Archive for March, 2010


The random magic of life never seizes to amaze me.  I may walk past, ride alongside, casually exchange words with countless strangers.  Some of them I might talk to for a few minutes, others I see regularly, swapping insubstantial remarks, their existence touching me but little.  Then, suddenly, for no reason in particular, one person strikes a chord in me, peeks my curiosity, enters my life.  It tends to happen when I least expect it, have no energy to give to a new relationship, am preoccupied with too many balls I am already juggling.  And yet this one stranger compels me to pause and pay attention, gently, but insistently knocking at the door of my soul.

I look at his face that in a sea of others suddenly swap up to the surface, like some exotic fish, and wonder at the randomness of our encounter.  How easily I could have not noticed, not intersected, not spoken to him.  I am fascinated by how someone I do not know can make me feel so fully myself.  I converse with him as easily as if we have known each other for years, the words between us waltzing and sparkling, alive with feeling.

Perhaps because I am an introvert, cautious at opening my heart, impatient with shortage of wit and intelligence, such meetings take me by surprise.  I keep the walls of my castle in good repair, I dredge my moat regularly, to make sure it remains deep.  Yet this person seems to walk in through the gate, past all the defenses as if he were some wizard, impervious to the laws of physics, skirting the obstacles I have erected around myself.  He comes through the door, sits down beside me, and starts talking as a friend who has been traveling abroad for a while, returning to fill me in on his adventures, trusting that I will understand his idiosyncratic diction and expression, quirky turn of mind and phrase.  And somehow I do.

I am infatuated by these moments like a child – wide-eyed, innocent, alive to the wonder.  As if someone brought a toy I have dreamt of as a prize out of my reach, put it in my hands, and said “here, it’s yours, take good care of it and let it bring you happiness.”  I am befuddled at my good fortune.

This delight might not last.  (It’s not the matter of romance.   This magic happens for me with men as well as women.  My joy is sparked by both.)  The novelty might wear off, life’s crazy schedule might interfere, distance of space might dull the intensity of contact and stifle its flowering, excitement might fade.  Yet a few of these serendipitously ignited friendships remain for life, burning quietly in the background, giving off heat and radiance that warm up my heart, flaring up just when I am feeling low and lonely, answering my smile when I am content.


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