Sunday, March 12, 2006

People are a mystery

I don't care how you cut it I think people are the ultimate mystery.

A lot of folks think we are in some grand way more civilized. In my book that just means we've invented more ways to know about other people and find ways to dislike them.

I was out hiking the other day. It's that time of year when looking at the flowers and fauna take on ne4w meaning as the temperature warms and the sap and hormones start rising. I happened by Holly Anne McDougal's place. She was out in the yard looking back at her house.

I waved and said something gentle like: "Hey Holly Anne, nice day."

"I guess, Zeldy." She calls me that. I think because she laughs when she says it. No matter. "How's it going?"

I innocently took that as an invitation to stop for a few minutes and be friendly.

We started chatting and the next thing I know she was complaining about folks she knew and how she didn't even have time to finish her painting. She pointed up at the spot where she'd left off her brush stroking. I smiled. I swear I did. I smiled.

She turned and hustled back up toward the house muttering something about wishing she had a real friend.

I was standing there looking at a mountain laurel and the tight buds. I remembered a Japanese poem.

It’s your lips that promise
And yet they send your friends away.

That reminds me of other folks in other places. A cloud whisked over the sun for a moment.