The bell

I’ve got a cold. Just as I thought I was in the clear, and had missed getting my daughter’s illness, it descended.


So it goes.

As I was dragging myself along, getting her to school this past Wednesday, we had one of those days where there was a big Muni delay (I believe a “mysterious package” was the culprit). I gave up on getting there on time and was just focusing on getting there. And trying not to sneeze on anyone.


Since I wasn’t in a big rush anymore and my daughter said she was hungry, when we got up to the Castro I popped into this little mom and pop shop that’s been there forever. I remember grabbing a hard boiled egg there while waiting for the bus when I was about 25.

As I paid for a granola bar, the guy behind the counter asked how I was doing, and when I mentioned that I was not great, he responded, “Ah, but it’s a beautiful day! And you have this beautiful girl!” It was not in that horrible way of people who treat your difficulty as an opportunity to take a stance of superiority by correcting you. He said it in a truly generous way, looking me in the eye and smiling. I replied, “Yes, of course, and all the rest of it will come round.”

And I actually felt better as I left the store.


What great power we all have to influence each other. It really is that simple. And as always, words matter far less than the intention. He meant to help me, and he did so.

Hearing many people get caught up in some kind of fear and hate storm recently has left me in a relatively constant state of “What are we supposed to do about this?” kind of questioning (right after the WTF kind of questioning).

This event rang like a bell in my week, and it is a far better answer than I could have come up with myself.

P.S. The captions are from an ongoing collection that I’ve intended for some kind of print project but had never figured out what to do with.

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