It’s seven-thirty in the morning and I’m driving to work when I hear a story on the radio about a guy who quit his job to write poetry. He sits on the sidewalk with his green typewriter and a poster board sign and for $2-20 he fills in lines for strangers. He’s been doing it since 2005. Apparently, he does quite well.
"I've always loved poetry, he says. “I've always cared about how language works."
I have too, I think.
And right there in the middle of the freeway this story about Zach Houston and how he spends Saturday mornings at San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market with his typewriter and how he quit his last conventional job on April Fools’ Day of 2007 and how his work has been featured at art museums and other cool places…this story has me daydreaming.
And I begin to wonder about this love affair with words. How in the world did it happen?
My husband fell in love with me that semester I sat in the front row of his Adult Psychopathology class in grad school. His favorite thing was to innocuously insert my name into his lectures—just to watch me blush. I couldn’t string two words together without tripping over them. I grew up hiding behind the words of others...tucked under the pages of books.
And here I am…daydreaming about a green typewriter and a sidewalk stand.
If I left my job to sell my art on the street corner, what would it be? What would I sell?
My mind jumps from thought to thought—from love to love—until I am laughing out loud at the possibilities.
I try to think of a way to weave all these loves together—make something that might invite a pedestrian to draw near. I think I have it…here: on my table I would set out little bits of God growing out of rich soil in bold colored pots. They would grow in all different kinds of shapes of love and since no one knows every shape of love the possibilities would be endless. And there would have to be words. Of course a poem—maybe a song? Definitely a story…the shapes of love would tell stories. And when this perfect marriage of growing beauty and color and story and love all come together…there would be God.
I giggle as the project grows more and more elaborate and I think of Brian Andreas and his storypeople and think, “Yes!” Just as whimsical but not so creepy.
And I’m just thinking that I might dig out my paints when I get home tonight and start on my love stories when something niggles…just a tiny ember of a thought.
I only need the colorful pots and isn’t this what I try to grow at the Wellspring? Little bits of God in stories…to plant beauty in some hearts?
Feeling so grateful for you today…grateful that you stop by this sidewalk stand.