Sunday, July 22, 2012
For what could be the last time - for the end is nigh - I'm traveling with Sibling. We've grown up together in our current roles - slipping into competitive patterns that blended gently into a genuine affection and respect. We are not the very best of friends, but we are close.
We were scolded for taking certain photos - traveling exhibits pose copyright infringements, I'm given to understand from a suited/headsetted guard. But just because I took a photo does not mean I created it - I did, not after, build Amsterdam or Versailles. Still, the artist certainly deserves credit - her touring pieces were undeniably compelling.
But as we wandered, Sibling and I talked. How I was not offered the job for which I interviewed. But how she, in contrast, was. She was beginning to pack, preparing to move, looking over places to rent near New York City.
"You'll come visit?" she asked again and I shrugged and smiled.
"It's not my favorite place," I said, motioning to the Midwestern city we currently occupy that I actually like more. "Busy, intense, overwhelming. But, yes - I'll come visit."
"Just keep swimming," I murmured, thinking that it's what I tell myself when I'm tired and achy and not near a stopping point. And I stared a bit too long into Dory's painted gaze and hoped that life doesn't always favor the wise or prepared or deserving. That sometimes kindness and mercy arrive from unexpected places.
I reminded Mom of this when I returned to the hotel and called home. She'd forgotten to change Dad's pain patch on schedule and was consumed with guilt that he'd had such a difficult day today.
"It happens," I soothed. "You're doing an amazing job taking care of him. Everyone makes mistakes. We all love you anyway, just like you love us."
"It seems like you could do that," Sibling said as we stood in front of the large pieces of art created from pins. I smiled and shook my head, reminding her that I'm too impatient to make a single circle with tiny pins, let alone a bunch of them.
"It's very pretty though," I commented as we walked away, wishing I could take a photo. (I did so from the floor above, but with a guilty feeling.) "A conglomeration of small decisions and overall planning. It makes me want to say something profound about God's plan and being present and doing the best I can with this moment." I told her.
But all I really had was the wisdom of Pixar - Just Keep Swimming.