Tuesday, January 08, 2008

grATITUDE 101

This image is from a photograph that Leau took on a trip to Paris a while back. It's a pretty cool image and she showed me how you can print it on watercolor paper and paint over it with Twinkling H20s. I think it's a pretty cool treatment as it involves altering an image. Gifts can come in surprising 'packages'; often the 'package' can easily slip us by if we aren't in an open frame of mind. Take, for example the fact that I had spent an inordinate amount of time at the car dealer a few weeks back for a routine 60,000 checkup. I usually wait there at the dealer as I don't mind chilling out for a couple of hours. However, for some reason, the wait extended to three hours. Then four. Then five. Nearly six hours before I finally got out of there! I didn't bring enough things to read or music to listen to! So, the the last thing I wanted to do anytime too soon was to have to go back to the car dealer. Tell that to my fuel pump which decided to konk out after that trip. So, I faithfully call and schedule my appointment, but this time request a ride home to avoid a 'replay'. The morning light on the snow encrusted Sandia mountain was a sight to behold as the courtesy van pulls out of the parking lot. That in itself was a treat; it reminded me of the mountains in the Himalyas. The driver was a delightful man (retired twice and does this job to keep busy) who, oddly enough grew up in India in the foothills of the Himalyas. Wow. A long ways from home, I commented. He cheerfully replies that that is not his home; his home is here in America. He chose to come to America after studying many countries in high school history (high school in India is different than here; kinda like a combo of high school and college). He carefully studied not only the history of many world countries, but their immigration laws. The United States impressed him and decided that this is where he wants to end up. Quite a decision for a teenager, huh? He finishes his studies at the University of Edinborough in Scotland with an honors degree in English. Impressive. He moves to this country in 1970 and 5 years later becomes a citizen. This man is proud and grateful to be an American (he is not shy about proclaiming this) and has many interesting insights on those of us who are born into this citizenship. He says that we celebrate our gratitude once a year on 11/25 (or whatever dates Thanksgiving lands on). He says he celebrates his gratitude every single day. He goes on to point out that there is no other country like ours where we have all the freedoms that we do; social and economic mobility. He pointed out that even if you are in this country illegally, this country is nice to you. We don't require an exit Visa. Even if you choose to be a criminal, they are nice to you (remember the perspective of comparing it to other countries in the world). I wish I could recall verbatim all the 'gems' of insights he had (wishing I had Leau's ability to recall conversations). It was a great ride across town, full of wonderful conversation with this delightful gentleman who hailed from India and is more American than most of us can ever be. Very humbling. A very postive person with a very kind heart and a great sense of humor. As he dropped me off at my destination, I told him how originally, I wasn't too thrilled that I had to bring my car back in to the dealer so soon after being there, but that in doing so, I had the pleasure of meeting him and his delightful company. He was that gift that came in a surprising package.

2 comments:

Regina (artsy_reg) said...

What a great story! Wish all newcomers had his respect for America. I also remember that mermaid from playday. (Sigh...) Can't wait to start on another real art piece.

paris parfait said...

I love these unexpected encounters with fascinating people. Sorry about all the car problems, but a lovely post!

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