Sometimes it is the smallest, perhaps simplest of effort, gestures that touch me the most. Especially the ones I never see coming.
A friend of mine is on holiday in Egypt (and he had a fortunate prolonged delay in Paris to explore its wondrous beauty). He mentioned sending a postcard, but I never expect people to remember such little things when trekking across the world. My friend Anna sent me postcards from almost every port when she did semester at sea, but the funny part was I only received several in the end. I still have just those few that survived the daunting journey by land, sea or sky to find my mail box. Anyway, I had forgotten all about this with my trip to Houston, getting ready for RAW, and a photography contest, oh and work of course as well since we had auditors the past two weeks (our own corporation auditors, it helps keep their accounting offices on point).
Friday afternoon after sitting in work traffic, I find on my bed a postcard from Egypt, stamp of Cairo and all! He told me in tiny barely legible scribble about his journey to St Catherine Cathedral, to Mt. Sinai. I can’t wait for the intricate details left out of the summation written when he returns. The front of the postcard is of an icon, “Ladder to Heaven.” Dozens of people (all men of course) are walking the rungs of the ladder to heaven, at the top is Jesus, palm out, waiting to welcome his followers, another outstretched hand by a less defined male figure. At the top left are angels dressed in pallid blue robes looking down upon the humans. But what amused me most, enticed the eyes, was not everyone made it to the top. Several men are falling, being plucked like rotten cores by dark figures with wings, demons perhaps, militant angels. Roping them like bulls for kill, and dragging them off the rungs. Stunning. And more so that no untouched man was trying to help, to grab an ankle, a robe, trying to save their fallen brothers. All eyes upon above, the brightened light, on the savior’s haloed presence. Then turning the postcard over, the first thing I notice in medium sized, bold lettering, “Best Wishes.” Oh, I laughed. A perfect choice, splendid gift.
Then this morning, I awake, grab my laptop from beside my bed. Skim news, Facebook updates (but no one really is awake yet, sleeping, hungover, all to be expected), read several blogs of friends, which leads me to a link to an upcoming show. And I search for her. Wondering what has become of her, this unnamed woman on canvas. He never told me her name, but surely, now she must have one. I click on that face I know so well, seeing what she has been christened, and I am utterly surprised. I didn’t know. He never said. I never asked again either. And I don’t think I believed it for several moments. I wonder what compelled him. But nonetheless, I was greatly moved, touched. She is so beautiful to me, the woman on canvas, I hope whoever is fortunate enough to have her will cherish her the way I did in seeing her path to existence. Priscilla Cuts Ties…and those three words strike me to the core more than anyone could realize. And I’ve been left smiling the rest of the day.