Monday, January 8, 2024

A January Thaw?

                  Can there be a thaw when there hasn't been a cold snap in months or recent memory, whatever is longer?

    But it is classic to look for one, maybe even to make one up in one's mind (which is the memory part after all). So I chose yesterday the magic number 7, which also happened to be my double digit birthday (yikes, yet again...), to go on a rant.

    What is a rant, exactly?  Perhaps it is whatever a person chooses it to be. I took the sound of the word over any meaning (that, if examined closely, is likely negative). I was embarrassed to be so old in the numbers game and was overcome with guilt. How come I'm still alive and reasonably sound in mind and body when others have met their maker, gone south, whatever.  It was possibly circumstantial that I felt compelled to go social, to make the case for making friends out of strangers if only for a few minutes. I stopped a young woman from reading a book in a bookstore because she had picked up the title of 'Fire' on a bright red jacket.

     How come? I asked her. that is a provocative title and did you reach for it out of some felt need? Fortunately she wasn't taken aback but answered with a small smile: Well I'm majoring in the environment, she said immediately. So this seems pertinent. Aha, a connection. I saw she was with a group and didn't persist. 

    Upstairs in another shop above the bookstore I was waiting for some prints to be made of one of my grandchildren's drawings. I had superimposed on it some words of cheer thinking she might use it as an invite for an upcoming birthday. (Indeed, her father said she would like more of them for just that purpose. Or maybe he suggested that to her, no matter.) I was intent on explaining why I was doing this and wanted the other woman in the room to know it. That began a short discussion on grandchildren, on how and when they learn to speak and interact with the world. Another contact that drew the attention of the sales clerk since I let it be known that my namesake grand was in Montana. Lo and behold, the clerk had lived in the state, knew all about it, was immediately engaged. 

    It's so easy to create conversation if you, the initiator, are at ease with yourself. But that is another story and has nothing to do with birthdays...and a rant, by the way, can be any determined action for any purpose. At least in my book.

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