It is a moment last week while engaged in the swirl of focused work of coordinating a set of drawings for a new house I’ve designed.  A small house and I love it.  And where the details of how it will be finished will be taken over by the owner and will be decidedly different that how I would do it, I continue to enjoy the harmonious flow and balance and proportion of rooms and the modest face they present to the world.  And even the work of coordinating these simple plans and elevations and details for a small house requires an intense focused dedicated effort that can be quite consuming until it is time for ‘pencils down’ for whatever pressing need in the schedule has dictated the deadline. I’ve had so many realizations in this last effort.  I am reminded of the energy of finishing a quilt, that the stitching of quilting lines requires the same kind of consistent focused and dedicated attention that simply takes the time it takes.  And then there is the feeling that it will never be completely finished but that it is always enough and learning how to accept being in this place.  I am reminded of the energy of writing, the work of editing and re-writing until the pieces all fit together, and even of the flow of a yoga session, when the work of the individual postures all begin to flow together to produce the feeling of coordinated effortless movement.  I realize in all these efforts there is a moment of convergence, of being at the moment in the spiral of a particular process when the effort and the consciousness of what one is moving towards become one, and from which the flow to the natural conclusion, or ‘home’, can happen.  And this process is fueled with a kind of passion that has a life of its own and that I give myself to until the work is done…

So I am in the midst of this ‘passionate’ process of finishing drawings and I need to eat.  Smile.  A couple pieces of (sprouted grain) bread, fresh butter, and a lather of strawberry jam.  Not my usual choices and but it feels right.  And then I take the first bite…

and am instantaneously transported back to summer 1978 in NYC where I am living and working in anticipation of my upcoming year of independent coursework at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies.  I am sharing the perfect little apartment on Charles Street in Greenwich Village with one of my closest childhood friends, Kerry Ryan, and it is thrilling having this first experience of independence together in such a different context than the ‘safe’ suburban street we grew up on together.  I remember how excited we are to have this time together and going out onto 7th Avenue in search of sustenance that first night and returning home with the first bag of bagels we buy together.  We quickly fall into a routine of splitting one for breakfast each morning and Kerry puts butter and jam on hers and then I began to do so too. I am amazed how just one bite of this morning’s toast would bring back this memory with such clarity and precision and affection, and how completely the taste of this combination is ‘Kerry’.

I finish the drawings and in the wake of this effort and energy, get in the car and drive to my parent’s home where Ben and I will visit for a few days with my nephews who are in town for a brief time.  In the car I find myself thinking about Kerry again, a thought that she might be in town and how nice it would be to see her.  However it is a whirlwind visit and I just barely manage to decompress and get some rest in amidst all the family activities, and any thoughts of making contact outside of this are lost.  And each morning I wake up thinking, today I will write my piece about the convergence of passion and independence triggered by a simple bite of toast with butter and jam, but the process of decompressing hasn’t made room for this yet either and so I save it.

And now after a few short days Ben and I are in the car and on our way home.  We are on the first six mile stretch that leads into the little town of Cheshire where there is the famous ‘Company Store’ and where I rarely stop for gas, instead usually favoring the larger stations closer to the highway.  But a clear knowing goes through me that I am supposed to stop in Cheshire this morning to fill up.  There is only one other car at the pump as I pull in though no sign of anyone there.  I pump the gas and Ben and I then decide to go inside for ‘a treat’ for the ride.  As we discuss this heading to the front door, I hear a voice behind me saying, “Kathy Ford???!!!”  And there she is, Kerry, walking towards us with a big smile on her face from behind the other car at the pump!  Convergence.  She gives us both a hug and I am stunned, sharing with her my reluctance to be leaving this place and my family this morning, how full of tears I am, she validates how much she understands, what a beautiful place in the world we are, and how she often feels the same when leaving too.  She will be living here all summer and we quickly share schedules with hopes of connecting again in August.

And then Ben and I are back on the road, following the spiral leading back to home….

One thought on “convergence

  1. Wonderful! I think of this as Spirit putting a big exclamation point on your point about those exquisite moments when the various streams of life and time flow into one.

    Beautifully said.

    And the photo!

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