Friday, January 6, 2017

Is Good Enough?

Well, I certainly didn't see that coming.

The stated game plan was to discuss our 2017 resolutions. But, like every other get-together I've had this week, it was more about re-establishing contact after two weeks of holiday interruption, and if there were unstated goals, well, no one was talking about that.

Deferring to me to come up with a game plan ("I haven't looked at what's happening this week. If you know about something good - you've had great suggestions before - I'm happy to let you select"), I shared what I'd intended to do before hearing from him: go to Susan Worsham's opening at Candela Gallery.

Just like that, we had a plan. I was standing in front of one of Susan's multi-layered and metaphoric photographs when I felt a presence next to me and the evening was off and running as we made our way through the crowded galleries to talk about each picture.

My attraction to Susan's work is all about the attitude. Even the name of the show - "By the Grace of God" - is a testament to her sunny disposition and willingness to stop every single time she sees the makings of a photograph in nature or life. Not later, not come back to it. Now.

Miss an opportunity and it may be missed for good.

Like me, she doesn't hesitate to approach strangers, ask questions and press until she gets the affirmative answer she wants, a strategy that works as well with friendships as art.

By the time we'd made the rounds discussing what attracted us about the work, it was time to claim our seats in the overflowing room for the artist's talk.

Susan is such a disarming speaker and she quickly charmed the room with stories of how she got photos, how nerdy she could be begging people to let her take their image and stressing just how few photography classes she took before setting off to document the beautiful moments in life.

Because that, quite simply, is her goal.

To a student or aspiring photographer of any age, she had to have been positively inspiring with her message of making the time and effort to shoot no matter how indolent or uninspired they might feel.

"Photography is the only thing that keeps me from being lazy," she insisted with a huge red-lipsticked smile on her face.

Suitably artfully inspired - not that I wasn't already constantly on the lookout for the beauty in life or as Pru likes to say, "You and your flippin' silver linings!" - we made our way to My Noodle & Bar, which was packed despite the cold weather.

I'd say scoring one of the tiki huts there as our lair for dinner counts as a good thing, while using both the curtain separating us from the next booth as well as hanging our coats on hooks next to us to create the proper level of privacy provided an ideal setting for the latest installment of our ongoing conversation.

And because our booth was in the direct line of the door and the masses of cold air that poured in every time it opened and, let's get real here, I am so not built for winter.

Since it was his first time, I was pleased at how much he enjoyed his My Noodle dish while I got my standard broccoli and chicken order from my favorite server, who didn't even let me get the words out before she parroted back the rest of my order in a familiar, sing song voice.

There's a lot to be said for being a regular and having people know you.

In some ways, that was the topic of our wide-ranging conversation as he shared his adventures down south and I mine out west and we dug deep into what we hope to accomplish in 2017. His to-do list is longer, but we also had some overlap in one category, which could make things interesting.

By the time we left there, we'd both dropped some surprising news, had our usual back and forth ribbing about why he always feels the need to remind me he can't stay out late and decided we needed to make one more stop anyway.

Graffiato's won the imaginary toss.

Whistlepig Rye ignited a lively conversation with our affable bartender, who was more than happy to discuss brown spirits and distinctive distillation methods with my friend while I took mental notes. A girl never knows when whiskey knowledge will come in handy.

By the time they'd reached a consensus on what my date would drink, he got his pour and the bartender headed up the bar to assist others. Several minutes later, he returned, looking stricken because he'd never so much as inquired what I might want.

Accompanying his sincere-sounding apology was an overly generous pour of Barboursville Rose, his solicitous attention to my water glass for the remainder of the night and, when I inquired about last call half pours, his willingness to accommodate both brown and pink.

Willingness was in the air as the nature of friendships was parsed, advice about the opposite sex was offered and new boundaries were tentatively approached. Forward progress seems to be the natural result of the best ongoing conversations.

Miss an opportunity and it may be missed for good.

No comments:

Post a Comment