A flash of blinding insight.
A new personal motto.
We got up and had a liesurely morning. We didn't have to rush to get to Vancouver so we read a bit before getting up and then over breakfast planned the day. I had ordered a book from Munro books downtown and picking it up was the only thing on our 'to do' list, besides the routine packing and travelling. We headed down to the bookstore and I told Joe about my relationship with the store. During three of my summers at University when working at a summer job, I corresponded with the bookstore ordering books and getting them to find some obscure things for me. It was my own Charing Cross relationship.
The bookstore had moved and the entrance has a ramp but it's so steep as to be unusable but I managed with Joe's help to climb the two stairs and then roll into the store. It's new location is huge and, thought I missed the cramped book filled space on Yates Street, I realize I'd never have been able to get in the old store with it's narrow aisles.
Leaving the store we stopped at Murchies. I had heard that it had gone out of business so I was relieved to see it still standing. Murchies sells teas and has been around since the 1800's. It has it's own smell, one which took me back to university days. How lucky I was, I realize to have had Joe beside me then and Joe beside me now. After buying tea we stopped for a cup in the little cafe attached to the store.
I rounded the corner heading for a vacant table and in doing so found myself maneuvering around someone else in a wheelchair. I took the table and glanced over and saw a woman in the chair sitting with a notepad in her lap. Joe got in the line up, which was extensive, and when he got near me, I turned my chair around to pick a treat from the display case to go with my tea. It was then that I noticed what she was doing with the notepad.
She didn't seem to have a lot of arm movement, though I'm not sure (I didn't stare), and she was quietly drawing and sketching around the margin of the page. The sketches were colourful and intricate. I picked my treat and ordered my tea and turned my chair back toward my table and away from the artist two tables away. A little later, after tea and bread pudding, I turned my chair again to look to see if they had accessible washrooms. Again I saw the note pad. The sketches had taken over all the edges. The center, out of reach, was left free.
I thought about her, on and off, during the ferry ride back to the mainland. I knew there was a lesson in there for me but I didn't know what it was. But I became distracted by Active Pass and the other beauties seen on the boat trip from Island to Mainland.
Before going to the hotel we stopped at the mall to pick up something we'd ordered from a store there. As I waited for Joe to get it I noticed a chubby woman, a beautiful woman, in a wheelchair. She'd have been maybe 20. She wore a vibrant blue polka dot blouse and had a streak of flaming blue in her hair. She, like me, was sitting waiting for someone. She sat with confidence. She expected to be noticed.
And I understood.
When you live in the margins ... embroider.