Way-back Machine


This picture was taken a few years ago, in a diner I had retreated to for lunch after a particularly morose morning steaming and ironing clothes for a client.  I saw my circumstances as pretty tough, at the time.  I knew I was depressed, working with people who really didn’t like me, crying at almost every thought that crossed my mind.  Some days, I grasped for relief by hiding in the back stairwell, and trying the mindfulness exercises I was practicing at home.  On this bright late winter day, though, I just had to get the hell out of there.  Any stool at any diner counter feels like home to me, that’s how deeply that posture ingrained itself in my Chicago-girl bones.

I was wondering why I chose this picture today.  I have newer ones I could post – more soulful, mysterious images (though it is hard to improve on the visual pun of clocks and chickens coming home to roost).  Regrets are on my mind lately – possibly the greatest waster of time there is.  I keep imagining the decisions I should have made around the time I took this picture, hiding out in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.  Things are certainly as tough now as they were then.  I had forgotten, though, how much every single day hurt back then.  And how much I lived in my overwhelming need to know what I had done wrong.

Since the day I ate a mediocre burger surrounded by an infintely repeating brood of Barred Rock hens, I have made even more mistakes.  In fact, I have misjudged almost every important financial and professional decision I could have.  But the harder part for me, by far, is to remain open to the memories of pleasure and  beauty that have travelled with me since that time.  A journey which, thanks to this photo, I can measure by the minute.

I’m working on it.

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One thought on “Way-back Machine

  1. The wall paper is cacophonic!
    We all make choices that yield less than expected results – you are not alone! Mindfulness is very useful because ultimately those these moments are what we have. You breathe such beauty into your art and writing. Rest in the curve of your thoughts – I am sure Beauty resides there! Yxx

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