This Week’s Topic – Eye of the Beholder

 In This Week's Topic


This week’s topic is inspired by this graffiti art in a parking lot. It’s called: Zen and the Art of Small Business Maintenance.

I can explain:

I had jammed myself into the last possible moment to purchase silver chains from the wholesaler in Toronto. Somehow, they’re open. Traffic was bad, but accounted for. Beads were cooking happily in the kiln in my studio. Car stereo set to all Jack White, all the time, and on shuffle. I was all-good, and slap-shot happy, singing in the car.

The parking lot in front of the wholesaler is a municipal lot on Queen Street in Toronto. The spaces are tight and top-dollar—and yet it’s often almost full. Many times I’ve parked creatively, and once got a really hefty ticket. I’m always so nervous, and although well on-schedule, I still had several hours of work left to for the order.

I’m not unusual, Ladies. This is all of us, in our own ways. My job in this community is to represent you too!

When I pulled into the lot, I actually thought the lot was full. It’s like a broken string on a guitar when something like that happens… a twang, and then instant anxiety. My heart started racing, and immediately the image of my first successful art show of the season came undone in my mind. Calculating now, I slowly drove to the last row—usually blocked off with a rope—and was considering how much a spot was worth. Time is literally money in this type of fast-action entrepreneurial scenario; abort mission and re-organise the pieces I put out for display on my Facebook page, or park anyway and risk the expensive ticket with a side order of sleep loss because I did not plan to be up two hours past my bed time. That’s what poorly scheduled rush hour traffic costs. Oh, and Covid in there somewhere too… where’s my mask?

I rounded the end of the row, and came nose to nose with a very large pick-up truck. Remember that happy I described before? Instant slap-shot into the boards. I can’t imagine what the other driver thought when I spontaneously combusted right in front of him—probably hilarious. I closed my eyes and let him do an eight-point turn, then drive past me. When I opened my eyes? The row of parking spots was completely clear. No other cars. No ropes. No pylons. The instant relaxation was profound, and I also burst out laughing.

Walking back to the car to put the parking chit in the window, I looked across the street and there was the graffiti. To me, it read “Zen.” It was an absolute confirmation of what I actually am: well-scheduled, pro-active, and prepared. Everything was in place for the order, and to spite the acute flare up over the parking spot, the contingency plan would have been perfect also. Yes, as a matter of fact, I was Zen! That state is big picture success.

I don’t think, after last week’s discussion, I am alone in receiving a sudden confirmation from my environment, specifically a sign.

Our discussion topic this week then, has you looking into your own environment for the reflections. Read the signs. Read the graffiti. Read the newspaper. Read the memes even!

Notice: what do you really see? What do you really read? Do the words show you something about yourself? More importantly, do they inspire you in some way past the intended advertisement, or subject matter of the person or company that put out the visual? For example, in my story about being Zen, looking logically at the graffiti, it is likely a tag, i.e., someone’s name.

For your share this week, take a pic (or save and share the pic if it’s on the internet), and give us the quick story of what you actually saw at first glance, and what that really means to you?

Happy hunting!

Beauty and positivity are everywhere.

It is your own reflection on the horizon.

Claim it!

P.S. If you can’t find something in your physical environment, use a meme! The source of the sign doesn’t matter; it’s the reflection that counts.

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