Saturday, October 15, 2011

On, In, and Around Mondays: Embrace the Shape

woman descending

I was all alone for lunch. I didn't want to be alone.

The waitress sat me facing the wall. She set the maroon menu down on the brushed stainless steel table, and placed a white cloth napkin and large utensils before me.

Is this how a restaurant seats those who are alone? Maybe the wall is supposed to make the lonely diner feel closer to something. Maybe it gives a sense of safety and connection to something, if only a decorative picture of Eleanor Roosevelt.


Let me see the room I am alone in, I thought. Let me embrace the shape of this time. I picked up the leather menu and switched sides. The room was large. I saw groups of people laughing together, a set of businessmen pushing pencils, waiters moving from table to table.

Maybe I'll write, I thought, and went reaching for my purple notebook. But no, I thought. Embrace the shape of this time.

So I watched. I watched the candle burning in foggy rose-colored glass. I watched a man outside in the courtyard, talking, talking, talking on his phone, head bobbing, hand in jeans pocket. He talked through my focaccia with olive oil. He talked until I noticed the watermelon shape of my goblet and its sweat dripping down and the cubes melting inside. In his red and white striped Brooks Brothers styled shirt, he finally walked away when the burrata on bread with prune jam and basil arrived.

watermelon goblet

I cut small pieces of the burrata and moved it slowly up to my mouth. I let the fragrance of the jam and basil meet me before I put the bite on my tongue. It is like a spiritual experience, I thought.


I did the same with the tiny sweet potatoes covered with brown sugar and pecans. Slow movement, fragrance, take it in. I watched how the waiter who served me smiled. What's your name? I asked when he came to me again. It was Christian.

sweet potatoes

Finally, I took my phone out to check the time. How much longer would it be until I had my next meeting? I might need to go somewhere else and wait, pull out that paper and pen I'd been after.

But the time was gone. Somewhere in that hour and a half, I'd melted into the embrace.



On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

On In Around button

This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, if I would just slow down and take the time to embrace those moments like that. Instead of being busy with a book or a pen, even just once in a while. Being right there in that space and knowing just where I am!
loving you, ~ linda

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Hope said...

Nice reminder of mindfulness.
I love the picture of the glass of ice water.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Sheila said...

It's a discipline, isn't it, wrapping yourself in the moment?

It's one I struggle with mightily. Thank you for showing me a way.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I am trying to do this L.L. - this slowing to embrace the moments. You model it so well.
I have raced through your book - just couldn't put it down. I was so taken with the relationship you have with your girls. It is so lovely.
Now I must go back and mine all the wonderful nuggets you've placed in those pages.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Jennifer @ said...

You seem to embrace all things, even time. You waste nothing, even boredom. Your life teaches.

11:04 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Those dishes look yummy enough to jump off my screen. I'm learning this too--sometimes better than others. Sounds like you were able to savor these moments and that is a gift. I think it will be a lifelong learning for me.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Carolyn Evaine Counterman said...

Okay, I've come to join the linky party. Not that I think what I've contributed is special, but just so I can be "part of". That is what I am craving right now - being "part of". And I'm putting some intention into it now instead of just waiting for it to happen.

The words for verification right below this comment box I'm typing into are "nest spa". That just gives me a small laugh as I'm thinking about "sense of place". A nest or a spa - either one - seems like a good place to be right now.

Thank you, L.L., for having me here. Thank you for making lunch alone look like something to enjoy.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Janis Van Keuren said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate the moment. Embracing the time, drinking in the people, and enjoying those tasty morsels.
A light shed on how embrace every moment--instead of hiding into the wall, as we often do.


11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might have been alone then, but I feel like I was right there with you. Beautiful words.

3:14 PM  

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