Till Turning, Turning, We Come Round Right

It has been a nearly cloudless day and by 6pm it is already thirty-eight degrees, a light wind whirring across the town square where I park my car. I am going to the gallery opening in SmallTown, NC featuring “Ornamental Indulgence” by thirteen area jewelers, eight of whom I know. It is just three blocks from the square to the gallery, but even with my down jacket I am cold by the time I enter.

At the last minute, Parker had decided to come with me, leaving from the Coffeehosue and caravanning to a local gas station. But as we parked at the gas station to carpool the rest of the way in one car, he changed his mind. We said a non-particular goodbye and I moved happily on my way. This, it turns out, felts quite healthy and I noticed my non-disappointment with a smile and a boost of confidence.

It was this boost of confidence that carried me swiftly through the gallery doors and as if the gifts of the day had not been enough, the first person I see is DT. His eyes are round and distinctive, trimmed by long, black-as-night eyelashes that I envy. His goatee matches his hair color, mostly black with a few flecks of premature grey. His lips are full and pink, in need of chapstick and when he smiles, I notice for the first time that one of his front teeth is slightly crooked. I find this completely endearing. His entire welcoming face bears an expression of warmth and affection, and we grab hands and hug closely.

From a certain perspective, this greeting deeply affectionate, though for no known reason at all. After all, DT is just a friend of a friend. We have only spent time together once, at our mutual friend’s birthday party. Taking in the depth of his hug, the sincerity of his acceptance the moment I walked in the door, all of this occurs to me in a flash: We love and care deeply for the same person, and trust that person so wholly that already we know that we care about one another as well.

And so it is that I find myself, arm in arm with this handsome artist, strolling regal around the gallery where he wants to show me his work in a particular display case at the center of the room. He speaks slowly and clearly, pausing to look me in the eyes and touch my elbow, my waist. I return the gestures, and in order to cope with all the chatter, I make his speech and warmth the center of my attention in the loud room. This further enhances DT’s own beauty, and I feel his openness spread over me like a blanket. It has been a long week, a long day, and even still there are many hours to go and yet the unfettered affection of this man reassures me that there is an abundance of love in this world. His gift of presence is a gentle teaching, something to hold against my heart and behind my eyes so that it may filter my perspective of the world. Endearing, wide-eyed and accepting, full of love.

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