Inside out

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.




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