Tuesday, January 4, 2011

He was not waving but drowning.

1.  Kirk walks out of the shop door and waves, the way he always does, head bowed so his hand reaches that much higher above his head--a humble acknowledgment that his relationship with people is more important than his own recognition.  "Nice weather!"  For this man who spends 75% of his time outdoors, the statement reflects more than a simple platitude.   Last winter was tough out here.  Even Kirk with his usual thin, upright stride started to wilt a bit under the lack of sun, the pounds and pounds of snow.  "Yeah.  It's great weather.  I should have come outside earlier," I say while lifting Nora into the back of the car as she yells, "A happy new year to you!"  A good winter.  A new year.  They deserve mention.

2.  We run into Teagan, her unmistakable smile, dark glasses--wedding preparations filling her heart.  We joke about simply providing each of the wedding guests with a single spork that they have to hang onto for the entire day.  "Don't lose this.  I'm serious."  She waves to Nora as she gets into the car.  Nora turns and swipes her arm back and forth, clearing a path between her and her tall friend, "Bye, Teagan!"

3.  I would venture that 88% of the people who drive trucks around here have "steering wheel" waved at me, the single finger lifted slightly from the one hand perched like a five-fingered bird on top of the wheel.    I usually feel like I'm playing "Wack-a-mole" when this happens, lifting my own finger from the steering wheel 2 seconds too late.  He's gone.  And he thinks I'm a jerk.

4.  I'm particularly fond of waves with sound effects:  the old index finger to the forehead with a wink and a "click" sound, like you make when you're calling a horse.  I like that.

5.  Breaking the waves.   When we wave at each other, we acknowledge our usual boundary and burst through it as from the surface of the water.  Your presence brought me out of myself, and I lift my hand to acknowledge you and this lifting that frees me from myself.  And I'm glad to see you.  So glad to see you.

Your turn.  Tell me your waving stories.  I'm listening.  And waving.


  1. It's not exactly waving ... but your post reminds me of my sometimes-practice of saying an internal "Namaste" to each person I meet as I make my way through a grocery store, stand in line, attempt to merge in traffic, etc. It reminds me how often I neglect to even LOOK at the grocery clerk. (And keeps me from wanting to kill the jerk who didn't let me into his lane, because I can't hold that thought and greet the divinity in him simultaneously ...)

    Love the spork idea, too. You ARE hilarious. I've missed your humor.

  2. my mother has a very distinct wave, and every so often i catch pieces of hers in my own - one of those DelightfullyFrightening moments.

    Am I becoming HER?
    I AM becoming her!

  3. Recently I waved with neighborly gusto at Clayton. As I passed by, I could see by the confused expression on this young man's that no, he was not Clayton. Recognition and connection, yanked away! Vulnerability and dorkiness instead. (At least it's comfortable territory.) And for some reason (or no reason) a feeling that I've gotten away with something. A giddiness. "Hi! Oops! You're not who I thought you were, but dammit, you're still somebody. And I've greeted you with joy and it's too late to take it back. So there!"