One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Questions are the new answer

Judy was in rare form on the evening she encountered a bicycling street psychic who claimed to see Judy's problems just from looking into her eyes. "You have concern, deep concern about your financial future and all the people around you who are all losing their jobs, or just falling on hard times."

"I do," Judy replied hesitantly.

"I see that you are tired, working more hours than you once did, that your job's more demanding, and you're throwing yourself into things that will make you forget how worried you are about the future."

"Yes!" Judy responded.

"I see guilt that you have not been able to do more to help your friends, even knowing that you too, will one day be in their shoes, that at this rate, it's only a matter of time for all of us. Deep inside you know we must pull together and help each other. You are supportive, but are you willing to open your door and let all those people come live with you? Are you willing to give up the comfort of your personal space? I'm only asking because I know that deep inside this is the question that's bothering you most right now, the question you can't answer. ... and it's important. Will we rise up and help one another, or will we shut out our own friends when we have to make the tough choices many are already making. It's a choice that separates people, shows what they're made of ... and I know that, right this minute, you're wondering what you're made of. Am I right?"

"Yes," Judy confessed, feeling overwhelmed by the truth of this moment.

"I can help," the seemingly wise woman said, pausing before continuing. "My rate is $25."

A little reluctantly, Judy dug into her purse for the cash she'd planned to use for gas. She'd put the gas on her card instead. After all, this woman got right to the core of her being in a matter of minutes. How could she not take this to the next level?

After forking over her crumpled bills, the woman told her to listen carefully. "I do not have definitive answers," she says. "You must look to the universe for signs. Pay attention to the signs and you'll figure out what you're supposed to be doing."

Then she rode off into the night, pedaling quickly.

Judy felt cheated. She had hoped for more, but did start paying attention to signs. In fact, she began to see everything as a potential sign of something more meaningful. In the end, however, she was just drowning in mixed messages, and that old song about signs kept bouncing around in her head ... "Signs, signs, everywhere a sign ..."

After the psychic disappeared, Judy wanted her $25 back ... because after all, the woman had no answers. And the signs, much like the song says, were blocking out the scenery, breaking her mind. But what Judy eventually realized is that definitive answers are hard to come by, and knowing the question at the core of your being is important.

Dropped Judy at Barton & Miller, a Las Olas dry cleaner that is also a great big consignment store with lots of furniture and art and interesting things. It's more pricey that I can afford, but it's really cold inside and a perfect haven for taking a break on a long hot walk. And they're very welcoming to browsers. While there, I slipped into the restroom by the staircase (there's an upstairs) and put a tile on a shelf ... As I emerged I think someone else was headed that way. There weren't many shoppers in there, so what are the chances?

On my way home, I passed the guy I know only as caricature man. When I am walking downtown I always pass him. He's usually toting all his art supplies on his bike. After he passed today it occurred to me that after all the years of seeing him on the streets here, I don't even know his name. ... Today, he had a big Pearl bag hanging off his handlebars. I admire that he's out there making a living at his art.

Speaking of walking downtown, there has been a lot of crime recently along the Riverwalk in Fort Lauderdale, and some of it has gone unreported. Here's a report form Channel 10, but I haven't seen much else. Apparently there were at least two rapes since April, and a recent armed robbery. So when walking in that area, be very alert.


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