On this new leg of my wayward life, I’m trying to pay attention to those gems of small conversations that happen when I get curious. I call ’em “Notes from the Road”
While tucked away today at the Virginia Tech campus, I wandered over to Gillie’s for lunch. This was a place David Carter-Tod introduced me to on a prior visit (David! I will ping ya while I am here).
I find that counters are good places to sit where the potential is higher for conversing. Tables say “I want to be alone with my book/phone/soul.”
So I am watching a guy sporting a black “86” t-shirt chop tomatoes, then onions, then red peppers, then mushrooms, the a roasted turkey. Chop chop chop. More efficiently than I have ever done.
The cook came out and said hello. He made some comment about the knives being pointed towards me. I said it made me feel welcome. Half smile.
I ask “So what do you think about when you chop stuff like that?” gesturing to the guy actually chopping away.
Cook says, “I go to my happy place. In the mountains.”
A happy place. That works.
He walks away to flip some fish in a pan that is spitting flames up in the air. I would eb alarmed, but it seems normal. Later I ask him where those mountains are, expecting to hear of some local places. He said “Colorado” and then the Wind Rover Range
“Ah Wyoming, that works” I say. Been there, Twas that Wyoming sky in 1986 that whispered to me “come west”.
He glances at the chopper dude and then starts putting the knives away. “You know, you still have to think some about cutting yourself… because if you don’t you will!”
I laugh. I think I get it.
You see we have this blob of grey matter inside our cranial box, and it permits us to put ourselves far away just by our own internal will, yet at the same time, we can assert some amount of conscious presence to balance it all. That seems pretty amazing, something I have trouble imagining any device being able to do.
In our minds we can co-exist on many plance. And in a way that works. We can be working with dangerous sharp devices and be wandering in a happy place.