This post was originally written ca. 2011.
This morning I tried to weasel out of my writing committment to myself.
But my honey called me on it.
Well, he didn’t have to. I called myself on it.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: Let’s go out to breakfast, wouldn’t that be fun!?
Me: How about we go right now!?
Him: After your morning post, right?
Me/My Ego: Naah, I don’t need to do that right now. I’ll get to it later.
Me: [Sigh] Yes. The morning post. I’m on it.
* * *
I wrote this about Signs. How they are all around us, likely all the time, and how when we have an openness and detachment from what we feel the sign must look like, then it often appears in a form we never imagined.
Last night, I was with two longtime business friends, Kate and Ali. (Wait…..wasn’t that an 80s sitcom?!?!) Kate was interviewing each of us about our adventures in entrepreneurialism and me also about my book, Love Your Mess. We were videoing these conversations at Ali’s amazing studio which houses a “traditional alternative” high school she conceived of, founded and now runs in Delray Beach, Florida. Someday, this concept and a school of Ali’s may come to a town near you, so watch for it and her!
The walls of Ali’s space are amazing. The kids write poems, paste quotes, make collages and use every last space of whiteboard and chalkboard walls to create an atmosphere that one cannot help but be inspired by. Though I have been to the space several times, I am always mesmerized by what is going on in there, physically, energetically and of course academically.
As I was looking from one spot to another, trying to take it all in, my eyes rested upon a large and colorful clock you see in the picture for this post. The clock’s face, inside the layer of glass, was covered in buttons of all sizes and colors.
Ali turned to me and said, “This clock gets more comments from people than anything else in here.”
“I bet,” I said. “It’s so cool.”
“You know these buttons, right?,” Ali asked me.
I looked at her with uncertainty. “No…..”
“These are from your grandmother’s sewing collection. They were your grandmother’s.”
Oh. My. God. My grandmother’s sewing collection. My grandmother had been a seamstress all her life. When she died, I couldn’t bring myself to throw away her massive collection of scraps of fabric, yarns, labels, elastic, pins, buttons and anything else you can imagine she amassed over at least 50 years of sewing and collecting such things. Though I would have loved to have possessed the skill she did, I didn’t and am not a sewer. Nor is my sister. I longed to find someone who wanted all of this, or somewhere willing to accept it as a donation for those who do love sewing.
For a while, I couldn’t find the right person (or anyone, for that matter).
Then, at some point last year, Ali and I had a conversation and she suggested that I could give it all to the kids in her school — after all, who would put all of this color and texture to a more creative use than Ali’s kids??
After the initial emotions that came with gathering all that stuff and giving it away, I’d all but forgotten about it.
Until last night.
Until the clock. The clock with her buttons. With her colors. With her signs.
The most obvious sign would be one of time.
Now is the time.
Or, perhaps more in keeping with her straightforward attitude, “It’s about time.”
In fact, I could almost hear the conversation: “Bubby, guess what? I am finally ready to write the book about you and your experiences, and how they affected our family. I’ve even told lots of people about it, so I can’t turn back now.”
She’d answer, with her Polish accent, something like, “Alkele, what were you waiting for? It’s about time.” (With a P.S. of, perhaps, “And don’t go to breakfast before you write about me.”)
It was also no coincidence that this sign came on the eve of my son’s, my first child and her first great-grandchild, 14th birthday. I never thought she’d love anyone like she loved my sister and me…until Daniel was born. In her eyes, there was no world beyond Daniel. He became her everything. I am pretty certain she wanted me to know she remembered Daniel’s birthday and wanted to make sure she got in on the birthday wishes.
It’s about time. (And now I can go out to breakfast…)