Monday, July 14, 2014

Writing, Wrens, and Rapport

I'm trying something different here. Here goes.   My day today...

Here's how it began.  As usual, I went out for breakfast.  Many neat choices.  Could be the Diner by the lake.  The Diner near the Parkway.  The Diner with 1950's décor.  The restaurant with wood tables and classical music.  The restaurant with organic eggs.  The little café nestled on a street of antique shops.  Today I went to the restaurant with plain wood tables and elegant music.  "Sit wherever you like!"  they sing out. I know them by name and they know me.  Usually I sit at a table so I can pour over a book or the New York Times, scribbling notes in the margins, maybe writing in my journal.  I wonder if people think I'm an author, or a recluse, certainly a holdout from an age when pens were at the end of our fingertips. 

I'm currently reading a book about Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman, that I borrowed from the Library.  For me, it's an absolute revelation that the world operates on an emotional frequency that I assumed was only practiced in secret or in movies.  Hey. If you've read anything about me, you'll understand that both I and my parents were clueless about the ways and means of emotional presence.  I did learn it with my husband, but I thought I lost access to the best parts when he died.   I'll summarize EQ by saying it's our ability to recognize, honor and deal from our feelings in a way that enables us to develop authentic emotional rapport with others.   If we're not taught it (generally by our earliest caregivers), then we don't learn how to soothe ourselves, for instance.  Apprehension, or anxiety, or anger can hijack our brain, literally handicapping our ability to think straight, much less love well.

I'm seeing the light.  #1.  The world is really a friendly place.  #2.  What I really want is emotional rapport.  #3.  It's up to me to make this obvious to one and all.

Back to my day.  For the rest of my day I worked outside with my handyman, a man who shows up most days to help me out.  This man can do most anything practical - replace a roof, build fences, remodel rooms, build terraces, clean exteriors, stain decks, create stone paths, pull bushes out.  For the most part, we get along beautifully.  Some day I'll tell you how we met.


Together, we're fixing up my house to sell.  Well, as if  to sell.  I have no intention of selling it, but this is the only way I can explain spending all this money.  I enjoy my handyman's companionship in an employer, employee kind of way.  At the end of his work day we share beers and chat.  I treasure these two friendly bookends to my day - breakfast and beer.

A wren is raising her young near my garage.  My camera caught what my eye couldn't see - that baby head poking out of the hole to grab that little morsel.

I also had visitors, an 18 year old woman and male companion who introduced themselves and asked for support toward young people like her.  She was born in Chicago to drug addicted parents, and became a teenage unwed mother.   I was fascinated by the way she built rapport, emotional rapport, with me.   I adored her.  True, the former New Yorker in me was cautious about donating to a charity after hearing a hard luck story, but I think she and the charity were legit.  My neighbors  donated, too, and I have a receipt.

Well, that's a snapshot of my day.  I hope you had a lovely day, too.  Do tell!


  1. I've been wondering what you've been up to. The book sounds interesting and so does your handyman. I wish I had a handyman. I have different contractors who do different things but I'd really love to have a go-to-guy for everything.

    The idea of looking like a writer while dining is so appealing. I think I*ll try it and see how I feel. LOL

  2. Yes, let me know how it feels. I can tell you it hasn't been a conversation starter for me. Might be for you LOL. I rarely see another book reader dining out, or even newspaper reader. Smartphone readers, yes. Tablet readers, yes. I'm old fashioned. There's something about scribbling notes in the margins or in a notebook that really embads an idea in my mind.

  3. I have been wanting a handy-man also. I could probably find a man who's handy, but then--he would probably end up wanting to live here and have me cook his meals and wash his clothes and.....been there done that more than once. It would be nice to have a guy who would just come over when I have a chore or even, just come over to sit and watch a baseball game with me, me to Vermont, the Outer Banks. Unfortunately, I can't afford any of those things, so....that will no doubt keep me out of trouble?

  4. Ah, that's the honey-do man. They only exist in our yes, you get to stay out of trouble LOL

    But aren't those things you want to do or get done quite doable, with gutsy girl friends? Tell me they are.. .Otherwise I might just as well pack my girl friend picker in!