I am in Portland right now – sitting at my girlfriend Julie’s kitchen table. She is up watching Oprah in her room with her sweet black dog Buddy. We have been friends for over twenty years and we do girl things like buy shoes and pillow cases, wear lip gloss and sunglasses and play Madonna’s lucky star. We lay on the grass on a rose colored blanket. We drink wine in the sun and paint roses and poppies. She brings me coffee in bed and fills my room with little bouquets and sweet smelling candles. We plan trips to her Native land, Greece and buy hot pink ribbons for no reason. We wear our cowgirl boots with dresses and giggle a lot. When we are together, we live the “good life” and that is what we have always done together, enjoying the abundance of her home and and her aesthetic to the fullest extent possible. We have agreed we are going to both paint one wall hot pink, Razzle Dazzle from the Benjamin Moore paint collection because we saw it and loved it in House Beautiful. What does this have to do with perception? Well with all of this oppulence, there is a conversation going on – about life and love. About our immigrant families coming here over 100 years ago and who they were. About how to grow in marriage. About having children late. About working with orphans, about caring for animals, about saving the world, about church and state and organic food. About recycling and the future of the world. About microwaves and about toxicity. In between Latte’s we talk about the changes we need to make personally. In the luxury of our girlfriend time together, we solve problems and make plans and take actions. We examine our perceptions, and form new perspectives and talk about the balance between excess and abundance. When I am in the beauty of her presence, the air is golden and I can think differently. We talk about me moving here to Portland and her moving to California – like we always do. I get renewed in her presence. In her bounty. I am not ashamed to love high thread count sheets and nice cowgirl boots at all. I am in bliss with her beside me, enjoying all the finest things life has for us. And this morning, we painted together…a vase of sunflowers on the table and a little icon of the Virgin leaning against it. Sweet chanting music in the background and soft rain outside. Good. Very good.
On Sunday we went to her Greek Orthodox Church, and I visited her version of Our Lady of the Red Thread – and met the Priest who rides his bicycle to church and wears birkenstocks (not when riding his bicycle). We prayed for healing. For beauty. For life to come to our lives. Her little niece Ariana gave us hope for the future – her Auntie or Thea as it is called in Greek, playing streaming fingers along her brown bare arms. That is where you lightly move your fingers along someones arms, we have always done that – it feels so sweet to have someone you love rub your arms and hands this way.
Now it is the next day, and after going to Isabels for breakfast, Papa Haydins for Peanut Butter Cake and Joe Bar for red wine and New Seasons for everything else – I am headed back home. In just a few short hours I will see my darling husband, in a brand new outfit, Portland style.
Blessings to all this day. Love, bounty and beauty to all.