"Pink", by Susana Laborde-Blaj
I’ve never had someone throw eggs at my head before. At least, I thought they were aiming for my head, since I had one of those distinctive pink hats which can be used nowadays to support certain ideologies and indicate resistance to others: to make a statement.
I decided to take a walk in beautiful downtown Lake Oswego, where things are always perfect, always pretty (am I being sarcastic?). I had just finished teaching a class, where I used the metaphor of a hummingbird staying still in midair to refer to a moment of stillness between inhalation and exhalation, and exhalation and inhalation. I was very pleased with the analogy, and thought “Prayer in Spring” by Robert Frost was a pretty good poem to read today, a gorgeous day of Spring. As I walked outside the yoga studio, my steps took me to Millenium Plaza, where I sat on a bench to call my mother on the phone. I spoke to her while looking at the 9 trees that she used to watch and count, when she would sit at that very bench, those days during her Summer stays in Lake Oswego, before illness kept her away in Mexico.
I was wearing my hat, recently given to me by a student, and I was wondering if people around me would display a different attitude from the one they would have showed, if I had not been wearing my lovely – I think that it’s lovely – very pink hat with cat ears’ shape. Not many people were there, and I was wondering whether I would wear the hat or not. In the end, the chilly air decided for me, and I decided to risk what I thought were interesting/unfamiliar looks from people around in order to keep my head warm. I then began walking with the hat to the beautiful little plaza with cherry trees, all of them blooming. This view was so beautiful that I must have had a smile in my face.
As I was a bit hungry, I decided to enter the Movie Theater, which has a terrace where one can eat by the lake. It was the perfect place to have something to nibble, while reading the new Alexander McCall Smith book that I had in my backpack. All went well, and I sat outside, devouring a pretty good chicken and white bean soup, looking at the stunning view, as the sun went down in the horizon, leaving a ray of light on the water. Was it aggressive to keep my hat on?
I was wondering about that, and trying to read the expressions of the few people passing by. It seemed that some of them were avoiding looking directly at me.
After I finished my soup, I continued reading the book, but there was a point when I was so cold that I decided to head back home, taking the very picturesque path by the lake. Just when I was thinking of how amazing and beautiful the day was, of how I could only think of hope and beauty in a moment like that, I heard something hit the ground very close to me, after grazing my head. I immediately stopped, and looked to my right, from where it appeared to have come, where there’s an apartment building with big windows and balconies. Nothing there to see that caught my attention. I looked on the ground to my left, and I was somewhat surprised to see a broken egg. OK … it seems that my pink hat may be creating some commotion. Or was it random?
I decided to resume my walk, going back to the willingness to believe in hope and those nice things that are easy to believe in when it’s a sunny day in a beautiful place, and the flowers are blooming. After a couple steps, when I had almost returned to my ideal world, another meteor came close to my head, and landed on the ground very close to me. I stopped and took my hat off, not out of shame but to see clearly who was throwing the eggs. Nothing, absolutely nothing on the balconies. My heart was beating fast, and I felt the impulse to shout, but decided against it. Instead, I put my hat on again, and began to chant loudly to Ganesh, the “Destroyer of Obstacles”, that lovely and powerful elephant that is also called Ganapati: “Om, Gananaantva, Ganapati hum hava mahe … ” A man had been slowly walking behind me, and another man was close to the water, apparently getting ready to do some fishing, neither of them showed any particular sign of noticing what had happened. I continued on my way, chanting rhythmically while still wearing my pink boots and pink hat. Such an innocent color: pink. Girls have been wearing pink boots and pink hats for ages. My boys like to wear pink, too, and cherry trees were wearing it today as well. Pink.
I wonder if whoever it was missed my head on purpose, or if they just had bad aim, but for sure they will miss eating those eggs for breakfast tomorrow.
Lake Oswego, Oregon, March 30th 2017
“A Prayer in Spring”, by Robert Frost
“Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.”