A few minutes of chatting over the counter at Mysteryscape, one of my favorite bookstores, sent my mind down a path which I’ve resisted taking. The owner of the store, talking about this blog, asked me if I had stopped complaining about myself yet. I felt a rush of awareness. She arched one eyebrow and gave me a sweet smile. “You and I have a lot in common,” she remarked. “Especially the mantra running through our minds, judging ourselves.”
How can a woman whom I barely know, who talks with me twice a month at most, so deftly touch the very nerve which sends a surge of fire into my belly? She asked me about this journey, questioning me gently but closely. I gave her my standard lines, each of them: my theories about change that others have bought when I’ve peddled them in pretty packaging. I told her about my affinity with Melanie’s song, “The Good Guys”, and especially these lyrics: “By starting to build from the outside, we fill up the halls within”.
That fine eyebrow merely arched again and she replied, “What about from the inside out?” I fell silent.
The door of her store opened then, and a rush of customers entered, laughing, chattering, fresh from the Farmer’s Market. I finished my transaction and said goodbye. She smiled, raised her hand, and watched me turn away, with the light of understanding in her eyes. Its warm glow carried me home.