Something nice happened today. Something that took me out of myself and reminded me of the power of a simple act of kindness. I'm still feeling the glow of it now. I'm tired and should go to bed but I've decided to write this now, I want to see if I can capture this feeling in words.
When we moved we looked long and hard at the things we had, we were moving from a three bedroom house to a two bedroom apartment. From a full basement to a couple of closets. So things became an issue. What would we keep, what would we give away, what would we leave behind. Big questions. Often surprisingly emotional questions.
Anyone who has been to our home can tell you that we own a lot of artwork. All originals, all bought from the artists themselves. Some of the artists have gone on to great things, but most have not. But we didn't buy as investment, we bought what we liked. One of the paintings that we've had for years began to lose it's charm for me as my taste changed and matured and I wanted to talk to Joe about it. See what he thought. Did we want to keep this painting?
To help us make the decision I looked the artist's name up on Google and found, sadly, that he had just died. I immediately remembered him, a bright mind, an intense manner, a funny way with words. We didn't know him well, but still I felt sad to hear he had died. Then I found a blog written by his God Son, it was a wonderful tribute to the artist and I was moved by it.
We talked about it, Joe and I, and decided to email the young man and ask him if he'd like the painting. I knew that it would be weird for him to get an email out of the blue, but there was no harm in trying. Off went the email and back came a response within minutes. He was shocked at the offer, surprised that we wanted to just give it to him, but he accepted. Joe and I were busy for the next few weeks so we arranged to give him the picture today.
He emailed and asked, again, if we were sure that we wanted to part with the picture. If we were sure that we wanted to give it to him. I had re-read his post, his tribute to the artist, and was absolutely sure.
I've not been feeling really well these last couple of days, so when I got home from work today, I just got into my housecoat and Joe agreed to simply take the painting down to the lobby - where we'd agreed to pass it over to him. We hadn't invited him to the apartment because we felt that strangers shouldn't put people into that position. It seemed 'stalkerish' so we suggested the lobby of the apartment building. I think he was relieved.
He called a couple minutes before arriving and I explained to him that I had tranferred out of my wheelchair and was resting, that Joe would bring the painting down. He was taken a bit aback but said thankyou. Just before hanging up, his voice caught and he said again, 'Really, thank you, I will treasure this.'
Joe came up from downstairs and said that he'd been quite moved as the painting was taken with reverance and the artist's god son was really, really touched. Goodbyes were said, he grabbed Joe into a hug and then rushed out the door.
I felt powerful. Truly powerful. I sometimes forget, I think we all sometimes forget, that it is possible to do something simple, something nice, something powerful in someone else's life. For me, as a man who sits in a wheelchair, who needs help getting around ... I still have the power to make the day better for another. For me as a man who uses a reacher to pull my pants up in the morning, I still have the capacity to reach another person's heart.
While I am most certainly disabled.
The best part of me has not been crippled.
The painting is a watercolour, framed in beautiful wood, of a man sitting in a bar looking out of a window. I've often wondered what that man was looking at, what was beyond the pane of glass. Now I know.