Thursday, December 21, 2006

Passing By My Hello Love

At Franklin and BeachwoodA friend asked me what I did this past weekend. I told her that I stood at a street corner for three hours waving at passersby while holding up a sign that read, HELLO LOVE. She was amused and confused as to why I would do such a thing. I thought about her reaction. I began to wonder too why I would participate in such a thing. A political protest, an anti-war rally or a march for immigrant rights are all understandable causes for going out in public to make a stand and to cause a stir. But who is going to get all excited about receiving a hello love greeting from little me.

And I felt little standing on that street corner a bit bashful and self-conscious wondering what people thought of me. And, at the start, my efforts at hello love didn't generate a whole lot of stir or movement. People in their cars or on foot looked my way as I half-heartedly waved. They contemplated and then passed by my hello love. No wave. No honk. No emotion, no response, no love. No thank you.

Of course I would get a positive reaction here and there (people cannot help but to react to the novelty of it all) but for some reason I would focus on the passersby who didn't wave, who didn't send me a hello love back. I felt like I was at a grocery store standing behind a card table at the end of aisle 3 trying to convince people to sample my food offering. But I was offering up my hello love as though all I had for people to taste was tap water in a Dixie cup with stale bread, instead of a generous wedge of a nutty, tart cheese along with a nice ripe in-season pear.

And I try as the morning wears on to offer up the nutty cheese and sweet pear, and to focus less on how others respond, or not. By the end of our hello love exercise I realize just how far I have moved from my fear of rejection and apprehension to solidarity and connectedness. And every time I do this exercise it takes less and less time for me to bring my cheese and fruit to the table. And as you pass by my hello love, one day, know that I stand at the street corner for three hours on a Sunday morning greeting people to remind myself that I have more to offer than bread and water.

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