Soul in the World
Today I attended an event at our local Neighborhood Co-op. Students and staff from the university created hundreds of bowls for a very special fundraising event "Empty Bowls: art for your table, food for the community" The funds raised went to the Good Samaritan - a place that provides food, shelter and more for those in their time of need. It was windy and cold. How long could it take to pick a bowl? I thought. I would just pick one and get inside for some soup!!! I heard someone say that the soup was almost gone! I approached the table and picked up the first bowl that caught my eye. It was a creamy colour with a smooth, shiny finish. Very round. Very lovely, with splashes of blue and brown. I moved down the table and really could not believe all of the beauty that was laying before me. The other prospective buyers and I huddled together against the cold. I began picking up bowl after bowl, feeling it's beauty in my hands. It was like connecting with the love of each potter who created this gift on behalf of others. As I picked up each bowl, I wondered what kind of dish the refugees were eating out of right now. Did they even have a bowl? I felt myself being drawn deeper into the stories of all of the refugees, the poor, and the displaced with every bowl I held. The last bowl was the one I would take home. I stood there admiring it, feeling it, praying for it to somehow multiply and be soup-laden in the hands of everyone who was hungry, alone, without a home. I went to pay for my bowl. $5. I turned away still looking into it and was stopped by a reporter from one of the local papers. She said to me "I noticed that you were really taking your time choosing your bowl. Do you mind if I ask you what you were looking for - a specific colour, shape, or design?" I must have looked stunned because she apologized for interrupting me and I told her that it was okay and asked her "Do you really want to know what I was doing?" She replied "Yes, if you don't mind." She opened up her note pad. I'm not even sure what I said because it seemed like a difficult thing to explain, but something about thinking about refugees and what they might be eating and how the bowl was mis-shapen (is that even a word?) She asked to take my picture. She took a few shots and then said "mis-shapen" - "I'll have to write that down". As I turned, she said "Thank you" and added "The bowl matches your outfit.".