to where i live...but really it could be anywhere... isn't it an amazing thing that an open heart can really live anywhere and be pretty much unaffected by what's all around?... you can't help yourself but just face in the direction of kindness, love and openness... and in those moments of grace we encounter someone else who has opened just a little bit themselves what we find is that really we all have that same place deep inside our hearts... it's a choice whether we want to face inward toward it or face outward away from it...

you are a glowing, gorgeous example to inspire all of us to keep our hearts open wide all the time :)


beth said...

and people can feel that about you !

it's the same way's not really that friendly even though the midwest is supposed to be so great and YES some places are, but this place is a little prickly for the same reasons you mentioned...

but you know me...I'm friendly with everyone !!

you in you and I....we live a good way being nice to strangers and I wouldn't change it for anything !

sherry ♥ lee said...

Plant kindness, gather love. I have that on a stick in my garden -- and I believe it is true.

You carry with you the thinking that I carry -- smile, say hello, be a blessing...and sometimes while people are surprised, they are also filled with a joy that someone took a moment to be kind.

We've learned to be wary and keep to ourselves but in reality we need to remember to be more mindful.

I totally loved this post!! Have a wonderful weekend..filled with much love and much kindness ♥

Julie said...

It is sad indeed.... but I am happy to know someone who is a happy light like yourself! Have a fun trip.


Jennifer said...

I love those sorts of moments with new people. It's true that they come too few and far between these days. High five to you for connecting and I love that she saved her turkey for later...It made me thing "Turkey and's 5:00 somewhere" silly!

Have a great time and happy crafting as you prepare for the fair :)

Anonymous said...

Well my precious, your story brings tears to my eyes! Life is so simply beautiful and especially simple! You know how beautifully simple it is and you spread this knowing in your living. Give and you shall receive. You should be receiving big time!!!!
I love you,

Dawn said...

BEAUTIFUL post and journal entry. I love, love the blues/purples/ purty.

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

It is great when you can just be yourself without worrying about what others think. Some places you will always be an outsider unless you are born there. It's an odd mentality, clan-ish. But you rise above it and attract like-minded souls to you. Have a marvelous weekend!

Connie said...

Heck yeah!! Hansel and I are the same way...we talk to everyone. We sometimes are that annoying couple that talks to the people eating next to us in restaurants...but hey, we've had some fabulous dinner conversations because of it!!! Also..when we first moved here, we randomly started talking to a person in the car as we sat at a red light..and will you know a real friendship blossomed from that conversation!! They--and the people we met through them have become like family.

I say don't look at how little heart your town has--but start noticing how much it does has--and soon that's all you will see when you go out spreading your love magic!!!

Also---I am so in love with your jounral pages. Everything you paint is lovely!

Peace & Love.

Commuter's Journal said...

One of the things I teach my memoir writing students is that the more truly we write of ourselves the more truly we speak of the experiences of others. Look at all the conversation you inspired, Kim! You've tapped into that deep longing for connection and community that seems to be missing these days. Thank you for sharing your experience and opening that conversation.

Looks like I missed a lot when I got over being sick and went back to work. Wonderful art, a happy birthday and more regal growth. Long live the Queen!

Anonymous said...

Once again, your post is so on target with where my thoughts have been of late. I swear, girl, we are some kind of connected. I've always been that kind of person, like you, who finds it normal to smile at passers-by, or joke around with someone standing in a line with you, or exchange some friendly words with one-another. And, having lived in this neighborhood all of my life, I've found that the majority of the people around here are the same. In fact, with most people, if you make the first friendly move, the other will usually follow up in a friendly manner, likewise. Because that's the normal, sane thing to do. No? But you see, there seems to be a new trend on the rise around here, in this neighborhood, which has in the recent years become "the hippest place to be in" (gag). There's been a drastic change in the friendliness factor and I'm starting to gather that it must be "unhip" to smile or be friendly, or to even look like you're happy, because I've experienced something I've never experienced before - anywhere. That is, to smile at someone and have them ignore me, and even quickly avert their eyes. What the hell is that?! And I'm not talking about an isolated incident. I absolutely don't want to be in that clique!

Anonymous said...

....And, I meant to finish up with, wishing you a beautiful weekend, filled with lovely things and delightful experiences! *** Big Love ***

arlene said...

Your experiences speak to the deep things in all of us Kim. I LOVE what Joanne said..."just face in the direction of kindness, love and openness... " That is you.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a meet with beautiful souls.

Roberta said...

What a great blog post, Kim! I love it really shows what good even a little kindness can do, in this world where people don't connect on a personal level anymore. It's a great reminder for us to smile more, and be NICE more...and as my favorite Queen of Arts rock says, Choose Joy!

Have a happy and safe trip!!!


Genie Sea said...

I have often thought and felt the isolation of our modern life. People have cocooned in their inner circles without taking time to see what is going on right beside them. We are more concerned with what celebrities are doing than with smiling at the person next to us at the check out...

I love how you spread joy and love around you, Kim. It is truly something to be very proud of. :)

dosfishes said...

It's too bad that the experience of
simply greeting one another has been lost everywhere. No one shakes hands anymore either, never mind a hug.

Too many text messages and technology to distance us from each other, to keep up the shield we learned to put up a long time ago. So sad.

I too find that if you smile and say
hello most people are surprised, but gladly talk to you back.

You go girl...



Kate said...

Kim, I love this post. I try to the same thing in my town, especially at a grocery store. I like to call the clerk by there name and truly have an exchange with them. It makes their day and mine too. Lets all have big hearts walking....

have a great weekend.