On a brilliant summer day in a beautiful and artful city, a gentleman walks along a red-bricked street. Passing a small boutique, his gaze is arrested by the most enchanting, exquisite bow made of satin ribbon. This bow would be a perfect addition to his daughter’s birthday gift. Elated at his luck in finding this intricate adornment, he walks into the small shop.
“How much is the bow in the window?” he inquires from the young man approaching.
“The bow is $50.00,” comes the reply.
“What?! I’m not going to pay $50.00 for a 10 cent ribbon!” shouts the man.
“Ah, no problem sir,” says the young clerk.
He moves toward the window and with one quick jerk of his hand and wrist grabs the satin bow and whips it once into the air. Immediately, the bow becomes undone. As he holds out the long, straight, gleaming ribbon to the gentleman, he says simply, “Now, you may have it for 10 cents.”
This story was passed on to me almost 30 years ago by my
beloved Commercial Art instructor, Ray Coia.
It’s 9:00 in the morning in my steel city, 3:00 in the afternoon where you are; where Columbus set sail for the new world.
What are you doing today?
Are you drinking your afternoon café, as I sit sipping from a chipped cup at a gritty south-side coffee house?
Are you writing words in your notebook? Are you sketching scenes or pushing stray thoughts around on napkins?
Have your blue eyes turned murky grey with age?
Or do they still match my own?
Would I know you if you walked in the door right now?
Would I want to know you?
I would like to be smoking the Spanish cigarettes you smoked the last time we met. The sweet smell of tobacco forever firing nostalgia straight into my senses.
Everything that Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (www.theminimalists.com) is the best book of non-fiction I’ve read in a long time.
I’m going to be posting some thoughts regarding Minimalism in the near future. For now, if you are even remotely interested in trying to break free from the burden of possessions, drop everything and read this book.
Doors can be heavy
they can be transparent
Doors are different than windows,
whatever lies on the other side is anyone’s guess—
elephants or sinkholes,
mint leaves, magpies, corduroy or moonlight.