I like to think I have a pretty awesome circle of friends – they support me and my beloved, they endure my craziness, they are (for the most part) socially conscious and engaged and they, by and large, make the world a better place simply by being themselves. I am pretty blessed. I seem to gravitate to “art-sy” types, maybe because I work in the design field, maybe because I am gay, who knows? My friends all seem to be somehow gifted in the arts department – writers, artists, designers and the like.
One of my dearest friends, Chris, would probably deny that he even is an artist, although he owns and manages an amazing and highly successful fine arts framing company in San Francisco. I have known Chris and his partner for just about five years but have gotten very close to them in the past couple of years. They are two very special people, in all the BEST definitions of the word. Kind. Loving. Generous. Giving. Selfless. Worldly. Responsible.
Anyhow, like most of my friends, Chris is a part of my online “social network” and while he is not a mad-poster like other friends, he does pop-up in my feed with reasonable frequency. Chris is one of my most political friends so typically his posts reflect current events or ways to better the world. They always make me smile but recently he posted this image, which made me stop and grin from ear to ear:
The caption attached to the pic was simply this: “Growing shade outside of Rainbow Grocery, San Francisco.” I am guessing it was an image captured by my friend with his iPhone as he was walking outside the market. Speaking from a scholarly place, the composition is visually interesting, the balance and juxtaposition of colors is engaging. The artist plays with shadows of leaves contrasted against reflections of leaves in the glass. It clearly displays the sometimes hard to grasp concept of the “quality of light.”
In a nutshell, it is simply a kick ass photo.
But it was more than a simple pic/post for me. For one thing, I kinda’ joke with my friends about being affected with mild S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder – Google it) and this image, bright and saturated with sunlight, made me forget all the gray nothingness that is Ohio at the moment. I smiled, too, as I remembered being at Rainbow Grocery with my beloved Martin and Chris and his beloved guy during our trip to San Francisco last year. The visit to Rainbow Grocery was a big deal/no big deal, you know? Just four friends, having fun doing nothing, laughing and talking as we walked aisles of soy, bamboo and “free-range” products. The memory of that happy time made me smile.
In an effortless moment, simply by innocently posting a photograph, my friend lifted my spirits and reminded me of some awesome memories. I am sure it was not his original intention but he really made my day great by sharing that picture. It is moments like this, moments that I like to call “collateral joy happenings” that I wish would happen more often, not only for me but for everyone.
I’d like to publicly thank all my friends for being in my life. As I said, I am blessed with many great friends – I look forward to making many more memories/having many more adventures with all of you. As each new event and chapter in my life unfolds, I promise to savor every moment and open myself up to joy. And I promise to do my best to share that joy with you.