Friday, August 31, 2007

Chance Meeting: Copley Square

I've been feeling really down this week--I believe "Down in Ye Aulde Mouth" is the proper terminology. (Not to be confused with "Long in Ye Aulde Tooth" which is something entirely different.) No specific reason for this case of the blues, really. Well, ok, a lot of specific reasons, none of which would individually result in low spirits, but with their powers combined leave me feeling....oh, sigh.

The biggest thing is the feeling of restless anticipation. There are so many things in the works these days that my life feels like one of those picture-puzzles where you move the tiles around and try to figure out what the whole picture is supposed to be. I've got a tile with culinary school over there (which starts in A WEEK. When did that sneak up on me?!), a tile with the Engineer over there, new roommates over there, a tile with some money concerns hanging out in the corner up there, one with anxieties about the Noodle Factory in the middle here, and another with possible future jobs/side jobs/freelance jobs/what-have-you edging around the perimeter. Oh and let's just throw in the fact that the seasons are changing and daylight hours fading for good measure--that's always a good one.

I've been trying to get my Inner Buddhist on the scene--working the whole angle about staying present with the feeling, not labeling it as negative or positive but just accepting it for what it is, staying compassionate toward myself, and just being open about the whole experience. Well...yeah. Humph. My Inner Buddhist might have a better time of it if I could focus on anything for more than five minutes without getting distracted and antsy about something else. And before you say it, all you clever sassy people out there, yes, I've been exercising and going for my runs. If I were superstitious, I'd say that writing that post the other day about how wonderful and meditative running is actually jinxed me to a week of less-than-tranquil and annoyance-ridden jogs. But no. My Inner Buddhist prevails. No big deal. This too shall pass.


Today is Friday, which is Farmer's Market Day for those of us who work near Copley Square. This Farmer's Market has a good vibe. Business folk, tourists, stroller-moms, homeless people, and local residents all jostle side-by-side, commenting on the fuzziness of the peaches, the reddness of the tomatoes, the variety of hot peppers. I've been going to this Farmer's Market for a good four years now and feel like it's a familiar happy place. Some days, I smile and talk to everyone--farmers and buyers alike. Some days, I'm feeling quiet and keep my head down, but it's soothing to just be around the fresh smells, the shining produce, the reaching hands, and the lively conversations. I usually head over on my lunch break and stock up on all my produce for the week (or at least until the next Farmer's Market on Tuesday). So I spent this particular Friday morning feeling grumpy, and feeling grumpy about being grumpy, and watching the clock in anticipation of lunch because surely - SURELY - if anything is going to at least temporarily lift this mood of mine it will be a visit to the Farmer's Market.



12:01...VROOOOOM! Off I go!

Grumpy on the way to the elevator. Grumpy press the button to the lobby. Grumpy crossing the lobby and stepping out into the sunshine. (Ah, sunshine! Maybe a little something unclenches inside me? A leetle bit?) Grumpy walking to the corner. Grumpy waiting for the light. Grumpy dodging silly cars with silly people who think it's a good idea to drive downtown. Grumpy waiting at the next corner, gazing over at the market stalls. Grumpy...and then...tap! tap! tap!

I turn around and see this woman beaming, just BEAMING, at me. She looks a little older than me and is wearing comfortable clothes. A gaggle of middle school aged kids surround her. I would have pegged her for a tourist looking for directions except that she wasn't giving me the tourist vibe (you get a sense for this after living in Boston for a few years). I give her a nervous half-smile in return.

"Did you go to the Cambridge Culinary School?"

I must have looked a little surprised at her telepathic abilities because she gestures to my bag. At which point I remember that a few weeks ago, I eagerly switched over to the messanger bag the school gives as part of their equipment kit. Which has the name of the school embroidered on the flap. Duh.

"Uh, no, actually," I reply [sheepish grin], "I start next week."

(Next WEEK! When did THAT sneak up on me?)

"Oh," she says, still beaming, "I just wondered because I work with Create a Cook, and a couple of our instructors graduated from the Cambridge Culinary school. We teach kids to cook."

"Oh! Wow!" I'm starting to warm up to her at this point. It's hard to resist a really good beam, plus kids and cooking makes my heart warm and un-grumpy.

She goes on, "We're out in Newton. You should look us up. I think they're looking for people to help with the weekend workshops."

"Newton, you say?" I fumble in my Cambridge Culinary-issued messanger bag for a pen and paper, "What was that name again?"

She patiently gives me all the information again and then says that I can tell them that she referred me. I stammer my thanks, we chat for a few more minutes, and then we part ways. I watch her walk away, a gaggle of kids orbiting around her. I take a deep breath and find myself smiling. It sunny. I'm off to the Farmer's Market. A complete stranger just gave me a shot of confidence and a great reference to boost. And just like that, I think I can take off my grumpy hat.


rebekah said...

ah, the grumpy hat! i'm so glad it's gone!


Angelina said...

Boy oh boy do I relate to this! I haven't been going to our farmer's market, but only because I've been spending so much time picking at the actual farm. It really does wonders for my moods.

And I have to say that I'm behind the Emma times...I am so happy you are starting culinary school! I think you're going to blossom even more in that environment. I'm so excited for you.

jo said...

Iris told me to look out for you, but I'm sooooo bad with names. I'm Jo, I teach at cac and graduated from CSCA. I'm in B kitchen assisting on Tue and Thur with Chef's Carol and Jan. Stop by and say hi please if those are your days. I hope your loving your aching feet!